Meryl Dorey misreads evidence and misleads on HPV vaccine

How much more evidence are we going to need to see before we say that we registered this dangerous vaccination before we had any idea of the many autoimmune conditions it would cause? It’s time to withdraw Gardasil and Cervarix from the market. Meryl Dorey, President Australian Vaccination Network, wrote on June 20th [or 21st Australian time].

The only problem with the above statement is that the evidence Dorey cites does not implicate HPV vaccination as causal to any reactions. We’ll get to that.

It was predictable. Any straw that blew past suggesting adverse reactions, no matter how tenuous, to vaccination against papillomavirus would be seized by Meryl Wynn Dorey. Particularly given this June 18th Lancet study abstract – two or three days earlier – entitled Early effect of the HPV vaccination programme on cervical abnormalities in Victoria, Australia: an ecological study. And just to knock out the “all vaccine research is funded by Big Pharma” untruths; the funding for this study? None.

We do know that vaccine and screening registers aren’t linked. So we’re unable to conclusively comment just yet on the numbers of vaccinated girls presenting without pre-cancerous cells. HPV vaccine is the only variable however, and database linkage would allow more explicit results. We can read above that data collected twice before and twice since the programme began, show a marked negative deviation away from the linear progression of HPV infection induced adenocarcinoma’s and cytological abnormalities.

It is further encouraging in that no change was noted in age groups already sexually active. On June 17 SMH published Cervical cancer vaccine working: study

AUSTRALIA’S cervical cancer vaccination program appears to be paying off, reducing the number of pre-cancerous cells found in young women, a new study has found.

Melbourne researchers have reported in The Lancet that the number of high-grade cervical abnormalities found in Victorian girls under 17 has halved since the program began in 2007, taking the incidence from about one in 100 to one in 200.

It also reported the beginning of a declining trend of abnormalities in women aged 18 to 20, but said there had been no drop off in older age groups.

The researchers said this was probably because older women had already been infected with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) through sexual activity. The cervical cancer vaccine protects females against several strains of the Human Papillomavirus because it is known to cause cervical cancer.

On July 6th, SMH published, Huge Success for Gardasil;

Rates of new genital wart infection in Australia have plummeted, research shows, in an early positive sign of the success of mass Gardasil vaccinations.

A study taking in patient data from sexual health clinics across the country has shown up to a 60 per cent drop off in new genital wart cases since 2007, when the anti-cancer vaccine was rolled out.

Gardasil works by preventing the transmission of four strains of the Human papillomavirus (HPV), two of which cause cervical cancer and two which cause genital warts.

Experts say while its effect on cervical cancer rates would take longer to materialise, the vaccine’s ability to prevent a less serious though embarrassing problem was now clear.

[….]

“While we knew from clinical trials that the vaccine was highly effective, Australia is the first country in the world to document a major benefit for the population as a whole.”

Free Gardasil vaccinations were offered to Australian girls and young women, aged 12 to 26 years, and about 80 per cent of those eligible are thought to have taken up the offer.

Researchers pooled data from eight sexual health clinics Australia-wide, covering 110,000 new patients and the period from 2004 to 2009.

So let’s quickly examine how the Australian (anti) Vaccination Network weaves it’s lethal message. Dorey’s Twitter account announces, “Autoimmune hepatitis type 2 following anti-papillomavirus vaccination in a (sic) 11 year old girl << more evidence of vax issues”. I followed the link to Dorey’s own website and Tweeted a reply I copied directly from there. “we do not provide evidence for a causal link… may be related… to vaccine… in a genetically predisposed individual”.

Remember, Australia’s self-titled vaccine expert has claimed at the top of her post that, “It’s time to withdraw Gardasil and Cervarix from the market.” I’m not dismissing the seriousness of the potential relationship here “in an 11 year old girl”. But in context imagine how many lives would be lost and disturbed if Dorey’s claim was implicated. Genital warts would increase by 60% and pre-cancerous lesions would double. Here’s the giveaway paragraph. Bold mine, showing five phrases that refute conclusive causality:

Although we do not provide evidence for a causal link, we suggest that the occurrence of the autoim- mune (sic) hepatitis may be related to the stimulation of immune system by adjuvated-vaccine, that could have triggered the disease in a genetically predisposed individual.

Here’s Meryl Dorey‘s entire post.

The actual abstract is here. More so Ms. Dorey asks, “How much more evidence are we going to need…”.

Well with all respect, a damn sight more evidence than a single case of HV2 that could have been triggered due to genetic predisposition in one child. A case that’s suggested as maybe being related to HPV vaccination, alongside a clear qualification of the absence for a causal link.

Indeed Dorey’s abuse of the word “evidence” and the quite ridiculous call to abandon the programme is neatly opposed by the caution employed by The Lancet article authors. The Guardian reports in part:

Australian study of injection to protect against HPV virus reveals drop in high-grade abnormalities among under-18s

…. That finding, say the authors, “reinforces the appropriateness of the targeting of prophylactic HPV vaccines to pre-adolescent girls”.

The findings were greeted with international interest.

“The not-so-cautious optimist in us wants to hail this early finding as true evidence of vaccine effect,” write Dr Mona Saraiya and Dr Susan Hariri of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, US, in a linked commentary for the journal.

But they said they wanted to know more about the vaccine status of the individuals (each woman is supposed to have three shots) and wanted more work to establish whether the reductions in potential cancers were really a result of vaccination or some other cause.

Michael Quinn, professor of gynaecology and gynaecologic oncology at the University of Melbourne, said: “The study is the first anywhere in the world to show falling rates of high-grade change in very young women.

“Although this is likely to be due to the effects of the vaccination programme, further analysis of information linking women’s smear history to their vaccination history will be needed to prove that the fall is entirely due to vaccination rather than other factors.”

Public health experts say that women should not assume they are not vulnerable to the disease after vaccination and should still go for regular screening checks.

In conclusion it appears once again Meryl Dorey is using her hatred for evidence based medicine and vaccines in particular to scare monger an innocent public.

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About @advodiaboli
I'm not really a cast iron flying pig.

3 Responses to Meryl Dorey misreads evidence and misleads on HPV vaccine

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  3. AndyD says:

    I’d swear, if you ran over 100 people with trucks and one survived, Dorey would hail it as evidence of the human body’s amazing strength – but if you first wrapped them all in safety gear and put them in padded cages and just one died, she’d declare the the precautions an absolute failure. Statistics one-oh-none.

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