Sunday, July 31, 2011

More Proof That Vaccines Save Lives

Like most vaccine conspiracy theorists, Lowell Hubbs is often quick to explain that he doesn't believe vaccines actually work.  When shown evidence that the rate of polio essentially fell off of a cliff upon the release of the polio vaccine, Mr. Hubbs tries to suggest it was all a sham and merely due to improved hygiene rather than the result of a vaccination.  When shown evidence outlining the eradication of smallpox via vaccination programs, Mr. Hubbs claims it was a coincidence.  Not only does Mr. Hubbs not believe these vaccines actually work, but he also believes they cause autism even though there has not been a single peer-reviewed published study that has been able to even suggest a link between the two, nor has there been any scientific evidence to suggest it.

So along comes a new study published in Pediatrics (The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) which discusses varicella (chickenpox) and the impact the vaccine had upon the varicella mortality rate. The result was a 88% reduction in the mortality rate for varicella since the vaccination was implemented (see page 216 of the full study).  In fact, varicella deaths actually decreased in every single age group including a whopping 97% reduction in deaths for children and adolescents under 20 years old.  Previous studies have also found significant reductions at a time the vaccination rate was on the rise, but this newer study is much more complete as it looks at a longer time frame and examines data from both the pre-vaccination period as well as 12 years after the vaccination was released.

Perhaps even more amazing was the fact these results reflect only one dosage of the vaccine.  The newer recommendations include a two dose program which could all but eliminate varicella related deaths within the vaccinated populace.  It is also important to consider the amount of people who no longer suffer from varicella (according to earlier studies an approximate reduction of 90% was witnessed in the first 10 years of vaccination), as well as the number of people who no longer need to be hospitalized as a result of varicella (previous studies found hospitalizations declined between 65% and 88% after implementation of the vaccine). 

If you factor in the amount of lost productivity due to people being ill and unable to attend work or school coupled with the healthcare costs of treatment, hospitalizations, and complications to other medical conditions it is clear the vaccine program is not only effective, but it is nothing short of amazing.

So if vaccines really don't work, are we to believe these reductions are nothing more than a series of coincidences?  Could it be that there is a varicella fairy that has simply been taking a vacation?  Is the reduction of varicella cases directly tied to the proliferation of Twitter accounts?  Not likely.  The only reasonable answer to be taken from all of this is that quite simply... vaccines work.  The science proves it, the results prove it, and study after study, research scientist after research scientist prove it time and time again.

If you're keeping score at home, here are the vital statistics:

Varicella related deaths* per year (1990-1994) prior to the vaccine being released: ~145
Varicella related deaths* in 2007 (the last year covered under this study): ~33

Number of children diagnosed with autism as a direct result of vaccination programs: 0

*Includes varicella as the underlying cause as well as varicella as a contributing cause.  Figures are taken from Table 1 on page 216 of the study.

Sure seems like vaccines are worth the risk to me... but then again I'm not a vaccine conspiracy theorist like Mr. Hubbs.


  1. I'd love to post your comments Mr. Hubbs, but until you can clean up the language and stop the dishonesty day after day I guess you'll just remain banned.

    There is a vast difference between peer-reviewed published science and some random anti-vaxxer website full of opinion. Come back when you have learned the difference. Until then you're just wasting your time.

  2. A 88% reduction in deaths is HUGE. Hubbs can't say vaccines don't work unless he has a study which counters these numbers and we know he doesn't.

    Vaccines work and this is just more evidence of that. How else could you explain a 88% reduction in deaths? I looked at the chart in the full text version of the study and the reductions were measured over several years. It isn't a statistical anomaly but rather a clear defined trend line moving downwards. Hard to debate the significance of that.

  3. Hey look at this -->

    How many blogs does this guy have on him?

  4. Well SEV, Mr. Hubbs claims the "88% reduction in deaths is irrelevant". I'm sure the families of those who have died would disagree, and it is more than obvious Mr. Hubbs doesn't actually care about whether people die or not provided it doesn't upset his misguided view surrounding vaccines.

    Too bad for him, he can't provide any data to counter the reduction in deaths, so he just considers it "irrelevant". Dead people are irrelevant? As always - a classy guy.

    Oh and Mr. Hubbs... 'Anonymous' didn't say that was your blog. He/she asked how many blogs were out there on you. Once again you display your lack of reading comprehension.

    As to Anonymous, yes I've seen that blog. Wish I could take credit for it and wish I knew the author so I could shake his or her hand, but sadly I haven't the slightest clue who it might be. I've seen several blogs or blog posts surrounding our favorite vaccine conspiracy theorist, so it doesn't ever surprise me to stumble upon yet another one.

  5. This blog is great and Hubbs is still banned from our campus.

    He should really stop writing letters because my recycle bin is filling up.

  6. Anonymous (8/3 6:54) - Again thanks again for that link. Looks like Hubbs has been posting comments there are whining that Google hasn't shut it down. Good stuff... I added a comment and might have to do a blog post about it down the road.

    If that is your blog then hats off to you.

  7. Mr. Hubbs - it is obviously that "Kelby" isn't the CEO of Sanford. You're not nearly that important and someone is mocking you. I find that funny enough, but your reaction is even better which is why I publish such comments in the first place.

    And no I'm not going to post your comments because once again you are inventing stories of hackers and making accusations you cannot possibly support with fact.

    You haven't learned your lesson - big surprise there. BTW no matter how many times you send me links to your silly website I'm not going to waste my time visiting it because it isn't reputable and I don't need to read random conspiracy theories. Check how many hits you get and you'll see that for yourself. I sincerely doubt anyone reads your nonsense, but if you want to continue wasting your time be my guest.

  8. You might find this interesting.,9171,1003673,00.html

  9. I've seen the TIME article.... it is accurate although it is fairly old as well. That said, information released since that point essentially just confirms the conclusions stated in the article - specifically that vaccines don't cause autism.

    The studies and science continue to show there is no connection between autism and vaccines... yet we still have not see one single study which has shown such a link, and yet what to vaccine conspiracy theorists tend to focus upon? You guessed it... the mythical vaccine/autism link.

    They are slow learners... give them another decade or so and maybe they will start to understand.

    Now as to that other link - it is interesting but again not really new. The supposed "increase" in autism cases has long been understood to be more of a tracking issue than an actual increase in the number of cases. That article does a good job of explaining the reasoning behind this, and that is probably worthy of further discussion outside of these comments, so I may have to work on that for a future post.

    Thanks for the links!


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