Monday, 15 December 2008

Just as you think it's all calming down…

JABS has been fairly quiet recently. Well - I say quiet; I mean that its posters have limited themselves to reposting rubbish from ridiculous alternative medicine sites such as Dr Mercola, Cybertiger posting abusive and meaningless digs at Anthony Cox, and republishing crap from the Daily Mail's anti-vaccine crusade. The kind of stuff that, were I still allowed to post there, I'd be politely pointing out the holes in the arguments in, but not actual crass stupidity from the JABS posters themselves - the kind of thing that I try and point out here. That's why I've been quiet for the last few days.

However, today, a story has been reposted from a site called "", which concerns the tragic death of an infant in India.

Let me tell you what the story says:

An infant in Bangalore, who had a pre-existing cardiac disorder, died during a clinical trial for an advanced pneumonia vaccine. And India’s rules prohibit testing on human subjects with such conditions without prior approval of the Drugs Controller General of India

Let me make one thing clear: The death of a child is a tragic occurance, in any situation. However, JABS (and the journalist behind Pharmalot) are obviously trying to spin this as a "BIG PHARMA KILLED MY BABY WITH VACCINES!!!" story, so let's look at the first line.

An infant, with a pre-existing cardiac condition has died during a trial. Shall we remove the hysteria and spin? "Child with heart condition dies". The story, as posted, provides no evidence that the vaccine trial and the death are linked. Neither is there any evidence that the cardiac abnormality was known about before the trial started. It's the evil bastards at JABS who want to scare you, me and every worried new mum.

It turns out that this trial was trialling a vaccine against the current standard, a vaccine called Prevnar. The child who died had been given Prevnar. Minority View has a bit of a thing about Prevnar, so has decided to spin this fact thus:

so, let us get this straight.

in the regular world, Prevnar can be injected into any baby, heart condition or no heart condition.

once Prevnar is being used in a drug trial as the "placebo" against the new version of Prevnar it can only be injected into healthy babies.

does this make sense to anyone?

Yes, MV. It makes perfect sense. If a drug is to be trialled on healthy individuals, obviously your control group has to be healthy too. But you know that - you mendacious bastard. You try and put the fear of God into people with spin like this, just to satisfy your own twisted agenda.

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