Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mental scores decline precipitously at 30 months after anthrax vaccine, but CDC spins study to say vaccine safe/ Vaccine

A new paper on anthrax vaccine safety, presumably published to support DHHS' desire to test the vaccine in small children, has just been published online.  Its authors are all from CDC, and most have previously published papers of very poor quality supporting the so-called safety of anthrax vaccine.  I don't understand why they still have careers...except none have left CDC's pro-vaccine coccoon for academia.  

    * Brock Stewarta, e,
    * Yujia Zhangb, e,
    * Charles E. Rose,Jr. c, e,
    * Jerome I. Tokarsa, e,
    * Stacey W. Martinc, e,
    * Laura H. Franzked, e,
    * Michael M. McNeil a, e, 
    * a Immunization Safety Office, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Atlanta, GA, United States
    * b Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Atlanta, GA, United States
    * c Division of Bacterial Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Atlanta, GA, United States
    * d Division of Applied Sciences, Scientific Education and Professional Development Program Office, Office of Surveillance Epidemiology and Laboratory Services, Atlanta, GA, United States
    * e Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, United States

This is the group at CDC (Michael McNeil's group) who fudged the data on anthrax vaccine safety and optic neuritis (see my published comment and that of others criticizing the CDC methodology at the end of this page) and were supposedly defunded as the CDC's anthrax vaccine network for the poor quality of their anthrax work in 2010.

But now we have this so-called scientific paper in which none of the analyses achieve statistical significance.  Great work, guys!  How do you get the chutzpah to even submit something like this for publication?  

In fact, the only analysis that comes close to significance, p= 0.06, shows appreciably worse mental functioning in those who received anthrax vaccines, 30 months later, relative to controls.  Naturally, the authors blow off this finding and hope we don't notice:
"For mental scores, the average change from baseline was −1.50 for exposed vs. −1.64 for controls at 12 months (p = 0.86) and −2.11 for exposed vs. −0.24 for controls at 30 months (p = 0.06).  In multivariable analysis, the difference in mental score change between exposed vs. controls at 30 months was less pronounced (p = 0.37) [and much less significant--Nass] but other findings were similar to univariate analyses.
These results do not favor an association between receipt of AVA and an altered health related quality of life over a 30-month period.
► We evaluated quality of life after AVA in Laboratory Response Network workers. ► 437 exposed and 139 controls enrolled to complete the SF-36 at 0, 12 and 30 months. ► We found no change from baseline in either SF-36 physical or mental scores. ► Our study suggests no association between AVA and quality of life over 30 months."

Where is peer review?  Why have we allowed spin to be exchanged for scientific discourse?

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