Dear, dear readers! You're smart, numerate kind of people. Some of you will have read my previous posts on hokey maths. Some of you can even count.
Can you see how Meryl is lying with numbers? Here's a tip. There's more than one lie.
Tell you what, I'll help you out a little. Here's the NSW vaccination schedule.
And Meryl Dorey's overall claim as that there are 31 doses of vaccine in the schedule by 12 months of age*.
OK, you're seeing it now? No? OK, well allow me to explain.
The first lie is in Meryl's claim that three doses DPaT equals nine doses total. This is, of course, only three doses on the schedule. It's her very first number, and she's got it wrong.
"Did I say that? I don't believe I did. Let me see."
Of course, Meryl would try and get out of this by saying "of course it's three doses. There are three vaccines in one.". To which I'd say three things.
- The word you were looking for was "trivalent", you dolt.
- Infanrix Hexa actually covers against six diseases - hence the name - making it "hexavalent", or more usably, "polyvalent". You missed an opportunity there.
- How come you didn't do the same for MMR? That's a trivalent vaccine. If you needed a nine to massage the numbers into place, that would have been more sensible. Is it because the fact of MMR's single-dose trivalency is more commonly known?
The second lie, of course, is in the total number of doses and how they're totted up. Meryl's "31 doses in first year" claim has been floating around for a long time. The actual number in NSW is 12, as you can see with reference to the schedule. Meryl, of course, to inflate the numbers, counts individual diseases rather than doses. But even if you do that, you only get 29.
So, to get to 31, Meryl adds Varicella (Chicken Pox), which actually comes at 18 months, and adds an "Influenza" category, which only appears in the schedule for adults. It's a lie that might slip by the uninformed, since Haemophilus Influenzae Type B is in the schedule, and they sound similar, right? Of course Meryl has already counted Hib. Actually, she counted it three times, when it actually appears in the schedule four times. Rotavirus appears in Meryl's list three times, but in the schedule only twice. She includes IPV, which is not in the schedule until 4 years (Polio is included under Infanrix Hexa), and includes Meningococcal as three doses, when in fact it's a single dose at 12 months.
It's hard to be further from the actual truth of the matter. Meryl has got less than half of her made-up schedule right. This is a truth/bullshit ratio that's slanted well to the stinky side of the scale, and it shows.
Of course, there are other explanations of the schedule. It's still nigh on impossible to reach Meryl's numbers, try as I might.
The third lie, of course, is the "too many, too soon" fallacy which forms the body of the entire post. There is no evidence that the number of vaccines is in any way an unreasonable risk factor. You still get the very small individual risk for each vaccine, but the antivaccine brigade suggest that there's a cumulative, non-linear risk in stacking vaccines. This is not the case. In fact, there are some risk factors that are significantly decreased by using multivalent vaccines - sharp contamination or handling error being just two, not to mention the decrease in cry factor you get by jabbing your child once instead of three (or six) times. Won't somebody think of the children?
Meryl suggests that Peter Bowditch should take these vaccines to demonstrate their safety. I'll join in here. Meryl, you pay, and I'll do it, subject of course to actual medical advice rather than the slipshod, lean-to, Heath Robinson version that Meryl Dorey herself seems to give out.
In case you're new here, here are some posts on Meryl's previous fail:
Sure, Meryl. It did nothing
Australian Vaccination Network: OWNED
Meryl: Failing Infectious Disease 101
So, apparently, 99.2% is the same as 0%
Meryl Dorey: Still lying on schedule
Meryl Dorey and the Fallacy of the Excluded Middle
"You didn’t die from it 30 years ago and you’re not going to die from it today.”
Two posts on Meryl's fail in one day?
Meryl, Sanskrit and Epic Fail
The AVN gets unexpected results
Meryl undermines her own case again
Antivax: Sometimes what you omit defines the most effective lies
And for those who like their Antivax fail served up with some piano-accordion and a side order of lulz: That Meryl!
* Being charitable, we'll say Meryl means "up to and including 12 months". To me, "by 12 months" means "before". Not including. But that would be hair-splitting
posted @ Sunday, July 18, 2010 4:26 PM