Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by ashtensmom, Sep 9, 2013.
Very good point - I misspoke about not getting it if you have HPV already.
Your first issue is just a mistake on your part. The people were followed for six months AFTER EACH SHOT. Since the vaccine is three shots, and these shots are usually given 6 or 12 months apart (occasionally 3 months apart), most people in the study were followed for 18 months. Some shorter, but the average over all 190,000 people was vastly higher than 6 months, and most of the people were followed for 18 months.
Your second issue, as far as I can tell, is some kind of word choice, hair splitting. By looking at tens of thousands of person-years comparison between those who were vaccinated and those who were not, they can see that there is no increase in autoimmune rates. Therefore, the vaccine does not increase your chances of having an autoimmune disease. I think that saying "does not trigger autoimmune disorders" describes the situation perfectly.
Finally, I want to say that in my experience, whenever someone says "the study was flawed because it didn't go long enough" and especially when that is their lead-in criticism, that means they could not find a real problem in the study. Why? Because every study can be improved by making it longer. To focus on that means there is nothing better to complain about. Most studies done on insulin last three months. They would be better if they were six months long. Studies that are six months long, would be better if they were a year long, and those that are a year, would be better at five years or ten years. To call that a "glaring problem" as you do, is really a testimonial of how good the study was.
For comparison, most studies done on various forms on insulin collect data on less than 1000 person-years of results. This study collected data on more than 190,000 person-years of data. That's 190 times more experience. Now it requires more than one study of a new insulin before it is approved. However, based on my knowledge, I would say that this one study covered more person-years than all the combined studies required for a new insulin. (But of course, you are right that it would be even better to go even longer. Of course it's a little different because the approval studies would be intervention studies, and this is a population study, but you get the main point: this study was very large, even at 6 months per shot.
Thank you. In abundance.
We got it done when DD was 15, no biggie at all.
There is most certainly a mistake but I cannot say thoroughly whose it is. The article linked clearly states that the three shots were given "over six months" meaning that the last shot was given within six month of the first. If the girls were followed for six months after each shot then it appears that they were followed for about one year total with overlap in the follow up periods. If there was not overlap and the girls were given the shots six months apart then the article was wrong when it stated they were given the shots over six months. Obviously the writer of the article was a bit sloppy.
I did originally think they were only followed for a total of six month and that would be way too short a time. One year is far better but perhaps still a bit short. And if they were followed for 18 months that is better still though the facts in the article imply that they were not followed for 18 months. I suspect that many autoimmune disorders often develop over a long period of time but sometimes in just a few weeks. So a study following girls for one year would likely catch some and perhaps miss some. The statistic you cite of 18 months is not in the article so if you have another source you are working from a link would be great, though not necessary since I would believe you.
I have read enough of your posts to know that you are well versed in scientific literature. Which is why it surprises me so much that you are basically denying the very nature of the null hypothesis. This is hardly hair splitting - science never proves a theory it merely rejects the null. This is a basic fundamental principle in the philosophy of science. And yes it is important as over the years many sloppy statements which ignore this principle have resulted in policy makers setting incorrect policy.
The length of a study can be important and sometimes more than others. In this case the length is important because autoimmune disorders do not generally just start on any particular day instead they develop over a period of time often a year or maybe several. Studies are often improved by being longer but this one needs to be at least as long as it takes for many autoimmune disorders to develop. It appears to be just a tad short but not as short as I originally thought. If the study was as short as I first thought I would have to stand completely behind my statement that it contained glaring errors. I would prefer to admit when I am wrong and revise my statement to say that it (the study) contains the important error of being a bit too short and the glaring error of overstating its (the article) conclusion. You may notice that no where did I say the conclusion was wrong.
I hope the vaccine does not cause autoimmune disorders and this study lends great deal of support to that hope.
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