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126 thoughts on “A Welcome Upgrade to a Childhood Vaccine – PCV 13

  1. Archangl508 says:

    Prometheus,

    “I’ve taken undergraduate and graduate level courses in immunology and my research touches on immunology, but I know that there is much that I don’t know about the immune system that the real experts do. ”

    That is a very good point. But even the real experts don’t know all of the information and the further down you go into specifics the more specialized people become and have a more limited knowledge of those specific details.

    I have been researching in the field of immunology about 10 years now and think I have a very good grasp of the basics and some of the specifics, for example I work on asthma models now, so have a better understanding of asthma pathology and many of the details of the asthmatic response. But there are many other areas, even within the subject of asthma, that I would have to further research to get full understanding of the details, for example, cell signaling pathways (who can keep track of all those kinases).

    But the importance factor is the ability to understand that you can be wrong or can make incorrect statements and have the ability to amend such statements. Also, one must demonstrate a full understanding of the basics within any discipline before one attempts to delve into the specifics as science very strongly builds on itself. The subtleties and nuances of the subjects can also not be glossed over as they are often very important.

  2. Th1Th2 says:

    There you go. I guess some vaccine apologists and experts here really should need to take a remedial class in basic anatomy and physiology. Honestly, they have gone too far in deceiving innocent people, helpless children and naive babies proclaiming that vaccines will confer protection. This the biggest lie that I have heard and so far I am glad that someone in this board readily acknowledges the truth:

    “Correct, antigens do not protect.”—–Calli Arcale.

  3. BillyJoe says:

    Thumped1Thumped2
    (Chronicle of a death fortold)

    He started off boldly with this statement:

    Post1: “I just couldn’t imagine how many more healthy children will be devastated let alone suffer from this newly invented vaccine.”

    Then came the accusation and his introduction of the words “infection” and “naive”:

    Post 2: “You and the vaccinators are the ones responsible for deliberately infecting naive immune cells of healthy newborns with hideous antigens. Get your facts straight.”

    Warming up, he made a clever play on the word “naive” and asked his first question:

    Post3: “Does the word NAIVE sound familiar? Maybe you can explain what vaccine antigens do to a naive cell?”

    Then the maestro launched into his educational session:

    Post4: “The initial stage of pathogenesis begins with the introduction of antigens to naive immune cells regardless whether the antigen is live or inactivated. THIS IS CALLED INFECTION.”

    …and it was all down hill from there.

  4. BillyJoe says:

    Calli Arcale: “Correct, antigens do not protect.”

    Thumped1Thumped2: “I am glad that someone in this board readily acknowledges the truth”

    Now for the complete quote:

    Calli Arcale: “Correct, antigens do not protect. THEY EDUCATE.”

    So, let’s hope that you, Th1Th2, get a load of those antigens so they may educate you['re immune system so that they help eliminate the real pathogens when they arrive] ;)

  5. Prometheus says:

    Th1Th2 retorts with (unintended?) humor:

    “There you go. I guess some vaccine apologists and experts here really should need to take a remedial class in basic anatomy and physiology.”

    Seriously, Th1Th2, the only way to keep the hole you’re in from getting any deeper is to put down the shovel!

    Here’s my second life-tip for the day:

    If one person disagrees with you, there is a chance that you’re right and they’re wrong. When dozens of people (and immunology texts) disagree with you (and nobody agrees with you), the smart money will bet that you’re wrong.

    And here is where I show my Karnak-like ability to peer into the future: I predict that Th1Th2 will be back to post yet another comment saying that he/she is right and everybody else needs to go back to school.

    Prometheus

  6. Prometheus says:

    Quoted by Th1Th2:

    “Correct, antigens do not protect.”—–Calli Arcale.

    That is correct. Antigens do not protect – they stimulate the development of antibodies and adaptive cellular immunity that does protect. That’s how vaccines work and why they work.

    It’s passing strange how Th1Th2 could get that right and miss all the rest.

    Unless, of course, he/she is completely uneducated in the field of immunology.

    Ah, the Arrogance of Ignorance!

    Prometheus

  7. Watcher says:

    “Correct, antigens do not protect.”—–Calli Arcale.

    Pretty sure that’s a misquote. At least in the nature in which she meant it.

  8. Th1Th2 says:

    Prometheus,

    “That is correct. Antigens do not protect – they stimulate the development of antibodies and adaptive cellular immunity that does protect. That’s how vaccines work and why they work.”

    And so is antigenic exposure from natural infection, “they stimulate the development of antibodies and adaptive cellular immunity that does protect”. And the circular reasoning continues…blah..blah..blah

    Ergo, vaccines, which are antigenic preparation, DO NOT protect. The final nail in the coffin.

  9. Prometheus says:

    I know that Th1Th2 was trying to misquote Ms. Arcale in order to make it look as though she was agreeing with him/her, but I elected to carry it through in the sense that Ms. Arcale meant it.

    Prometheus

  10. Watcher says:

    Oh I know :) I was more just calling Th1Th2 out on the fact that they’re utilizing subterfuge and misdirection to backup their argument.

  11. Chris says:

    Troll1/Troll2 keeps saying:

    Honestly, they have gone too far in deceiving innocent people, helpless children and naive babies proclaiming that vaccines will confer protection.

    And yet s/he/it never provides any evidence to support its statements. S/he/it claims children are injured by vaccines, yet does not provide evidence. Only argument by assertion.

    Of course unless it is properly referenced, we can assume that anything the troll says is worthless.

  12. Prometheus says:

    Th1Th2, proving my powers of prognostication:

    And so is antigenic exposure from natural infection, “they stimulate the development of antibodies and adaptive cellular immunity that does protect”. And the circular reasoning continues…blah..blah..blah. Ergo, vaccines, which are antigenic preparation, DO NOT protect. The final nail in the coffin.

    I think I finally get it! Th1Th2 is making the argument that it’s the immune system that protects us – the antigens just stimulate the immune system, which does the protecting.

    Of course, this is just empty sophistry. The antigens in vaccines stimulate the immune system to mount a protective immune response (both humoral and cellular) without actually causing the disease.

    Thus, vaccines allow us to have a protective immune response, preventing disease, without the risk of the actual vaccine-preventable diseases.

    I suppose it is possible that Th1Th2 is so dense that he/she doesn’t realise that is the whole point of vaccines – to develop a protective immune response to diseases without the mess and bother (and death and long-term disability) of contracting the actual disease.

    Now, to preempt an argument I can see forming in Th1Th2′s head, while the immunity produced by vaccines may generally not be as strong or as long-lasting as that obtained by having the diseases, it is “good enough” – as proven by centuries of experience.

    And, just to throw another “monkey wrench” into Th1Th2′s “logic”, there are some diseases, such as tetanus, where so little of the toxin produced that no significant immune response is generated even with a life-threatening infection”. Even if someone survives tetanus, they are not immune to tetanus toxin. The vaccine has enough of the inactivated toxin (toxoid) to stimulate the immune system and produce long-lasting immunity.

    There are also some diseases – smallpox and yellow fever some to mind – where the mortality, even with modern medical care, is so high that nobody in their right mind would take the risk. There are also some diseases – rabies, for instance – where the mortality rate without vaccination is nearly 100%.

    Doubtless, Th1Th2 will come back and make retorts about “circular reasoning” and nails in coffins, but it’s pretty clear to me (and many others) that his/her arguments are as hollow as his/her head.

    Prometheus

  13. Archangl508 says:

    “Now, to preempt an argument I can see forming in Th1Th2’s head”

    You shouldn’t look inside Th1Th2′s head….like a black hole, it could potentially suck the intelligence right out of your own head.

  14. Th1Th2 says:

    Prometheus,

    “Thus, vaccines allow us to have a protective immune response, preventing disease, without the risk of the actual vaccine-preventable diseases.”

    Somehow I find it really entertaining to discuss the principle of vaccination without the aid of imaginative thinking to muster the scattered ideas and twisted logic of these so-called experts.

    “Stimulate” sounds benign and innocuous but in reality, it means the intentional creation of a deep wound puncture to a previously intact skin, all the way down the uncharted muscle tissues and fats, assaulting its innate physical integrity and intactness with the use of a calibrated vector for the inoculation of both legacy and novel antigens derived from hideous diseases thereby causing the cardinal signs of infection like pain, swelling, redness and inflammation and other symptoms of the disease while the damaged tissues try to recuperate from the injury it had received. Therefore, to claim that vaccines have prevented diseases and protected the people is just effing retardation and delusion.

    No wonder such inane question like the one below still exists:

    “If so, what is your opinion of the thousands of antigens that our bodies encounter “naturally”? Are those antigens dangerous too, or is it just vaccine antigens?” —from watso359

  15. Chris says:

    Keep digging, dude!

  16. DREads says:

    Vaccines have greatly raised the standard of human health throughout the world. I feel fortunate to be protected against many diseases that used to afflict people in great numbers such as polio, mumps, measles, rubella, and smallpox. Due to infrastructural problems, it is often difficult to provide adequate and sustained treatment for people suffering from infections in many areas throughout the developed world. Vaccinations not only prevent deaths but also reduce the burden on medical services dispatched to remote areas. Even in the first world, with bacterial resistance growing and the development of new antibiotics lacking, developing new vaccines will help maintain a critical line of defense in preventing many deaths and severe infections in children.

    Thanks for enlightening me about recent developments for a new pneumococcal vaccine. Los Alamos has developed a new kind of vaccine that is showing promise for protecting against viruses exhibiting considerable genetic diversity such as HIV and HCV (see http://www.hiv.lanl.gov). A mosaic vaccine is a synthetic cocktail of peptides generated by computer simulation. With enough computing power, one can simulate a very large number of vaccine designs until a desirable coverage of epitopes is realized. It would be great to see this work adapted to design other vaccines, such as S. pneumon.

  17. BillyJoe says:

    Troll1Troll2.

    ““Stimulate” sounds benign and innocuous but in reality, it means the intentional creation of a deep wound puncture to a previously intact skin, all the way down the uncharted muscle tissues and fats, assaulting its innate physical integrity and intactness with the use of a calibrated vector for the inoculation of both legacy and novel antigens derived from hideous diseases thereby causing the cardinal signs of infection like pain, swelling, redness and inflammation and other symptoms of the disease while the damaged tissues try to recuperate from the injury it had received. Therefore, to claim that vaccines have prevented diseases and protected the people is just effing retardation and delusion.”

    Okay, I’m back to calling s/he/it a troll.
    What else could explain the idiocy contained in the above paragraph?

  18. Scott says:

    Now, to preempt an argument I can see forming in Th1Th2’s head, while the immunity produced by vaccines may generally not be as strong or as long-lasting as that obtained by having the diseases, it is “good enough” – as proven by centuries of experience.

    More importantly, the immunity produced by having the disease requires, well, having the disease. So this comparison is only interesting if we consider the odds of getting the disease a second time, but at that point the vaccinated and non-vaccinated individual are both benefitting from the immunity produced by having the disease.

    Odds of getting the disease once: Much less for the vaccinated.

    Odds of getting it a second time, given a first episode: Effectively the same – arguably a bit less for the vaccinated, but apparently the vaccine didn’t work well for them anyway.

    So such an argument would be not at all to the advantage of getting the disease, even if vaccine-produced immunity were NOT “good enough.”

  19. Prometheus says:

    To quote Th1Th2:

    “Stimulate” sounds benign and innocuous but in reality, it means the intentional creation of a deep wound puncture to a previously intact skin, all the way down the uncharted muscle tissues and fats, assaulting its innate physical integrity and intactness with the use of a calibrated vector for the inoculation of both legacy and novel antigens derived from hideous diseases thereby causing the cardinal signs of infection like pain, swelling, redness and inflammation and other symptoms of the disease while the damaged tissues try to recuperate from the injury it had received.

    To quote Shakespeare:

    “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. [Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5]

    I’m done.

    Prometheus

  20. DREads says:

    I just wanted to remark I really enjoyed this blog post because it had nothing to do with CAM. Most typical blog postings on SBM focus on criticizing CAM therapies. Sometimes this gets a little too old, perhaps because I’m entirely unconvinced of the evidence in support of CAM. I agree exposing, and creating awareness of, quackery is very important work, however it is refreshing to see posts that talk about the current state of non-CAM medical research. I’d be delighted to see more variety on this blog including more non-CAM posts.

  21. Th1Th2 says:

    Scott,

    “More importantly, the immunity produced by having the disease requires, well, having the disease.”

    That is the immunological memory you’re talking about. The primary immune response to the first dose of vaccines does not confer protective immunity but to facilitate an infectious process.

    “but at that point the vaccinated and non-vaccinated individual are both benefitting from the immunity produced by having the disease.”

    Technically, non-vacinnated individuals are the ones who are naive to disease antigens unless they acquire these antigens through natural exposure or inoculation with vaccine antigens.

    “So such an argument would be not at all to the advantage of getting the disease, even if vaccine-produced immunity were NOT “good enough.””

    Vaccination plays the opposite role of immunity. There are neither protection nor prevention; there are consequences.

  22. BillyJoe says:

    Thich1Thick2

    “The primary immune response to the first dose of vaccines does not confer protective immunity but to facilitate an infectious process.”

    Your sentence structure is rubbish.
    You can choose from the following:

    1) The primary immune response to the first dose of vaccines is not to confer protective immunity but to facilitate an infectious process.

    2) The primary immune response to the first dose of vaccines does not confer protective immunity but facilitates an infectious process.

    Whichever you choose you will be grammatically correct, but you willl still be wrong. Bummer.

    “Technically, non-vacinnated individuals are the ones who are naive to disease antigens”

    Okay I will give that as a typo. Aren’t I generous. But you sure love that word “naive”. Not once have you mispelled it either. I’m willing to bet, though, that your pronunciation is off the planet.

    “Vaccination plays the opposite role of immunity. There are neither protection nor prevention; there are consequences.”

    You now have three choices:
    1) you are naive
    2) you are ignorant
    3) you are completely stupid
    Enjoy yourself.

  23. Th1Th2 says:

    BillyJoe,

    I will never trust an English teacher to discuss vaccination.

  24. squirrelelite says:

    All right, Th1Th2, I’ll bite.

    You stated:

    “I will never trust an English teacher to discuss vaccination.”

    Evidently, you don’t trust an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Critical Care to discuss vaccination either.

    So, whom do you trust to do so?

    One informative link will do, I think.

  25. BillyJoe says:

    “I will never trust an English teacher to discuss vaccination.”

    I am not an English teacher.
    And, let’s face it, you are not an expert in the immune system.

  26. Ryan says:

    Let’s look critically at what is known about Prevnar starting with the 2 prelicensure trials. Here is the main one http://tinyurl.com/ybnc3xp

    Look at the study design first of all. What are they measuring and does it make sense clinically? The primary outcome is IPD caused by the serotypes in the vaccine. Secondary outcomes include all cause IPD, but wouldn’t it more relevant to include all invasive bacterial diseases? Would it be a success if we replaced IPD with other pneumonias, ear infections, bacteremia etc? Notice how after 3 years and 17 cases of IPD the randomization period was stopped by design and then less than a year later there were 56 cases to review.

    There are other concerns with the study design. Since pneumococcus is normal flora in children, addressing long term effects of altering the normal flora is critical. Again, are there other bacteria replacing the infections prevented from these few serotypes of pneumococcus? What about the remaining 80 something serotypes of pneumococcus? Are we getting more or less virulent bacteria in the normal flora because of prevnar? What about the antibiotic resistance of these replacement serotypes? The initial 2 studies didn’t look at this but post after mass vaccination, we do have some studies looking into what happened.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17456820
    Initially we have this:
    (from 403.2 per 100,000 in 1995-2000 to 134.3 per 100,000 per year in 2001-2003, P<.001)

    Then after the initial dramatic decrease in IPD, the replacement serotypes fill the partial void:
    "However, between 2001-2003 and 2004-2006, there was an 82% increase in invasive disease in Alaska Native children younger than 2 years to 244.6/100,000 (P = .02). Since 2004, the invasive pneumococcal disease rate caused by nonvaccine serotypes has increased 140% compared with the prevaccine period (from 95.1 per 100,000 in 1995-2000 to 228.6 in 2004-2006, P = .001)"

    What other bacteria are replacing the vaccine specific serotypes?
    JAMA 2004 Aug 11;292(6):716-20
    "CONCLUSIONS: Streptococcus pneumoniae carriage, specifically of vaccine-type strains, is negatively associated with S aureus carriage in children. The implications of these findings in the pneumococcal vaccine era require further investigation"
    Lancet 2004 Jun 5;363(9424):1871-2
    "These findings suggest a natural competition between colonisation with vaccine-type pneumococci and S aureus, which might explain the increase in S aureus-related otitis media after vaccination."

    Anyone in clinical practice recall an explosion of MRSA in children since 2000? It's no fun holding down a 3 month old to drain an abscess.

    There seems to be an accepted causal relationship between prevnar's eradication of its 7 serotypes and the emergence of serotype 19A as the dominant pathogen of IPD. Serotype 19A which is responsible for multidrug resistant IPD. Meaning children requiring quinolones to clear their ear infections.

    The fact is, we don't know what effects Prevnar 13 will have any more than we knew what Prevnar 7 would do. If you want to look at the studies of clinical efficacy on Prevnar 13, we can; but it's rather disturbing seeing how the bulk of the research was done outside of the US and often on those living in extreme poverty. The new vaccine has been tested on populations which aren't intended to get the vaccine after licensure.

    The mechanism for pneumococcus evading the antibodies from prevnar 7 , capsid switching, is a well accepted characteristic of the bacteria. Prevnar 13 will simply add another 6 antibodies and we have no reason to believe that this slightly enhanced selective pressure will give us anything other than a more robust version of 19A.

    Prevnar has been the most lucrative pharmaceutical for Wyeth some of the years between 2000 and now. What benefit did we receive? Prevnar wasn't able to get an indication for preventing meningitis (bacterial meningitis in infants practically vanished in the years prior to prevnar's release). Maybe prevnar decreases IPD including pneumonia in older children and adults, but again all cause pneumonia and invasive bacterial infections would be a proper comparison AND the mothers who consented to have their infants vaccinated with prevnar weren't consenting to protect older children and adults.

    Any benefit on ear infections would have to be looked at in the context of all cause ear infections and longitudinal serotype replacement phenomenon. Also the ear infection outcome has to be looked at in the context of more recent recommendations to allow the majority of clinical otitis presentations to resolve without antibiotic therapy.

    http://www.news-medical.net/news/20100224/FDA-approves-Wyeth-Pharmaceuticals-Prevnar-13-pneumococcal-disease-vaccine.aspx

    Look at how they compared prevnar 13 to prevnar 7 in the US trials and only looked at immunology not any clinical outcome.

    Pretend Prevnar is a pill for a minute, a pill like Zetia. If it were a pill to be given to 2 month olds and the long term impact were uncertain would you recommend it to every 2 month old in the nation and "hey we'll figure out what went right and what went wrong a decade later"…..

    Any preventive test or intervention is capable of doing more harm than good. We must be extremely careful mucking with the normal flora of children. The bright minds reading the articles on this site are capable of critical thinking. Now ask yourselves who has more to gain financially by manipulating people, the makers of homeopathic snake oil or Wyeth.

    "Prevnar sales surged 24% in 2007 to $2.4 billion, making it the first vaccine to exceed $2 billion in annual sales."

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