In: Science

20 Feb 2013

Not much of a graph design wise, but it does drive home the data to vaccine skeptics. Get your shots!!


9 Responses to Vaccines



February 21st, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Aren’t people more concerned about the side effects of vaccines rather than whether they work or not?



February 21st, 2013 at 9:42 pm

People shouldn’t worry about side effects if going with out is much worse. If you think vaccines caused your kid to have autism (the watered down kind that is easily confused with just being socially awkward) compared to death by small pox or paralysis by polio, autism isn’t too bad.

Not to say there is any reason to think a vaccine should cause anything worse than the disease it prevents, since all it does is expose a person to that said disease in a milder form. Worst case scenario the vaccination back fires and they get a full-blown infection, and thus wind up in the same place as if they never had the vaccination.

But then again that takes some critical thinking, and if these people had that they might insist on pasteurization too.



February 22nd, 2013 at 4:24 am

Most of the vaccine “sceptics” seem to combine exaggerated concerns about side effects with a denial that vaccines work at all – or that the illnesses they protect against are a serious problem.


Ellie Kesselman

February 24th, 2013 at 4:49 am

@Jake made an interesting comment, one that I never thought about before. Yes, the anti-vaccination people are concerned about side effects of vaccination. They rarely question the effectiveness of vaccination (more on that in a moment). Their concerns are misguided! Side effects from vaccination are minimal or non-existent. It is more sensible to worry about effectiveness; most diseases that vaccinations inoculate against have high mortality rates. Even the less lethal can cause permanent damage for life. Now THAT is something to fear, not vaccination!

As for vaccine efficacy, this is odd: I noticed recently that some websites and radio stations that are distrustful of government, big pharma, Democrats, Republicans, and so forth have been reveling in any news of influenza vaccination not being 100% effective.

The saddest aspect of anti-vaccination sentiment is that it exposes children disproportionately to disease e.g. diphtheria, rubella, measles, tetanus, mumps. Yet it is the (adult) parents who make the decision to disallow vaccines for their children.



February 24th, 2013 at 10:41 am

um, ok guys i gotta say a few things. first of all, this graph is wildly misrepresentative. someone mentioned that anti-vaccination people are concerned about side effects, not effectgiveness. well, as an anti-vaccine person i can tell you that is total crap, because the thing that first got me interested in it, was the actual evidence that shows how ineffective they truly are. those diseases were almost gone already when the vaccines were introduced. This year’s flu vacine was reported as 60% effective, which was then downgraded to something like 47% effective. going without is not at all worse, in fact if you look at the numbers for those diseases, they affected the vaccinated more than the unvaccinated. autism is unheard of in the quaker community – they don’t vaccinate. i myself, got sick 3-5 times a year UNTIL i stopped getting vaccinated and have not been sick in the three years since.

to people that would say “all it is is a mild form of the illness”…uh, sure…diectly injected into your bloodstream, bypassing your body’s natural defenses and weaknening your immune system, which would help keep you healthy if you hadn’t gotten vaccinated. but its not just the virus. its also formadehyde, and mercury, and often times animal dna…all things that cause sickness, not cure it. watch a documentary, not the news. its all common sense once you get past the indoctrination of “science”



February 24th, 2013 at 1:43 pm

“How effective is the flu vaccine in the elderly?

Older people with weaker immune systems often have a lower protective immune response after influenza vaccination compared to younger, healthier persons. This can result in lower levels of vaccine effectiveness in these people.
How effective is the flu vaccine in children?

In general, the flu vaccine works best among young, healthy adults and older children. Lesser effects of flu vaccine are often found in studies of young children (e.g., those younger than 2 years of age) and older adults.
How is vaccine effectiveness measured?

How well a vaccine works can be measured through different kinds of studies. “Randomized studies,” in which people are randomly assigned to receive either vaccine or placebo (e.g., saline solution), and then followed to see how many in each group get influenza, are the “gold standard” (best method) for determining how well a vaccine works. The measurement of vaccine effect from a randomized (placebo-controlled) study is referred to as “efficacy.” “Observational studies” are studies in which subjects who choose to be vaccinated are compared to those who chose not to be vaccinated. This means that vaccination of study subjects is not randomized. The measurement of vaccine effect from an observational study is referred to as “effectiveness.” Randomized studies are expensive and cannot be conducted after a recommendation for vaccination has been issued, as withholding vaccine from people recommended for vaccination would place them at risk for infection, illness and possibly serious complications. For that reason, for example, most recent studies of how well flu vaccines work in the elderly have been observational studies.”

These results indicate the vaccination with the 2012-2013 flu season vaccine reduced the risk of flu-associated medical visits from influenza A (H3N2) by one half and from influenza B by two-thirds for most of the population. Overall VE estimates suggest that the 2012-2013 influenza vaccine has moderate effectiveness for most age groups against circulating flu viruses, similar to previously published reports. The one exception to this was the VE among people 65 and older against influenza A (H3N2) viruses. The adjusted VE against outpatient medical visits due to laboratory-confirmed influenza A (H3N2) in adults aged 65 and older was 9% (95% CI:-84% to 55%).

CDC: Flu vaccine often doesn’t work



February 25th, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Some strong feelings out there! I think the chart would benefit from a relative measure of mortality, say “deaths per thousand”. I also think some reference to when the “pre-vaccine era” was would be helpful. I’m guessing many of the pre-vaccine death figures were from close to a century ago when the US population was a bit smaller. Correcting for population would only improve the “pro vaccine” outlook. The lack of a reliable measure makes the graphic less convincing…


escort madrid

February 26th, 2013 at 8:45 am

Someone who habitually doubts accepted beliefs about the vaccine data, for those people it is really helpful to see this chart for vaccine skeptics. Thanks


Maria Droujkova

March 3rd, 2013 at 10:45 am

What is lacking:
– The percentage of vaccinated (low for some of listed diseases)
– The incidence among the vaccinated
– The incidence among the unvaccinated

For some of these diseases, the attribution of eradication to vaccines can be made with high confidence. For others, lower incidence can be attributed to lifestyle changes, hygiene, or better drugs.

I am concerned the infographic simplifies the issue too much, crossing the line into the propaganda territory.

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