Thursday, June 27, 2002

JAMA published an article about anti-vaccination web sites.

[Reuters story]
Many Web sites that oppose childhood vaccinations appeal to readers' emotions when trying to convey their message, and include claims about vaccination that are not supported by studies from peer-reviewed medical journals, according to researchers.

None of this is surprising. Most of the pro-vaccination web sites also use appeals to emotion and use unsupported claims. But the article oddly omitted listing the 22 web sites. So I wrote to the author and got the list.

The list and JAMA articles are here.

The JAMA article says that the 22 web sites were selected because they "specifically oppose vaccination for human infants or children". But a spot check of several of the web sites showed that some of them make no recommendation at all. They merely provide information and advocate informed consent. Some have links to the CDC for pro-vaccine information.

This is a simple example of how medical journals conceal data in order to promote an agenda. If JAMA had just published the list of web sites, then any reader would be able to check the results for himself, and see how inaccurate the article is.

The JAMA authors failed to find anything damning about these so-called anti-vaccination web sites, but there is a general sense of alarm that people would get medical information from these alternative sites on the internet, and develop a sense of distrust about official source of vaccine information. The vaccine establishment depends on most people blindly doing what the authorities say, and the internet is a threat. Maybe if the authorities were more open about vaccine information, these alternative sites would not be needed.

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