While looking for examples of how scientists in the vaccination debate communicate statistical data I found an interesting article examining the position of the American Chiropractors Association (ACA). While the ACA may not be a truly scientific society they would certainly be considered experts in their area of knowledge and publish results in peer review journals. The ACA officially states “chiropractic manipulation is not a substitute for routine vaccinations, and our association considers any contrary suggestion to be unethical, unprofessional, and wrong,” however up to one-third of American Chiropractors do not believe that vaccination is beneficial in preventing disease and in fact may be more harmful. In the article by Hurwitz he states the facts in a very clear style often using natural frequencies in communicating his point. However, these were formed in a negative fashion to drive home the message that vaccination is not as safe or beneficial as medical and health care sector would like the community believe. For example, he states that the MMR and tetanus vaccine has been linked to anaphylaxis. “Estimated rates of anaphylaxis are from 50 per million children for the MMR vaccine to 60 per million children for 3 doses of the tetanus vaccination. The death rate from anaphylaxis is about 5%, thus for every million children given MMR or 3 doses of the tetanus vaccine, 2 to 3 children are expected to die.” This sounds like a very compelling argument but further analysis of the data would be required if I am to be convinced. For example, with the death rate of 5% due to anaphylaxis what percent of these had been immunised with the MMR and the Tetnus vaccination perhaps none.
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