Interpreting Vaccine and Antibody data

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  • Interpreting Vaccine/Antibody Data
    • MMR Vaccine
      • 1) 1998- study about safety of MMR vaccine. Based on 12 children with autism- concluded that there may be a link between MMR vaccine and autism
      • 2) Very small sample size, increased likelihood of results being due to chance. Study may have been biased- one of the scientists helping with lawsuit against MMR vaccine. Other studies found no link
      • 3) Further scientific studies. 2005: Japanese study looked at medical records of 30000 children born between 1988 and 1996. Counted number of children that developed autism before age 7. MMR jab first introduced in Japan in 1989, stopped in 1993.
      • 4) Number of children diagnosed continued to rise after MMR vaccine stopped.
      • No link between MMR and autism
      • Larger sample size- more reliable
    • Herceptin
      • 20% of women with breast cancer have tumors that produce more of receptor HER2 than usual.
      • Drug used to this type of breast cancer- contains MA that bind HER2 receptor on tumor cell and prevent cells from growing/dividing
      • 2005- tested Herceptin on women who had already undergone chemotherapy for HER2 type breast cancer.
      • 1694 women took drug for year after chemotherapy, 1694 observed for same time (control group)
      • Almost twice a many women in control group developed breast cancer again or died compared to group taking Herceptin
      • One year treatment of Herceptin after chemo increases disease free survival rate
    • Ethical issues-vaccines
      • 1) Testing on animals/animal based substances used to produce vaccine (MA therapy too)
      • 2) Testing vaccines on humans hard, unnecessary risk of contracting disease
      • 3) Some people don't want to take vaccine due to risk of side effects, but are still protected by herd immunity.
      • 4) Epidemic of new disease would cause rush to receive new vaccine. Decisions made about who is first to receive it.


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