Gayle DeLong finally responds to the retraction of her incompetent paper linking HPV vaccination to lowered fertility in women in—of course—the antivaccine propaganda blog Age of Autism. It doesn’t go well.
Antivaxers really, really don’t like HPV vaccines. Too bad that a new meta-analysis shows that they’re really effective.
Antivaxers claim that HPV vaccination causes primary ovarian insufficiency, also known as premature ovarian failure. A large epidemiological study has just shown them to be wrong. As usual.
Gayle Delong is an economist who thinks she’s an epidemiologist. Consistent with that delusion, her latest study of HPV vaccination is all amateurs hour, in which she misses a major potential confounder on her way to “proving” that HPV vaccination could be associated with decreased fertility in young women.
There is a type of “vaccine injury” story promoted by the antivaccine movement that is particularly pernicious, a narrative I call “death by Gardasil.” The stories, which use tenuous connections between vaccination against HPV to prevent cervical cancer and the unexpected death of a teen or young adult, are always tragic, and you can’t help but feel incredible empathy for the parents. However, none of these stories constitute compelling evidence that Gardasil kills young people. Basically, antivaxers exploit the grief of these parents and their understandable desire to find a cause for their child’s demise to demonize HPV vaccinations as dangerous and deadly.