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Meat-Eaters Are Being Put Off Going Veggie Because Of Certain Aggressive Vegans, Says Survey

A vegan diet can benefit our health and the environment, but many meat eaters are turned off of even considering this diet. Could vegan extremists be at fault here? Maybe it’s time to change our approach to veganism.

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I’m writing this in the hopes of finding some common ground between people divided by their views on food. I am in no way placing judgment on anyone, and I feel that, because I’ve experienced both spectrums, I have gained some insights that are worth sharing. The following survey solidifies a believe I’ve held for a few years, which is that vegan extremists, who maintain an all-or-nothing type of attitude in regards to cutting out meat, are actually pushing many people away from even considering this as an option.

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Now, I am not saying that I don’t agree with veganism, because I do. And I am not here to downplay any of the incredible health benefits that can be gained from adopting a vegan diet and lifestyle, because there are many. I merely wish to say that judging or even hating people who choose to include meat in their diets, both ethically produced or factory farmed, is just adding fuel to the fire. It won’t work.

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“Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

It is important to have compassion toward people who make different choices than you do, even if you strongly disagree with them. If you are a vegan, have you ever asked yourself what you were thinking before you adopted your vegan lifestyle? Many are simply unaware of the atrocities that are taking place on factory farms or of the health benefits that can be gained from switching to a plant-based diet. Others still don’t place as much importance on these things as you do, and may instead value the food traditions of their family and culture. And still more have other reasons entirely, and it’s not our place to judge. It is important to understand that by getting too emotionally triggered when you talk about why people should give up meat, you may be inadvertently putting them off even considering it.

The Survey

A recent survey conducted on 2,363 omnivores from the UK quizzed people on their diets and their attitude toward switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Of those surveyed, two thirds of the group said that they had considered becoming a vegetarian or vegan in the past year after learning about some of the health benefits of cutting out meat or seeing various videos or images from the meat industry.

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So, why didn’t they follow through?

The five most common reasons for not adopting this lifestyle change were as follows:

  1. I like the taste of meat too much (81%)
  2. Meat substitutes are too expensive (58%)
  3. I’d struggle with meal ideas (50%)
  4. My family eat meat and wouldn’t consider going vegetarian or vegan with me (41%)
  5. The attitude of certain vegetarians/vegans has put me off (26%)

Even though the other reasons were more common than the last, 26% is still substantial, and represents something that we can all help shift together. And part of that involves asking ourselves why it’s so important for people to give up meat and animal products entirely rather than reducing their intake. Isn’t it worth it for people to at least try cutting back? Isn’t that a huge step in the right direction? I believe it is.

Researchers asked those who gave this answer what people had done specifically to turn them off, and the top responses included that “they were too aggressive to those eating meat” and “they consider their way to be the only way.” Another 25% of the respondents said that they had been lectured about their diets — a tactic people should know by now is ineffective. Nobody enjoys being lectured to.

Sometimes We Have to Take Baby Steps

I have written about animal rights issues for about five years now, and I have learned exactly what the above survey has concluded. Aggressiveness and absolutism about food choices actually make people less willing to change. I used to say that the only answer to this issue was for everyone to quit consuming meat and animal products, but I have since learned that there are many, many other options. And no one is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in regards to the decisions they make about their own diets.

Encouraging others to cut down their intake or make more ethical purchases (I know, there is no humane way to consume meat, but I’d prefer people consume animals that enjoyed a happy, healthy life than the alternative) are more reasonable approaches you can take. Offering plant-based meal ideas and sharing your favourite recipes would also help, as many people simply don’t know what a meal looks like without meat in it.

Try preparing an epic vegan feast and inviting your meat-eating friends over for dinner — in my experience, this speaks far louder than any harsh words. Show people rather than telling them how delicious vegan food can be, and let them make their decisions for themselves.

If meat lovers began to try out a plant-based diet, even for just a few meals a week, they might just begin to see how delicious, inexpensive, and full of variety it can really be, and over time might notice and appreciate some of the health benefits for themselves.

What Else to Consider?

When talking to people about veganism, it is important to keep the other factors that prevent people from adopting this type of lifestyle in mind. If they believe it’s too expensive, then you can offer tips and tricks that you have learned for making this diet more affordable. If they think it’s too time consuming, share ways you’ve learned to make simple and fast meals.

It’s also important to consider how much disinformation is out there in regards to our health, and also the insane amount of lobbying from the meat industry. Our governments and the media do a pretty good job of convincing us that we need meat to be healthy, so many people are simply misinformed. There is so much heath information out there, and so many different diets all claiming to be the best, but no one diet is perfect for everyone, so it’s no wonder that people are confused.

Something I think we can all agree on, however, is the notion that we need to be eating more whole foods, and certainly more plant foods. Even more simply put, we need to be eating more fruits and vegetables! The more fruits and vegetables we are eating, the less meat we are consuming. That change alone would be a huge step in the right direction.

Benefits of a Reducetarian Lifestyle

Nowadays, if I’m promoting anything it’s generally a reducetarian lifestyle. What does this mean exactly? Just as it sounds, it means reducing your consumption of meat and other animal products. Cutting down the amount of meat we are all consuming is a much easier pill to swallow, and won’t seem as daunting to the self-proclaimed carnivores. This approach may also encourage people to put the money they’ve saved on buying meat every day toward buying more ethically sourced products, which in turn supports better business practices.

The best thing we can all do is to check our emotions at the door, remain compassionate, share from the heart, and stay humble. There is no right way — there are many, many ways, and we are all just doing the best we can!

Much Love

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British Foreign Secretary Says “False Positive Rate” For COVID-19 Is “Very High”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab recently stated that "The false positive rate rate is very high, so only seven percent of tests will be successful in identifying those that actually have the the virus"

  • Reflect On:

    Why is there so much conflicting information out there? How can the general population be expected to arrive at any sort of truth when this is the case? This puts critical thinking at the utmost of importance in these times.

What Happened: British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab recently made an appearance on Sky News, and when asked about testing inside of airports he stated that, “The challenge is the false positive rate is very high, so only seven percent of tests will be successful in identifying those that actually have the the virus. So the truth is, we can’t just rely on that…”

He went on to mention that we must rely on self-isolation at home, and have further testing there as well as an overall effort to ramp up testing, but my question is, are the tests used at home any more accurate? Does this mean the infection fatality rate is actually higher because not as many people are infected? Or does this mean, as multiple studies have pointed out, that the number of infected people greatly exceed our current numbers (thus greatly lowing the fatality rate) and that the tests simply aren’t capable or properly identifying these people?

A false positive test means that people who test positive for the virus may not actually have it.

This theme has been floating around quite a bit lately, radio show host Julia Hartley-Brewer was one of the latest to do so as you can see below.

In July, professor Carl Heneghan, director for the centre of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University and outspoken critic of the current UK response to the pandemic, wrote a piece titled: “How many Covid diagnoses are false positives?” He has argued that due to a bit of a fluke involving some slightly complicated statistics, the proportion of positive tests that are false in the UK could be as high as 50%.

Former scientific advisor at Pfizer, Dr Mike Yeadon argued the proportion of positive tests that are false is actually “around 90%”.

The Bulgarian Pathology Association has taken the stance that the testing used to identify the new coronavirus in patients is “scientifically meaningless.” He criticized the World Health Organization (WHO) and called them “a criminal medical organization” for creating fear and hysteria without, according to him, providing any verifiable scientific proof of a pandemic. This may seem confusing as it goes against information that’s been published. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) claims that “Potent antibodies found in people recovered from COVID-19.” (source) So it’s understandable how many people would not agree with the stance of the association, and claim that it is indeed false, and that’s an understandable perception,

They cite an article published in “Off Guardian” that makes some very interesting points. I recommend you read the entire article here to get the full scope of their reasoning.

Are they right? According to a recent Huffington Post article, “Yes, but only in a statistical sense. Applied to the real-world, the conclusions don’t stand up and are wildly misleading.”

The article is titled, “N0, 90 % of Coronavirus Tests Are Not ‘False Positives’ And This Is Why: Experts explain why a theory doing the rounds about the number of people wrongly diagnosed with cOVID-19 is simply not true.” 

According to Dr. Matthew Oughton, an infectious diseases specialist at the McGill University Health Centre and the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal,”The rate of false positives with this particular test is quite low. In other words, if the test comes back saying positive, then believe it, it’s a real positive.”

These are just a few of many examples of conflicting information.

Why This Is Important: It’s not hard to see why there is so much conflicting information out there. Expert in the field are completely separated in their belief with regards to the false positive issue, and there is information on both sides of the coin that completely, 100 percent contradicts the other perspective. How is the general population, or those who are taking the time to look into this issue supposed to arrive at any conclusion? At this point it seems nearly impossible, and what we often see from mainstream media is simply sharing a perspective or pushing a viewpoint for political purposes rather than a general desire to get to any sort of concrete truth.

This discrepancy highlights why in today’s day and age it’s important to conduct your own research and be aware of multiple perspectives. We must share information that comes from ‘credible’ sources, or information that is backed up with reasoning, questioning, proof and evidence. What seems to be happening with covid I find is that many people are sharing a lot of unsubstantiated information which makes it harder for the ‘alternative’ thinking community to arrive at any kind of truth. There are multiple examples. It also delegitimizes the ‘truth’ movement in this time of deceit and misinformation, and it allows ‘fact-checkers’ as well as mainstream media to group all of us who are in pursuit of truth as “conspiracy theorists” and justify their campaign of censorship on information that opposes the mainstream narrative.

With covid, we’ve seen some of the world’s leading experts in the field experience censorship simply for sharing information, opinions and evidence that contradicts the World Health Organization. Michael Levitt, a Biophysicist and a professor of structural biology at Stanford University is one of countless scientists to who have criticized the WHO as well as Facebook for censoring different information and informed perspectives regarding the Coronavirus.

Another huge issue we are facing today is people not reading articles, simply reading headlines and drawing their own conclusions without examining the sources used in the article to see how legit it actually is. We’ve left our minds available to those who wish to mould them and shape our perception of major events for ulterior motives.

The Takeaway

The mainstream and traditional media seem to be failing to have important conversations that are controversial, while at the same time perhaps there isn’t enough rigour and critical thinking in alternative media communities. Given we are deeply feeling the need to make sense of our world, is it time we begin to look at developing the inner faculties necessary to move beyond ideology, limited thinking patterns and truly begin looking at what evidence around us says?

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Infection Fatality “Estimates” For Covid-19 Via CDC: .00003%, .0002%, .005% & .054%

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The CDC has released "scenarios" based on a set of numerical values for biological and epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19 illness, which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The emphasize they are are not predictions of estimated impact.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is there so much conflicting information out there when it coms to COVID-19? Does the politicization of science play a role?

What Happened: The CDC has a page on their website titled “Covid-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios.” According to them, “Each scenario is based on a set of numerical values for biological and epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19 illness, which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These values—called parameter values—can be used in models to estimate the possible effects of COVID-19 in U.S. states and localities. This document was first posted on May 20, 2020, with the understanding that the parameter values in each scenario would be updated and augmented over time, as we learn more about the epidemiology of COVID-19.  The September 10 update is based on data received by CDC through August 8, 2020.”

The Pandemic Planning Scenarios according to the CDC, are “designed to help inform decisions by public health officials who use mathematical modeling, and by mathematical modelers throughout the federal government.  Models developed using the data provided in the planning scenario tables can help evaluate the potential effects of different community mitigation strategies (e.g., social distancing).  The planning scenarios may also be useful to hospital administrators in assessing resource needs…”

In their latest update, age-specific estimates of Infection Fatality Ratios have been updated, one parameter measuring healthcare usage has been replaced with the median number of days from symptom onset to positive SARS-CoV-2 test, and a new parameter has been included: Ratio of Estimated Infections to Reported Case Counts, which is based on recent serological data from a commercial laboratory survey in the U.S.

 

Scenarios 1 through 4 are based on parameter values that represent the lower and upper bounds of disease severity and viral transmissibility (moderate to very high severity and transmissibility). The parameter values used in these scenarios are likely to change as we obtain additional data about the upper and lower bounds of disease severity and the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Scenario 5 represents a current best estimate about viral transmission and disease severity in the United States, with the same caveat: the parameter values will change as more data become available.

The CDC emphasizes the following:

The scenarios are intended to advance public health preparedness and planning.  They are not predictions or estimates of the expected impact of COVID-19.  The parameter values in each scenario will be updated and augmented over time, as we learn more about the epidemiology of COVID-19.  Additional parameter values might be added in the future (e.g., population density, household transmission, and/or race and ethnicity).

For complete information regarding COVID-19 planning scenarios from the CDC, you can click here.

More Info on COVID-19 Infection/Fatality: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “An important characteristic of an infectious disease, particularly one caused by a novel pathogen like SARS-CoV-2, is its severity, the ultimate measure of which is its ability to cause death. Fatality rates help us understand the severity of a disease, identify at-risk populations, and evaluate quality of healthcare.”

In early August, they provided a scientific brief explaining how it’s calculated, and how difficult it is to calculate and list all of the variables involved. You can read that here.

The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) recently published a report titled “Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) Compares COVID-19 to Previous Seasonal and Pandemic Flu Periods.” In their article, they stated the following:

The public has been made aware of the number of COVID-19 deaths and reported cases that have occurred since the beginning of the current pandemic; however, the number of unreported cases has not been widely known or publicized. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that more than one-third of SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus that can lead to COVID-19) infections are asymptomatic, meaning that initial estimations of its severity were grossly overestimated. Now, for the first time, Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) has collated data from U.S. antibody studies and produced an educational document outlining how an accurate case-fatality rate (CFR) requires antibody studies in order to guide and measure medical care and public health policies.

Similar to CDC estimations, PIC’s analysis results in a COVID-19 CFR of 0.26%, which is comparable to the CFRs of previous seasonal and pandemic flu periods. “Knowing the CFR of COVID-19 allows for an objective standard by which to compare both non-pharmaceutical interventions and medical countermeasures,” said Dr. Shira Miller, PIC’s founder and president. “For example, safety studies of any potential COVID-19 vaccine should be able to prove whether or not the risks of the vaccine are less than the risks of the infection.

“Regardless of proof of safety, however, a potential COVID-19 vaccine should only be voluntary, in order to safeguard a patient’s human right to determine what will happen with his or her body,” said Dr. Miller.

You can view the PIC’s educational document assessing COVID-19 severity and how they came to their conclusion, here. Obviously the data is always delayed and things are constantly changing with regards to COVID-19 numbers.

Another variable is the fact that deaths being attributed to COVID-19 may not even be a result of COVID-19. You can read more about that and see some examples here.

John P. A. Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Stanford University has said that the infection fatality rate is close to 0 percent for people under the age of 45 years old, explaining how that number rises significantly for people who are older, as with most other respiratory viruses. You can read more about that and access that here.

Michael Levitt, a Biophysicist and a professor of structural biology at Stanford University, is one of many who have criticized the WHO as well as Facebook for censoring different information and informed perspectives regarding the Coronavirus. He has shared his experience thus far:

Almost all of the science we were hearing, for example like organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) was wrong…This has been a disgraceful situation for science..Reports were released openly, shared by email, and all I got back was abuse. And you got to see that everything I said in that first six weeks was actually true and for political reasons, we as scientists let our views be corrupted. The data had very clear things to say. Nobody said to be “let me check your numbers” they all just said “stop talking like that.”

More than 500 German doctors & scientists have signed on as representatives of an organization called the “Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee” to investigate what’s happening on our planet with regards to COVID-19. They are also confused at what’s going on. You can read more about that here.

A common theme during this pandemic has been many of the world’s leading scientists in the field criticizing the measures taken by governments for something that may not be as severe as it’s been made out to be.

An article published in the British Medical Journal  has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom as a result of the new coronavirus may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the peak of the virus. You can access that and read more about it here

Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, a specialist in microbiology and one of the most cited research scientists in German history is also part of Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee mentioned above and has also expressed the same thing, multiple times early on in the pandemic all the way up to today.

Implementation of the current draconian measures that are so extremely restrict fundamental rights can only be justified if there is reason to fear that a truly, exceptionally dangerous virus is threatening us. Do any scientifically sound data exist to support this contention for COVID-19? I assert that the answer is simply, no. – Bhakdi. You can read more about him here.

The Takeaway: We have to ask ourselves, why are so many experts in the field being completely censored. Why is there so much information being shared that completely contradicts the narrative of our federal health regulatory agencies and organizations like the WHO? Why are we being made to believe that there is no solution for this except for a vaccine? Why is it so hard to find out what’s going on these days, and why is there so much conflicting information out there? Does the politicization of science play a role?

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CDC Director: ‘Masks May Offer More Protection From COVID-19 Than The Vaccine’

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    CDC director Robert Redfield said on Wednesday that wearing a mask might be "more guaranteed" to protect an individual from the coronavirus than a vaccine.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is there so much conflicting information out there? Why is it so difficult to arrive at any concrete truth? How does the politicization of science play a role?

What Happened: Centers For Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield recently stated that wearing a mask may be “more guaranteed” to protect an individual from the coronavirus than a vaccine. This calls into question the efficacy of the vaccine, which is set to make its way into the public domain at the end of this year, or shortly after that. We thought we’d cover this story to bring up the efficacy of vaccines in general, and the growing vaccine hesitancy that now exists within a number of people, scientists and physicians across the world.

“I’m not gonna comment directly about the president, but I am going to comment as the CDC director that face masks, these face masks, are the most important powerful public health tool we have.” – Redfield

Not long ago, many scientists presented facts about vaccines and vaccine safety at the recent Global Health Vaccine Safety summit hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. At the conference, Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project emphasized the issue of growing vaccine hesitancy.

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen… still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider…”

Redfield’s comments came after President Trump downplayed the effectiveness of wearing mask, and Trump also stated that Covid would probably go away without a vaccine, referring to the concept of ‘herd immunity’ as practiced in Sweden, but has also been quite outspoken about the fact that a vaccine may arrive by November.

When it comes to the COVID vaccine, multiple clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines have shown severe reactions within 10 days after taking the vaccine. You can read more about that here.  The US government and Yale University also recently collaborated in a clinical trial to determine the best messaging to persuade Americans to take the COVID-19 vaccine. You can read more about that here.

Are Masks Effective?

Multiple studies have claimed to show definitively  that mask-wearing effectively prevents transmission of the coronavirus, especially recent ones. This seems to be the general consensus and the information that’s come from our federal health regulatory agencies. There are also multiple studies calling the efficacy of masks into question. For example, a fairly recent study published in the New England Medical Journal  by a group of Harvard doctors outlines how it’s already known that masks provide little to zero benefit when it comes to protection a public setting. According to them,

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.

You can read more about that story here and find other complimenting studies.

When it comes to masks, there are multiple studies on both sides of the coin.

Then we have many experts around the world calling into question everything from masks to lockdown. For example, The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) recently published a report titled “Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) Compares COVID-19 to Previous Seasonal and Pandemic Flu Periods.” According to them, the infection/fatality rate of COVID-19 is 0.26%.

They are one of many who have emphasized this point.

More than 500 German doctors & scientists have signed on as representatives of an organization called the “Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee” to investigate what’s happening on our planet with regards to COVID-19, and also make similar points. You can read more about that story here.

Again, there are many examples from all over the world from various academics, doctors and scientists in the field.

This is why there is so much confusion surrounding this pandemic, because there is so much conflicting information that opposes what we are hearing from our health authorities. Furthermore, a lot of information that opposes the official narrative has been censored from social media platforms, also raising suspicion among the general public.

How Effective Are Vaccines?

Vaccines have been long claimed to be a miracle, and the most important health intervention for the sake of disease prevention of our time. But as mentioned above, vaccine hesitancy is growing, and it’s growing fast.

According to a study published in the journal EbioMedicine,

Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts, and science. These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviors and attitudes varying according to context, vaccine, and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services. VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines..

In the United States, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) shows what vaccines have resulted in deaths, injury, permanent disabilities and hospitalizations. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury act has also paid out nearly $4 billion dollars to families of vaccine injured children.

According to a MedAlerts, the cumulative raw count of adverse events from measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines alone was: 93,929 adverse events, 1,810 disabilities, 6,902 hospitalizations, and 463 deaths. What is even more disturbing about these numbers is that VAERS is a voluntary and passive reporting system that has been found to only capture 1% of adverse events.

The measles vaccine has also been plagued with a lack of effectiveness, with constant measles outbreaks in heavily vaccinated population pointing towards a failing vaccine. You can read more about that in-depth and access more science on it here. In 2015, nearly 40 percent of measles cases analyzed in the US were a result of the vaccine.

It’s not just the MMR vaccine that shows a lack of effectiveness. For example, a new study published in The Royal Society of Medicine is one of multiple studies over the years that has emerged questioning the efficacy of the HPV vaccine. The researchers conducted an appraisal of published phase 2 and 3 efficacy trials in relation to the prevention of cervical cancer and their analysis showed “the trials themselves generated significant uncertainties undermining claims of efficacy” in the data they used. The researchers emphasized that “it is still uncertain whether human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination prevents cervical cancer as trials were not designed to detect this outcome, which takes decades to develop.”  The researchers point out that the trials used to test the vaccine may have “overestimated” the efficacy of the vaccine.

It’s one of multiple studies to call into question the efficacy and safety of the HPV vaccine. It’s also been responsible for multiple deaths and permanent disabilities.

Another point to make regarding vaccine injury is that data was collected from June 2006 through October 2009 on 715,000 patients, and 1.4 million doses (of 45 different vaccines) were given to 376,452 individuals. Of these doses, 35,570 possible reactions (2.6 percent of vaccinations) were identified. This is an average of 890 possible events, an average of 1.3 events per clinician, per month. This data was presented at the 2009 AMIA conference. This data comes 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) that found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million. You can access that report and read more about it here.

The Takeaway: 

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