Unlock the VSD Goldmine

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) systematic review entitled “The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies (2013)” confirmed there had been no studies of the vaccine schedule, and it called for such studies to be done.

It then tells us the most feasible way to carry out these urgently-needed studies:

The most feasible approach to studying the safety of the childhood immunization schedule is through analyses of data obtained by VSD. VSD is a collaborative effort between CDC and 9 managed care organizations that maintain a large database of linked data for monitoring immunization safety and studying potential rare and serious adverse events. VSD member sites include data for more than 9 million children and adults receiving vaccinations on a variety of immunization schedules.

The VSD (Vaccine Safety Datalink) is potentially a goldmine of data that could be decisive in the vaccine science debates, but the CDC keeps it locked up. It makes the data available only to select individuals; it is not publicly available for independent researchers to analyse.

Making anonymised VSD data available to everyone would be an easy and cheap way to enable epidemiological studies of all different vaccine schedules to be carried by anyone who has doubts about vaccine safety or efficacy and wants to verify the raw data.

Why doesn’t the CDC want independent researchers or parents to be able to compare health outcomes between populations vaccinated on different schedules or unvaccinated?

Sources:

The Vaccine Schedule has Not Been Tested

The vaccine schedule has not been tested.

This is according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) systematic review entitled “The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies (2013)”, a report which is cited by the CDC.

Here is the full quote:

In summary, few studies have comprehensively assessed the association between the entire immunization schedule or variations in the overall schedule and categories of health outcomes, and no study has directly examined health outcomes and stakeholder concerns in precisely the way that the committee was charged to address in its statement of task. No studies have compared the differences in health outcomes that some stakeholders questioned between entirely unimmunized populations of children and fully immunized children. Experts who addressed the committee pointed not to a body of evidence that had been overlooked but rather to the fact that existing research has not been designed to test the entire immunization schedule.

Vaccines have been tested, but the vaccine schedule has not been.

A test of the vaccine schedule would entail comparing health outcomes between populations given different combinations of vaccines, including fully unvaccinated, selectively vaccinated, and fully vaccinated according to the recommended schedule (which is different in different countries). As the IOM quote above makes clear, there are no such studies.

Retrospective cohort and case-control studies comparing health outcomes between populations vaccinated using different schedules are urgently needed.

Sources: