The Instigator
InnovativeEphemera
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
willp
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Resolved: Vaccination is, on balance, both safe and effective

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
InnovativeEphemera
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/13/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,292 times Debate No: 61638
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (4)

 

InnovativeEphemera

Pro

I have done this debate a few times, with less-than-challenging opponents. This debate is open to anyone, however please only accept if you are of the opinion that vaccines are bad or you consider yourself to be an 'anti-vaxxer'.

I will borrow from my previous debates in my opening round, and from then on any responses will be driven entirely by this debate.

- 10k characters
- 4 rounds
- 72-hour argumentation
- 10-day voting

The resolution is as follows: On balance, vaccination is both safe and effective.

I will contend that it amounts to criminal negligence not to vaccinate your children, and that the anti-vaccination movement should be held accountable for murder and crimes against humanity.

Best of luck.
willp

Con

You mentioned that not vaccinating your children is a criminal act, however vaccinating children that our too young can be incredibly dangerous for there health. In 1975, Japan raised its minimum vaccination age to 2 years old, The country"s infant mortality subsequently plummeted to such low levels that Japan now enjoys one of the lowest level in the Western world (#3 at last look). In comparison, the United States" infant mortality rate is #33. This shows that vaccinations pose a problem for babies in particular. If you mention that vaccinations are safe and effective then this contradicts your argument making me right. Consequently there are always things going wrong with vaccinations and for many vaccines are unethical. Moreover before vaccines are made they are tested on innocent animals who usually suffer prolonged amounts of pain. Consequently vaccines are irreversible and usually half the time made to look urgent by cheating pharmaceutical companies when they are actually unsecured.
Moreover vaccines are also excessively used. Bacteria start to grow immune to vaccines, because vaccines are in many cases overused and the bacteria mutates and changes its pathogen. When this happens people can get affected from the same disease twice.
My final point is that vaccines are also overloaded with many unneccasary chemicals and although I do acknowledge the fact that vaccines in some cases are very useful and can save lives, they can also do the contrary and kill people due to all the damaging ingredients that our used.
Debate Round No. 1
InnovativeEphemera

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting the debate. I will briefly respond to Con's arguments, then comprehensively demonstrate my case.

My opponent touched on some uncited, antiquated Japanese figures which are almost half a century old. Given that there has been no substantiation of this claim, there is no way for us to take this as true. Further, their argument is actually committing two distinct logical fallacies; the first is confusing correlation with causation (cum hoc ergo propter hoc), and the second is post hoc ergo propter hoc. My opponent contends that vaccination is irreversible. In many cases this is not only desirable, but the claim is actually false. My opponent then makes a claim about bacteria becoming immune to vaccines. This is patently absurd and uninformed. There is no mechanism by which bacteria can grow immune to vaccines because vaccines are made up of pathogens, not cures for those pathogens. Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics through the process of natural selection and evolution, but not to vaccines; there is no mechanism by which this can possibly occur.

Con then took the position that vaccines are full of harmful chemicals. Of course, this statement always comes up, and I will address it clearly in my opening. The anti-vaccination movement is dangerous and people who take positions such of yours are jumping on the bandwagon of pseudo-science perpetuated by self-interested groups who are neither qualified to make the claims they do, nor have they read any peer-reviewed science on the subject. I aim to demonstrate the case that vaccinations are, on balance, both safe and effective.

I will open with three key arguments:

1. Vaccination is demonstrably effective. I will illustrate this point by discussing the eradication of smallpox, the near-eradication of polio, and various other trends in disease reduction upon implementation of public immunisation programs.
2. Vaccination is safe. In order to avoid being accused of constructing a straw-man of the anti-vax position, I will begin by explaining why vaccinations can be considered safe for the vast majority of the population.
3. Failure to vaccinate elucidates measurable counter-benefits to both individuals and the wider community

_______________________

Vaccination is demonstrably effective.
Study(1) after publication(2) has demonstrated that vaccines are effective in their basic function; stimulating an individual's immune system to develop adaptive immunity to a given pathogen. In simple terms, this means that vaccines reduce the incidence of disease. And, of course, historical data demonstrates this(3)(4). As can be seen in the graphs(3,4), the implementation of vaccination corresponds to a rapid decrease in death and incidence of various diseases, and is supported by evidence of statistical significance (i.e. not simply a case of correlation not equalling causation). Meta-analyses of some types of influenza vaccines have shown reduced effectiveness during some seasons, however, this is almost ubiquitously a result of the rapidly mutating nature of the influenza virus, and not the efficacy of the vaccines themselves. Individuals may still become ill after being vaccinated, as individual vaccination effectiveness is, of course, only approaching 100% (about 98% for measles, for example)(1). However, the absolute majority of individuals achieve functional immunity once immunised against the most diseases, and it is this vast majority that, when coupled with high community vaccination rates, confers the additional benefits of herd immunity and the eventual eradication of disease.

The eradication of poliomyelitis in the Western world and smallpox globally is one of the greatest public health achievements to date. This came about through a disciplined vaccination schedule and years of research and dedication; the almost-total destruction of these diseases is testament to the efficacy of vaccination(5).

Vaccination is demonstrably effective in reducing the incidence and death rates associated with disease.


Vaccination is safe.
As a rule-of-thumb, no biological agent can ever be considered 100% safe, and all types of medicine have side-effects. However, the propensity of the evidence towards their safety is absolutely clear and except in a very limited number of exceptional cases, are almost always safe. I will demonstrate this assertion here, first discussing the ingredients in vaccines and then using the example of the autism controversy surrounding vaccination, specifically the MMR vaccine.


Ingredients
Some children (and adults) have medical conditions which cause them to be immunocompromised, or may have a specific allergy to an ingredient in a vaccine. These individuals should not be vaccinated; however, these individuals provide even more reason for others in the community to become vaccinated; immunocompromised children rely on the heard immunity of their immediate and extended community to prevent them from becoming ill.

Controversial ingredients include:

- Thimerosal
, what most anti-vaxxers claim as the origin of autism, is an organic mercury-based compound that consists of just under 50% ethyl mercury(6). Thimerosal is not in the MMR vaccine(9). It has been omitted from almost all vaccines since 1999(6), there is no evidence of it causing any adverse health effects with the exception of minor swelling and redness at the site of injection(6), and it has never been implicated in causing autism. It was used as a preservative, but the amount was so thoroughly insignificant that one's of mercury bioaccumulation from the entire childhood vaccination schedule is nine-times less than a single tuna sandwich(7). And anyway, if it did cause autism, you'd expect autism to drop after it was taken out of vaccines. Which it didn't.

- Formaldehyde, also used as a preservative and to prevent runaway pathogen replication. 70-80 times more can be found in the human body by natural production than in a jab(8).

- Aluminium Hydroxide is in such small quantities in vaccines that you can literally get 1000 times more of it from a single ant-acid tablet and is the most common metal in nature(7)[around 9:00]. Breastfeeding puts a child at greater risk(8).

MMR and Autism
The MMR vaccine does not cause autism. In fact, none do(7)(10)(11)(12)(13).
Time and time again, studies and meta-analyses have found no correlation between vaccination and autism. In 1998 Andrew Wakefield conducted an illegal test (it wasn't even an experiment) on 8 children (which is a pitifully small sample), doctoring the evidence of those measurements, and presenting them to be published in the Lancet(12). The paper was later retracted and Wakefield lost his licence to practice medicine. Before looking for more evidence, frightened readers and the 24-hour news cycle regurgitated the hokum and established the current fear of vaccines. What the public didn't know was that Wakefield had been hired to find evidence of the correlation for a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company responsible for the production of the vaccine; and Wakefield was developing his own vaccine which he wanted to force into the market as a competitor(12). Follow the money.


Failure to vaccinate elucidates measurable counter-benefits.

Decreasing vaccination rates have been implicated in the recent resurgence of measles(14). In fact, failure to vaccinate has caused hundreds of thousands of preventable cases; this interactive map is absolutely critical in examining the extent of diminished benefit due to failure to vaccinate(15). This topic will be explored more thoroughly in the following rounds, but the key factor here is that deaths which would otherwise have been prevented occurred. Diseases which should be relegated to the nightmares of history such as polio and measles are resurging. And all of this based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever. This amounts to biological warfare, and those responsible for the anti-vaxxination movement, primarily the charlitain and corrupt Andrew Wakefield, should be held accountable for their heinous crimes against humanity.

The depths of moral turpitude and depravity of the anti-vaccination movement have demonstrated themselves limitless. It is up to us to fight superstition and pseduo-science with evidence and reason.

Best of luck to my opponent.

Vaccination is, given the propensity of the evidence, both safe and effective.

__________
(1) New England Journal of Medicine, Markowitz, L. (et. al), Immunisation of Six-Month-Old Infants[...]
accessible at: [http://www.nejm.org...]
(2) Journal of Infectious Diseases, Weindberg, G & Szilagyi, P, Vaccine Epidemiology: Efficacy, Effectiveness, and the Translational Research Roadmap, accessible at: [http://jid.oxfordjournals.org...]
(3) [https://62e528761d0685343e1c-f3d1b99a743ffa4142d9d7f1978d9686.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.com...]
(4) [http://www.cdc.gov...]
(5) Polio timeline: [http://www.historyofvaccines.org...]
(6) Thimersol: [http://www.ncirs.edu.au...]
(7) Go to time (10:30): [https://www.youtube.com...]
(8) [http://www.chop.edu...]
(9) [http://www.cdc.gov...]
(10) [http://www.cdc.gov...]
(11) [http://www.immunize.org...]
(12) [http://theincidentaleconomist.com...]
(13) [http://www.health.gov.au...]
(14) [http://www.huffingtonpost.com...]
(15) [http://www.cfr.org...]

willp

Con

willp forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
InnovativeEphemera

Pro

This is very disappointing.
willp

Con

willp forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
InnovativeEphemera

Pro

I guess I'll have to start using ELO limits.
willp

Con

willp forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by InnovativeEphemera 3 years ago
InnovativeEphemera
@Domr I'm sorry I didn't see this comment. http://www.qub.ac.uk...
Posted by Domr 3 years ago
Domr
I just find it confusing that you are contending a point, and defending a resolution. Two of which are completely different and unrelated..

If you would like to have a debate of whether or not giving your child vaccines results in criminal negligence, I will gladly debate that.
Posted by InnovativeEphemera 3 years ago
InnovativeEphemera
The resolution is the platform for the debate. Any subsequent arguments that I submit will have to either be refuted or conceded through the usual course of debate, the same as any other debate. The signpost is an example of the type of argument I will use to prove my case and gives a potential opponent an idea of where I'm going with the topic. Don't tell me you want a rematch? Seriously, how difficult is this?
Posted by InnovativeEphemera 3 years ago
InnovativeEphemera
Can't tell if you're trolling or actually struggling with this? I was just signposting a general direction of the debate. The resolution is 'On balance, vaccination is both safe and effective.' That's what I have to prove.

Switch on, chief.
Posted by Domr 3 years ago
Domr
This does not answer my question...

You are arguing two separate points?
Therefore you must successfully argue both points to win?
Posted by InnovativeEphemera 3 years ago
InnovativeEphemera
@Mister, note that "On balance" is included in the title and resolution.

@Dom, the resolution is quite clearly italicised on a single line. The second part is in a new paragraph and is just a subjective opinion I will be arguing.
Posted by Domr 3 years ago
Domr
"The resolution is as follows: On balance, vaccination is both safe and effective."
"I will contend that it amounts to criminal negligence not to vaccinate your children..."

You are trying to resolve the effectiveness of vaccine, but contending criminal negligence on non-vaxxers?

Is this all one premise, are you required to prove both?
Posted by Mister_Man 3 years ago
Mister_Man
I would accept, however I would appreciate it if you could explain what you mean by vaccines being "bad." I can come up with a couple arguments that back up the idea that they are bad, but the pros (usually) outweight the cons. Would I need to show one example of it being bad to win? Or would the cons have to outweigh the pros for it to be considered something bad? Thanks.
Posted by InnovativeEphemera 3 years ago
InnovativeEphemera
Presumably it was challenging for you to figure out that it is as a result of my previous opponents that I have decided to set this condition, which I hadn't done in the previous debates.
Posted by InnovativeEphemera 3 years ago
InnovativeEphemera
You would have me debate someone who's pro-vaccine? Checked out your profile, you seem to know a lot about debating, I'll definitely take your advice.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by SamStevens 3 years ago
SamStevens
InnovativeEphemerawillpTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited.
Vote Placed by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
InnovativeEphemerawillpTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
lannan13
InnovativeEphemerawillpTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
InnovativeEphemerawillpTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the forfeits. As to arguments, Con never actually responded to Pro's main case, because he stopped participating. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.