The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

Vaccination has improved people's lives and helped eradicate diseases

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/9/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 790 times Debate No: 69708
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)




Welcome to my first debate ever! Before proceeding, I'd like to lay out some ground rules:

1: Be courteous and remain relevant.
2: See #1.

The evidence for vaccination's effectiveness is, in my personal opinion, sufficient to make it difficult (if not impossible) to argue against vaccination. Keep in mind that this is not a debate for or against mandatory vaccination. We are simply debating its effectiveness as a preventative measure for illnesses (I must emphasize "preventative", as vaccines aren't cures).

As a starting source, I will post the World Health Organization's fact sheet on Poliomyelitis, a disease that has been eradicated by vaccination:

If this is insufficient, we can continue onto measles, which has been proven time and again to be effective. Here I post a study by Rob W. H. Ruigrok and Denis Gerlier titled "Structure of the measles virus H glycoprotein sheds light on an effective vaccine":


Rebuttal of Pro's initial points

Pro has made a claim without citing anything specifically from his web links to back it up. The first link is simply a fact sheet about polio with very little else relevant to Pro's vaccine effectiveness claim. The polio article does actually contradict Pro's claim and the article itself:
"As long as a single child remains infected, children in all countries are at risk of contracting polio."
How could children in all countries how could children be at risk if vaccines are truly effective?

I was able to find this quotes in the polio article:

"Polio cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988 The reduction is the result of the global effort to eradicate the disease."

This is simply begging the question. Pro has claimed the effectiveness of vaccines and used an article, which makes a (similarly unreferenced) claim. I will provide evidence to the contrary that this reduction in cases is due to the effectiveness of vaccination.

"From 1923 to 1953, before the Salk killed-virus vaccine was introduced, the polio death rate in the United States and England had already declined on its own by 47 percent and 55 percent, respectively." Source: International Mortality Statistics (1981) by Michael Alderson. [1.]
This dramatic reduction in mortality previous to 1953 cannot be attributed to the vaccines effectiveness. In addition, it cannot be assumed that any further reduction in mortality was due to the series of vaccines.

"Cases of polio were more often reported as aseptic meningitis after the vaccine was introduced, skewing efficacy rates." Source: The Los Angeles County Health Index: Morbidity and Mortality, Reportable Diseases. [1.]
In other words, the number of cases of Polio is determined by how often it is diagnosed and therefore can be skewed by physicians In this case, the number of diagnosed polio cases did drop and the incidence of Aseptic Meningitis rose due to the fact that the diagnostic criteria had been changed. It is also possible that prevailing notions, such as the introduction of a vaccine, would influence doctors to be less likely to make a particular diagnosis. The point is that diagnosis is not objective and is susceptible to human influence.

Pro's second reference is a link to a study titled; Structure of the measles virus H glycoprotein sheds light on an efficient vaccine. Again, Pro does not reference anything in particular in the article and as such leaves Con the task of finding the evidence which Pro is apparently making reference to. This, combined with the highly technical language of the article, makes an expectation of reasonable understanding of the content seem (to me at least) unreasonable.

The extract of the study makes no mention of what could make the measles vaccine more efficient and, judging by the title, evidence for a potentially more effective vaccine in this article is entirely theoretical and not factual. Equating an understanding of the measles virus, and its genus Morbillivirus, vaccine effectiveness is a non sequitur.

Argument for the Negative

To argue the negative it must be shown that vaccines are ineffective which, when combined with their risks, will prove they have had a net worsening of peoples lives. For the sake of consistency, I will use examples of ineffectiveness in the Polio and Measles and vaccine.

Measles Vaccine

Measles outbreak in a fully immunized secondary-school population [2]

"Only 4.1 percent of these students (74 of 1806) lacked detectable antibody to measles according to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and more than 99 percent had records of vaccination with live measles vaccine."
"We conclude that outbreaks of measles can occur in secondary schools, even when more than 99 percent of the students have been vaccinated and more than 95 percent are immune."

Major measles epidemic in the region of Quebec despite a 99% vaccine coverage [3]

"The vaccination coverage among cases was at least 84.5%. Vaccination coverage for the total population was 99.0%. Incomplete vaccination coverage is not a valid explanation for the Quebec City measles outbreak."
Clinical and epidemiological findings during a measles outbreak occurring in a population with a high vaccination coverage [4]
"From March 1991 to April 1992, 250 measles suspected cases were studied in the Municipality of Niter"i, State of Rio de Janeiro."

"Vaccination status was known for 127 studied cases and 76.4% of them had received measles vaccine before their first birthday."

"The history of previous vaccination did not diminish the number of complications of the cases studied."

An evaluation of measles serodiagnosis during an outbreak in a vaccinated community [5]

"A history of prior vaccination is not always associated with immunity nor with the presence of specific antibodies."

Difficulties in Eliminating Measles and Controlling Rubella and Mumps: A Cross-Sectional Study of a First Measles and Rubella Vaccination and a Second Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination [6]

"The reported coverage of the measles rubella (MR) or measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine is greater than 99.0% in Zhejiang province. However, the incidence of measles, mumps, and rubella remains high."

Polio vaccine

Polio programme: let us declare victory and move on. [7]

"In 2011, there were an extra 47,500 new cases of NPAFP. Clinically indistinguishable from polio paralysis but twice as deadly, the incidence of NPAFP was directly proportional to doses of oral polio received."

[1.] The polio vaccine: a critical assessment of its arcane history, efficacy, and long-term health-related consequences. Neil Z. Miller






Debate Round No. 1


miguel_gomez forfeited this round.


Vaccine links to Autism in Court
Family to Receive $1.5M+ in First-Ever Vaccine-Autism Court Award

American parents awarded "600,000 in compensation after their son developed autism as a result of MMR vaccine

MMR: A mother's victory. The vast majority of doctors say there is no link between the triple jab and autism, but could an Italian court case reignite this controversial debate?

Julia Grimes awarded lump sum payment of $897,606.08 for damages from MMR vaccine causing encephalitis.

Studies linking vaccines with Autism
Hepatitis B vaccination of male neonates and autism diagnosis, NHIS 1997-2002.

"Findings suggest that U.S. male neonates vaccinated with the hepatitis B vaccine prior to 1999 (from vaccination record) had a threefold higher risk for parental report of autism diagnosis compared to boys not vaccinated as neonates during that same time period. Non-white boys bore a greater risk."

Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism?

"Aluminium-adjuvanted vaccines may be a significant etiological factor in the rising prevalence of ASD in the Western world. We also show that children from countries with the highest ASD prevalence appear to have a much higher exposure to Al from vaccines, particularly at 2 months of age."

A positive association found between autism prevalence and childhood vaccination uptake across the U.S. population.

"Although individuals probably have a genetic predisposition to develop autism, researchers suspect that one or more environmental triggers are also needed. One of those triggers might be the battery of vaccinations that young children receive."
"The results suggest that although mercury has been removed from many vaccines, other culprits may link vaccines to autism. Further study into the relationship between vaccines and autism is warranted."

Abnormal measles-mumps-rubella antibodies and CNS autoimmunity in children with autism.

Stemming from this evidence, we suggest that an inappropriate antibody response to MMR, specifically the measles component thereof, might be related to pathogenesis of autism.

Mechanism by which Vaccines can trigger Autism
Excerpts taken from article titled; Vaccines, Neurodevelopment and Autism Spectrum Disorders by Dr Russel L. Blaylock, MD.

What is becoming obvious is that certain children are at a higher risk of developing autism than others, for a variety of reasons. It is also obvious that these newborns and small children develop infections at a higher rate than less vulnerable children. This may be because of a developmental immune deficiency, which can affect only a portion of the immune system and so be easily missed by their pediatrician. Indeed, it has been noted that a great number of cases of childhood immune deficiencies are missed by practicing pediatricians, especially the more subtle cases, which may make up the majority of ASD-prone children.

For example, many physicians treating autistic children have noted a high incidence of ear infections. These are treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics, which often lead to a high incidence of Candida overgrowth in the child"s body. Both infections will prime the microglia in the child"s brain "which is the brain"s specific resident immune cell. This priming effect shifts these normally resting microglia immune cells into overdrive.47 If stimulated again within weeks or even months, they generate extremely high levels of free radicals, lipid peroxidation products, inflammatory cytokines and two excitotoxins glutamate and quinolinic acid.48 Studies have shown that this is the major mechanism for both viral and vaccine-related brain injury.

A number of studies have suggested a link between autoimmune disorders and autism risk. Support comes from studies showing an increased risk of ASD in children of mothers with autoimmune disorders.1-3.

This pruning process (newborns have far more synaptic connections than necessary), as well as the growth, maturation and migration of neurons, is carried out by a combination of signals, which include carefully controlled fluctuating glutamate brain levels and appearance of specific microglia-released cytokines in a timed sequence.63,71-75. This is all very exacting and easily disturbed by a number of toxins, such as mercury and aluminium.

Anything that alters these fluctuating glutamate and cytokine levels can affect, sometimes in drastic ways, the development of the brain, which as we have seen continues far into young adulthood.76-79
Pathological studies of autistic brains demonstrate three areas that are especially affected "the cerebellum, the limbic brain and the prefrontal area.80-83.

These are also areas frequently affected by inflammatory cytokines during immune stimulation, such as with vaccinations.84 In the Vargas et al study, the most intense microglial activation was in the cerebellum.54
It has been proven, in both animal studies and human studies, that systemic infections or immune activation by vaccines, rapidly activate the brain"s microglial system and can do so for prolonged periods.49-53 Once the primed microglia are reactivated by the subsequent vaccination or infection, the microglia activate fully and pour out their destructive elements as discussed above.

There is evidence that with repeated and excessive vaccine-triggered immune stimulation, the microglia do not shut down.47. This is what was found in the Vargas et al study, in which they examined the brains of 11 autistics from age 5 years to 44 years of age dying without active infectious diseases as compared to age matched controls.54 That is, they found widespread activation of inflammatory cells (microglia and astrocytes) in the brains of the autistic patients. This explains the widespread brain damage seen in all autism cases.

One of the effects of chronic microglial activation, other than brain inflammation, is an elevation in brain glutamate levels. Studies have shown this can lead to chronic neurodegeneration and is suspected as a common mechanism associated with neuropathic viruses, such as the measles and borna viruses.158-160 In fact, blocking certain of the glutamate receptors can prevent brain damage by the measles virus, as well as other viruses.158 We also know that the prognosis of spinal meningitis can be determined by the spinal fluid glutamate levels, with high levels having the worst prognosis.161 Studies of autistic children have also shown elevated glutamate levels in their blood and spinal fluid.
Debate Round No. 2


miguel_gomez forfeited this round.


I guess Pro wins the debate. No matter how much "evidence" I present, or how many "court rulings" I link to, or how well I explain "mechanisms of damage", I can't prove that vaccines havn't helped people by placebo ;)

Touche Pro, despite forfeiting every round except your opening statement, you appear to have won.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by thejames 3 years ago
It would appear, at least posted in this debate so far, that all the Scientific evidence "revolving" the subject is on the side of Con.
Posted by RetroToast 3 years ago
All of the science revolving this topic is in pro's side and it's is impossible for con to win. Not even a troll would accept this debate.
Posted by thejames 3 years ago
The debate premise is ambiguous. What do you mean by improving peoples lives? Are people happier after being vaccinated? By what standard do you measure improvement? If the standard is health then this is equal to eradicating disease and the premise is therefore redundant. Unless pro can put "improvement of people"s lives" into terms which are falsifiable, quantifiable and distinct from the second premise of eradicating disease it must be assumed that the two are equal.
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 3 years ago
This is a truismic question and is the same as asking Have vaccines ever helped someone not get sick....well obviously, thats not a debate thats just a fact and pretty much anyone who might accept this is trolling lol
Posted by SNP1 3 years ago
majesta6, you are a purple circle, and only have been here 2 months. Almost no one counts the purple circles when talking about this site.
Posted by RetroToast 3 years ago
This is not a worthy debate topic...
Posted by majesta6 3 years ago
I'm anti vaccine, 400spartans and I am still here. I will consider doing it if no one has in a few days.
Posted by 400spartans 3 years ago
Bad news, but there's probably nobody who will accept your debate. Most ant-vacc people have been...


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Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Paleophyte 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited