Déjà vu all over again: Another Internet survey on vaccinations

It is an article of faith among the antivaccine movement that vaccines are degrading the health of our children, such that vaccines cause autism, asthma, diabetes, and a number of other chronic diseases. You won't have to look far on most antivaccine websites to find claims that today's children are the sickest in history and insinuations, if not outright statements, that vaccines are at least part ofthe cause. If you've been following the antivaccine movement as long as I have (more than a decade) or even if you've only been following it one tenth as long, you are probably aware that one of the most common arguments trotted out by antivaccine activists is that there has never been a true study of vaccinated versus unvaccinated study, or "vaxed vs. unvaxed" for short. Early on, when I was writing about antivaccine activists, I would see calls for an actual randomized clinical trial of "vaxed vs. unvaxed." Indeed, three years ago, no less a crank luminary than Vox Day himself blamed vaccines for sudden infant death syndrome, and castigated the lack of such a randomized trial, producing rich fodder for an epic (and much-deserved) ranty takedown by yours truly.

Of course, the concept of clinical equipoise renders such a randomized clinical trial of vaxed vs. unvaxed hopelessly unethical right from the get-go. Basically, in clinical trials clinical equipoise demands that there be state of genuine scientific uncertainty in the medical community over which of the drugs or treatments being tested is more efficacious and safer or whether a drug being tested with placebo is better or worse than doing nothing. Without that genuine scientific uncertainty over which option being tested in a clinical trial is better (or at least less harmful), the trial cannot be ethical because investigators would then be knowingly assigning one group of subjects to a treatment known to be inferior, or at least strongly suspected to be inferior. One reason (among many) why a prospective randomized, clinical trial that intentionally leaves one group unvaccinated to determine whether vaccines cause autism (or whatever condition or disease the investigator suspects to be associated with vaccines) would be completely unethical is that it egregiously violates the principle of clinical equipoise. The unvaccinated group would be left unprotected against potentially life-threatening vaccine-preventable diseases, and that is completely unacceptable from an ethical perspective. Consequently, when it comes to studies of this type, we have had to rely on less rigorous trial designs to ask the question of whether vaccines cause various problems. While each individual trial of such types is less powerful and convincing than randomized clinical trials, the accumulated weight of such evidence can (and is) often enough. In the case of vaccines, it’s more than enough.

Some antivaccine activists have realized that there's no way a randomized clinical "vaxed vs. unvaxed" trial will ever be done. Many do not truly accept or believe that such a trial would be unethical, but they grudgingly accept that virtually every other physician does; so they try to find evidence of vaccine harm in other ways. For example, way back in the day, J.B. Handley and Generation Rescue did what was in essence a vaxed vs. unvaxed phone survey. Let's just say that it didn't show what J.B. Handley thought it showed, and, even if it had, its methodology was so poor that it was a meaningless study anyway. A few years later, a German homeopath named Andreas Bachmair conducted a hilariously incompetent survey that purported to find that vaccinated children are unhealthier than unvaccinated children. It didn't.

Yes, I've seen several epically incompetent attempts at "vaxed vs. unvaxed" surveys by antivaccine activists over the years. Yesterday, I might just have seen the most incompetent one of all, courtesy of Rashid Buttar (yes, that Rashid Buttar). who is promoting this survey:

VANVCD.org

The splash page of the website features a large photo of a girl being vaccinated, her mother holding her hand for support, emblazoned with the question, "Do vaccinations help or hurt my child?" Whenever you see a question like that on a website, a good rule of thumb is that you're probably on an antivaccine website, but let's take a look at how the survey is described:

One of the most controversial issues in society today is the issue of vaccinations. Evoking intense feelings, both sides of the debate are very passionate. Studies have shown evidence to support both sides of the debate. Each alleges the other side skewed the data or altered the results to show desired outcome. So what is the truth? Maybe YOU can help us in less than 2 minutes to find the truth for the benefit of all children on the planet!

Nope. Vaccinations are not "one of the most controversial issues in society today." Not even close. To the small cadre of dedicated antivaccine activists who fervently believe that vaccines are toxic and deadly, the equivalent of injecting toxic waste into children, maybe they're "controversial." To the scientific community, not so much. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that vaccines are both effective and safe, a consensus built upon considerable evidence.

Of course, it's incredibly silly to think that an uncontrolled Internet survey can reveal much about the state of health of vaccinated and unvaccinated children, but that doesn't stop whoever made up this site:

The following survey is a simple 11 question survey that will take you only 1 minute to complete (2 minutes if you read all the quotes, which we hope you do). Your information will be added to the data being collected and once submitted, you will be able to immediately see the results on a global scale, or just by your country if that is what you choose to view. Even better, you will be able to filter the data for specific criteria and see the results in real time.
Please remember, this is a world community project and we are dedicated to empowering the world, so that all of us can benefit from the truth and our future generations are provided with the maximum level of protection. Our promise to you is the following:

  1. You will never have to pay a single penny at this site. This site is 100% FREE...no secret agendas!
  2. You will never have to worry about your information being sold to anyone. Everything is strictly confidential!
  3. You can be assured that the data you see at the end will be completely unbiased, with the sole agenda of discovering the truth!

It's that last statement that reveals a well of scientific ignorance so deep that I fear it might hit magma made of burning stupid. "Unbiased"? Seriously? By its very nature this survey will be biased. It's an Internet survey! At the very least, only people with access to the Internet, either by smartphone or computer, can take this survey, which introduces a huge bias right there. Worse, there's no effort whatsoever to make sure the sample is representative of the general population. In fact, given that I've seen links to this survey being passed around by antivaccine practitioners and activists like Rashid Buttar, it's a virtual guarantee that this survey massively overrepresents parents who believe that vaccines cause autism and other health issues, which means it also massively overrepresents children with autism or chronic health problems. It even has a "Tell A Friend" page that tries to encourage people taking the survey to "spread the word" to at least five friends and to "help us discover the truth once and for all!"

No, there's no way this survey can be anything near representative of anything.

This is even more so given the sorts of questions it asks. For instance, the very first question is: "Has your child received any vaccinations since being born?" The possible choices in the dropdown menu include:

  • No vaccinations
  • 1-5
  • 6-10
  • 11-15
  • 16-20
  • 21-30
  • 30+

The very nature of this question buys into the "too many too soon" antivaccine trope, along with the way antivaccine activists try to make the number of vaccines sound really huge by counting combination vaccines not as one vaccine but as the number of vaccines included in them; e.g., MMR counts as not one but three vaccines.

Next up is this question: "Where would you place your child on their developmental milestones?" Possible answers include:

  • They were way ahead of their peer group
  • They were with their peer group
  • They were behind their peer group

No medical verification needed, this is just a survey asking parents.

More questions follow, such as:

  • Does your child have any type of chronic illness or neurological deficits?
  • Is your child currently taking any prescription medication for any condition (do NOT include nutritional supplements, even if prescribed by a doctor)?
  • Has your child EVER taken any medication for any medical condition, now or in the past, for more than 10 days continuously?
  • Does the mother have any medical condition(s)?

At this point, you have to enter an e-mail address, your child's first initial and last name (HIPAA, anyone?) before you can access the remaining questions. These remaining questions are quite revealing (click to embiggen):
 
q7-8
 
q9-10
 
q11
 
Gee, what do you think most parents who take this test will answer to these questions?

Not surprisingly, the "results" thus far (such as they are) show—surprise! surprise!—that the vaccinated children have more health problems. You can explore the "results" for yourself if you are so inclined, but I'll just show a representative example, namely who does and does not have chronic illnesses or neurologic results based on vaxed/unvaxed status.

For instance, here is the graph for vaccinated children (click to embiggen):
 
Vaccinated
 
And here is the graph for unvaccinated children (click to embiggen):
 
Unvaccinated
 
Obviously, this is completely unscientific and entirely expected given the nature of the survey and where it's being advertised, namely in antivaccine mailing lists and on antivaccine websites. No physician or scientist will take this seriously, nor should they. In fact, no one with even a modicum of knowledge about epidemiology, surveys, or medical study design will take this the least bit seriously. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people do not fall into either category and might therefore think this survey tells us something when it really doesn't, other than to demonstrate how a highly biased sample can predetermine the results of a survey. I would, however, look at this survey as a bit of an intelligence contest. If someone takes it and its results the least bit seriously, that person is just too stupid or ignorant to be worth dealing with.

Another thing about this "study" bothered me. Unlike the case with, for example, Generation Rescue's or Andreas Bachmair's surveys, nowhere on the website is there any indication of who is offering the study. So I did a quick WHOIS search on vanvcd.org and found that this domain is registered to someone named Jason Yensid of the Progressive Health Consortium, LLC in Lake Tahoe, NV. The URL progressivehealthconsortium.com goes to a SiteWorx account setup page. The domain was registered on June 22, 2015. Oddly enough, there are other domains registered to Yensid and the Progressive Health Consortium, such as kennelvomwiese.net, which is a dog kennel site. The office address, 297 Kingsbury Grade Suite 100 Lake Tahoe NV 89449, which houses Kingsbury Executive Suites, a service that offers full and part-time office suites, which suggests—shall we say?—newness and a lack of permanence. Calling the phone number at the address went straight to voicemail.

It was at this point that I got tired of trying to figure out who Jason Yensid is, about the same time I realized that "Yensid" is "Disney" spelled backwards and did a massive facepalm, first because of the obviousness of it all and second for my not having noticed this sooner. My speculation is that this Progressive Health Consortium, whatever it is, is planning to launch some business or product designed to cater to the antivaccine fringe, and this survey is a marketing tool. Whoever is offering this survey and whatever it's for, from a scientific standpoint it's a perfect microcosm of how antivaccine activists work: If you don't have the data you want, create it!

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Not only would be a "vaxed versus unvaxed" study be unethical, it would also be pointless, because if the outcome would not show what the anti-vaxxers want it to show, then the results would be ignored. Those people have shown so often their ability for moving goal posts and cherrypicking data that this experiment would not change anything in their behaviour at all.

By StrangerInAStr… (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

One of the most controversial issues in society today is the issue of $ISSUE. Evoking intense feelings, both sides of the debate are very passionate. Studies have shown evidence to support both sides of the debate. Each alleges the other side skewed the data or altered the results to show desired outcome.

I detect a pattern here. Instead of "vaccinations", you could substitute "evolution" or "global warming", and get something equally indicative of an anti-scientist. All of them are only "controversies" to the extent that certain loud-mouthed individuals claim they are. Said loud-mouthed individuals are quite passionate about their position. The relevant studies on the anti side exist, but invariably they are much more prone to lack of rigor or even actual errors. And the anti side project that lack of rigor on the scientists.

The question is whether the sponsors of this survey really don't know that internet surveys are so prone to bias as to be inherently useless, or whether they do know and are using it to con the rubes.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

My guess is this "Progressive Health Consortium" is just a shell company to run some autism biomed/supplement selling scam.This survey may have been just a trial balloon to collect data for whatever they plan to sell,and to collect a database of future customers/shills.

They appear to be registered in Panama,and have bought a bunch of domain names through Go Daddy.As well as a few from websitemacro for worldsbestbreadpudding.

By Roger Kulp (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

The only usable data this survey can possibly collect is a list of the email addresses of gullible people. Now who would want that I wonder....

Even though the methodology is the same as any shoddy internet survey, the fact that they are collecting PII and health data seems like they are treading into research territory. Their website doesn't even have a formal privacy policy let alone any indication of IRB oversight.

Their site doesn't send information over a secure connection so all the PII is in the clear. The site contains Google Ad Services scripts even on pages with PII which Google explicitly says not to do. Check the source code of the page where you put in the child's last name, first initial, DOB, and your email.

Remarketing tags may not be associated with personally identifiable information or placed on pages related to sensitive categories. See more information and instructions on how to setup the tag on: http://google.com/ads/remarketingsetup

Shudder. It seems like they might be breaking laws relating to HIPAA or governing research.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

capnkrunch,

If they are located outside the US,they don't care about no stinking HIPAA,or any other US laws for that matter.Think Kerri Rivera

By Roger Kulp (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

Jason Yensid is a genius A quackery signup list posing as a scientific survey about vaccines is rather brilliant if you're completely devoid of morals or give a damn about humanity.

Sounds like something that needs to be Pharyngulated.

Out of curiosity I looked up the dog kennel site. Turns out, as I suspected, they are anti-vax for dogs:http://www.bestblackgermanshepherds.com/vaccination-facts.html (kennelvomwiese redirects to bestblackgermanshepherds). I point this out because it can be a sign of antivax and altmed beliefs for humans as well--growing up I saw the family dog die slowly over a period of years from consequences of paralysis, open sores, and no vet care -- because the only "vet" my mother would consult was a (also very antivax) homeopath. She also considered me "vaccine damaged" and I was never allowed to get vaccinations after the age 5 ones. (I left her house, never to look back, as soon as I turned 18, and soon after rectified this. The RN said she'd never had to give so many shots at once to an adult)

Let's see - the polio vaccine reduces the incidence of polio. Polio can cause chronic muscle weakness and possibly other chronic diseases. Therefore, there definitely is a high correlation between the polio vaccine definitely and chronic diseases.

It just happens to be an inverse correlation.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

So ANOTHER survey about which they can crow.

Over the past 10 days or so, I've been hearing the usual suspects crying and wringing their hands over Zablotsky - a/k/a "1-in-45 have autism". Obviously WE understand why the results look like they do but AoA and TMR mavens don't.
Hint: it's about how you ask questions and to whom you ask them- amongst other issues.

Interestingly I just found a link ( @ deerbrian) to a recent Spectrum article that precisely illustrates something we have also known for a long time-
a graph shows how as numbers of ASD went up, numbers of ID went down.

Many TMs *et compagnie* have failed to understand or accept that fact. Because they can't deal with the reality.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

I doubt vanvcd.org has any intention of using the 'results' of this 'survey' for anything, that it wants to 'create data'. More likely, this is a variant of the 'push polls' used in political campaigns. The idea is to mask propaganda messages in the form of survey questions. 'Push polls' involve fake phone surveys where the 'pollsters' make direct calls to lists of 'undecided' or 'leaning' voters. The question for the vanvcd survey then is where and to whom it's is being promoted.
Assuming the target is NOT anti-vax activists ( there's no controversy for them, no valid support for 'the other side': vaccines damaged their kids, period) it's iikely the purpose here is just to get the 'scare' questions in the graphic Orac shows above in front of an audience that hasn't been deeply invested in the issue, and nudge them towards opposition to pro-vax policies like CA SB277.

@Todd W. Done. They accept dummy email addresses. My poor unvaccinated child had every disease/disorder on the list.

I went the other way. My poor child vaccinated with 30+ vaccinations was well ahead of his peer group in neurodevelopmental development and on no medications, had no chronic illnesses, and was perfectly healthy. I used the Orac e-mail address because (1) I don't care and (2) we'll see what sort of spam they send my way.

Ha! That'll be my next one.

If somebody wants to take the survey without giving your email address you can use mailinator.com. It will create an email address on the fly. Just set your email as something@mailinator.com. Then you can go to mailinator.com and use that name to login. No passwords required.

And by "something" I mean you can be John.Doe@M... or even Jenny.McCarthy@Mailinator.com... What ever you want.

I also went with the extremely well vaccinated child who is very healthy and obviously, a genius. I used the email address I made up for online dating sites.

My child, A. Vandelay, born on 12/23, is WAAAY ahead of his peers despite receiving more than 200 vaccinations from a giant horse tranquilizer syringe.

By Nick Seabrook (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

Don't you just love this?
"Next up is this question: “Where would you place your child on their developmental milestones?” Possible answers include:
They were way ahead of their peer group
They were with their peer group
They were behind their peer group"
How do you think they're going to answer? It could come straight from Garrison Keillor - "Lake Wobegon, where...all the children are way above average."
And, apologies to the believers among us, H. L. Mencken: "We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

@ Todd W., BA, Orac, JimB. Meg:

Now why did you go about tampering with _science_ ?

Anti-vaxxers will squawk,
" How typical of them! Those... those...those
PERVERTERS of the scientific method! Fixing data! Setting up results in advance "

Carry on.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

Digging out my old spam-catcher address and declaring my unvaccinated child to be as sick as a dog and behind the learning curve...

My hypothetical child, that is.

Took the survey on behalf of my child, J. McCarthy.

I went to the survey to tell them of my mythical unvaxed son, who has many maladies. However, one malady he doesn't have is "Ashberger's Syndrome".

They need a proofreader. Or a spellchecker.

The survey is clearly a Big Pharma plot to locate the vaccine-injured so they can be tracked down and ... rehabilitated.

I think this is a good place to post a link to my friend's blog post: http://notkostrony.blogspot.com/2014/05/why-im-alive.html
In brief - some vaccinated kids have some health problems, yes. Without the vaccines they wouldn't have those problems - because they would be dead.

Also, I just recently learnt my mother had a mild case of polio as a 7-year-old. Mild - meaning that she was just paralysed for several weeks but she did not have to be venitiated and she recovered without any lasting ill efects. Combined with the fact that she lost two siblings to vaccine-preventable diseases, this made her fiercely pro-vaccine.

The meme I've encountering lately while sparring with anti-vax wingnuts is there's never been an RCT of the ENTIRE vaccination schedule... Can you imagine the magnitude of the confounders in a study like that?!

The other one I keep hearing is no vaccine trials use a pure saline placebo as a control.

Why do people assume that bogus survey responses designed to skew the result back toward reality will be retained in the data set? Considering what this is really about, the results might be a complete fiction, using none of the survey data.

@RobRN

The other one I keep hearing is no vaccine trials use a pure saline placebo as a control.

That one's pretty easy to refute, at least for the newer vaccines. For instance, one need only look in the vaccine insert (much beloved by AVers, except when it's inconvenient) to see trials that used saline placebo controls.

It is true, though, that the older vaccines developed in the 1950s-1980s did not have saline controls. Different times, different ethical perspectives. They did, however, use controls that lacked all but the antigen, a concept that seems to be lost on many of the vaccine-resistant.

@rs

Yes, the results could be completely fake and independent of any input from survey answers. But, if the answers do reflect in the results (which could potentially be checked by monitoring the results daily), then mucking with the survey can help to illustrate why it is unscientific and invalid. The goal isn't so much to skew results toward reality as it is to show why these kinds of surveys are useless.

"But, if the answers do reflect in the results (which could potentially be checked by monitoring the results daily), then mucking with the survey can help to illustrate why it is unscientific and invalid."

As Orac already said, its very 'design' already demonstrates this. It's even worse than VAERS. Anti-vaxxers won't care, of course. I suppose polluting the survey is harmless fun, though without any real purpose.

Nickel?
In vaccines?
Nickel???

I like how the only option you have for saying you support vaccines is to say you think they should be mandatory. 111%!!!

there’s never been an RCT of the ENTIRE vaccination schedule

Which happens to be true because it's not even feasible, let alone ethical. Let's do the math (something a lot of people never bother with). If there are, say, 30 vaccines on the schedule, and you want to cover every possible combination, you'll need more than a billion people to have one person in each bin. With 33, you need more people than are currently alive. (I don't know exactly how many vaccines are on the schedule, since I am not a parent and therefore have no need to know, but I have heard numbers in the 30-40 range.)

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

@rs

The design of the survey itself demonstrates that it is not scientific, but skewing the results (either toward reality or for comedic effect) illustrates why that is so. It gives a visual to those who might not understand the nuances of study design for whatever reason.

The only usable data this survey can possibly collect is a list of the email addresses of gullible people. Now who would want that I wonder….

Indeed.

Call me cynical but whenever I see this type of thing from a Nevada or Utah source, pyramid scheme MLM opportunity comes to mind.

I found a WHO document that mentions historical studies of pneumococcal vaccines and some of those used a saline placebo control

Um, Salk vaccine field trials? (There are at least two standard antivaccine retorts to this, but I'm a bit rushed at the moment. One is calling them unethical, and the other is confusing them with a '30s or so polio vaccine.)

^ The Gardasil "022" trial also used a saline placebo, IIRC.

Thank you so much for this, Orac! It's questionnaire design week in my Outbreak Investigation class and I think I managed to get "bad question" bingo with just the examples you showed.

Vague terms? Check.
Overly-broad questions? Check.
Leading questions? Check Check Check!
In fact, the only question that looks OK from a question-design perspective is the "how many vaccines has your child had?", because the answers don't overlap each other (a common mistake).

I might have to share this with my classmates as "everything you shouldn't do, all in one place".

By JustaTech (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

Of course the data is self defeating. So far they have 600 vaccinated vs 220 unvaccinated kids. As the ratio is 50:1 in the general populations they only need 9400 more vaccinated participants to get anywhere close to representative data.

For those wanting to get involved in actual science (of sorts) at home in your spare time, Biology Fortified is offering an opportunity to participate in a field trial of a meme beloved of anti-GMOers - that animals avoid eating genetically modified foods.

In return for a contribution of at least $25 (which'll go towards defraying expenses, not to mention financing other evil machinations by Biology Fortified), you receive an experimental kit to include barcode-labeled samples of (presumably) GMO and non-GMO corn, which you set up in your yard to see which samples the varmints (which in my case could include anything from squirrels to skunks to coyotes) will eat (I have a camera set up, so I can enjoy images of creatures barfing after sampling gene-tinkered corn). They'll compile and announce findings later, which no doubt will impress the Food Babe.

http://www.biofortified.org

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

@ Mu:

That's an interesting ratio vaccinated/ unvaccinated = 50/1
when autism newly counted as 1 in 45.
Coincidence?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

DB -- I wonder if it would be ethical to ask the spousal unit to bait his trapline with GMO corn (the critters prefer marshmallows anyway).

By shay simmons (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

Denice,
Are you trying to say it is the unvaccinated that autism? I'm confused by your statement

By Sullivanthepoop (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

Ashberger’s Syndrome is related to a new burger joint called Ashberger run by Ash from Pokemon he thought berger sounded German so very hipster Ashberger's Syndrome is when you eat there too much my unvaccinated daughter L. Rainbow suffers this and costs us so much we are suffering so much

@ Sullivanthepoop:

Altho' I was FIRST and foremost trying to be funny- but wouldn't it be interesting if there were some sort of a relationship?

IIRC was there not a study of siblings of kids with ASDs who were more likely to be unvaccinated? Todd or Liz would recall. Still it was an attempt at insouciant irony.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

That survey reminds me of the old Groucho Marx question "Excuse me, sir, do you still beat your wife?"

I'm pretty sure my normal "child" will be excluded as an invalid data point.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

I confess to not having following the anti-vax phenomenon and have no compunction to do so. That said, I have nothing but admiration for those who do and can. Let's just say that I have others ways to boil my blood and there's only so much I can handle.

My response to the news that the surveyors are against the vaccination of dogs is to fantasize that the message managed to spread to the DogWeb, resulting in a bark from DogAnonymous to Release the Hounds!

@Denice Walter #45, 49: Even though it comes with wrinkles, the irony is delicious. Select a good whine to go accompany it, and serve cold.

By Lighthorse (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

That survey reminds me of the old Groucho Marx question “Excuse me, sir, do you still beat your wife?”

The closest connection I have here is to Loony Tunes, but no.

Answered the survey on behalf of my dog. Sadly she is now dead, so counts as a statistic in the chronic disease column.

I did like Q11. It caused me some thinking. In the end I answered no, because while I know some of these things might exist in some vaccines, I know that at those concentrations they don't damage the immune system.

So when they tout that the results reflect the impacts of giving vaccines on children, I will be able to say "no they don't".

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 24 Nov 2015 #permalink

Small note to some commenters: It's not necessary for a well designed study to have 2 sample sizes proportional to the size of the 2 groups found in the population, so don't knock that detail (there are enough other things wrong, like respondents self-selecting). In fact, if doing a study, we might be trying to enrich for the smaller group as a money-saving design, since random samplings from the whole population (with the same total sample size) will leave us with less data (and more uncertainty) for the group that's smaller in the population. It's true we'd get larger N for the bigger group with random sampling, but power to find differences suffers (I claim, without proof).

Rork, if you select you can keep your groups well matched. For a self-select study I think only numbers can make up for bias.

C'mon, folks! This is not a 'real' survey. I seriously doubt the response 'data' will ever be compiled and published. It's not 'bad survey design'. It's modestly clever design for PR and/or marketing. On reflection, I think ProgJohn and DGR's comments might be closer to the mark than my 'push-polling' hypothesis. Putting this survey up involves an expenditure of resources, and the bang any 'results' would have as anti-vax propaganda wouldn't be worth the buck. But the sponsors could indeed be collecting emails, which they can sort into sub-lists based on the 'survey' responses, and sell those targeted lists to a variety of clients. In short, it's more likely that this is a scheme to make money, than a foolish waste of money in an attempt to generate bogus documentation of public support. I mean, it's not like AVs care... they revel in their fringeitude.

Gee, my kid has a wide spectrum of illnesses and neuro deficits and yet has never had a single vaccine. He is also far, far behind his peers. His mother was also perfectly healthy and took no medications whatsoever.

The trouble is the results page has no means to select "Norway" as the country. I'm afraid Norway has broken off from Sweden and Finland and slipped beneath the sea.

I chalk my kid's ailments up to consuming lutefisk.

C’mon, folks! This is not a ‘real’ survey.

Have you just worked this out?

This is why everyone else in the thread is taking the pïss out of the survey.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 25 Nov 2015 #permalink

I believe it's Rashid Buttar's survey.
The SSL cert for progressivehealthconsortium.com is issued to server2.camcr.com, which also isn't setup, but camcr.com is a redirect to drbuttar.com. Which has a prominent banner for the survey on the front page.

By Leif Warner (not verified) on 25 Nov 2015 #permalink

Sometimes it's fun to take the p!ss outta things...

Nickel in vaccines? That's a new one.

They just keep on pumping out the crap, don't they...

By VaccineTruthUK (not verified) on 25 Nov 2015 #permalink

@Roger Kulp #3: Panama – the go-to country for laundering cash. If someone was out to entice an audience known for a high degree of naivety, who better to target than the anti-vaccine or alt. med. crowd?

@Michael Donchiak #16: And dietary supplement companies are spending at most, 20% on any research.

By Lighthorse (not verified) on 25 Nov 2015 #permalink

Lighthorse! Good to see you! I like your name!

@JP #63: Thanks, JP. Had I known about Skyhorse publishing beforehand, I would have been less likely to use it, or at least here.

By Lighthorse (not verified) on 25 Nov 2015 #permalink

Boy, howdy, somebody has been taking this very serious scientific survey.

There are now about 1.9K vaccinated kids now reported vs. 413 unvaxed.

355 of the vaxed kids are reported to have a chronic illness or neurological defect, or 18%, and 141 of the unvaxed kids are likewise so inflicted, or 34%. Clearly, vaccines protect against chronic illnesses or neurological defects (including some of the more advanced cases of death).

Of the total population of kids in this survey, 60% of the kids are ahead of their peer group, and 10% are with their peer group.

I figure the entire population of Lake Wobegon is included in the survey.

Yeah, I saved a copy.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the minions.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5_8U4j51lI

@Chris #68
The NVICP is very well known by this blog's owner and regular readers. Because guess what ? Nobody here says that no vaccine can't ever be harmful. We disagree with "crackpots" on the frequency and level of harm.
And if you don't want to be called "crackpot", don't make this kind of incompetent survey and expect to be taken seriously.

In addition to what LouV said, don't try to comment on a post that's a month and a half old with the oldest active comment over a month old, unless you want to be dismissed as a necromancer.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 11 Jan 2016 #permalink

Hey, Chris, have you read any of those rulings? You should check out what was written about some of the "experts" like the Geiers.