The Clerk of the UK Commons Health Committee has kindly replied to my last email, but failed to address my claim that the Merck’s Ebola  vaccine causes Ebola according to the statement made in a  Lancet study.

“As of July 20, 2015, a total of 43 serious adverse events had been documented among eligible and consenting trial participants, including 27 confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (see appendix).

Apart from Ebola virus disease, the three most common serious adverse events were suspected, unconfirmed Ebola virus disease (three cases), episodes of febrile illness (three cases), and road traffic accidents (three cases). 16 deaths occurred: 15 from Ebola virus disease and one from cardiac arrest,” states the paper published online in the Lancet.

A  Merck AIDS vaccine was found to give people AIDS, as even the New York Times reported. So, it is not that surprising to find a Merck Ebola vaccine giving people Ebola according to the only logical inference of a statement in a Lancet study.

“A follow-up study on an AIDS vaccine trial that had to be stopped early has confirmed the worst fears of researchers: The vaccine made it more likely, not less, that some men would become infected with H.I.V….

The trial of the Merck vaccine, which involved 3,000 volunteers in nine countries, began in 2004 and was abruptly halted in late 2007 when it became clear that it was not protecting anyone and suspicions arose that it was making some men more susceptible.”

Huw Yardley bases his argument on a logical fallacy called the fallacy of definition. This fallacy involves the incorrect definition of a word or term. In this case, Huw Yardley defines “adverse events” incorrectly.

You can read his email here and my reply at the end…

Dear Jane
Thank you for your response below, and your earlier reply to my questions. I apologise for the delay in replying, which is due to my desire to look very carefully at your argument and to check my conclusions with a colleague who is more expert in medical matters than I, which I have done.
My conclusion is surprise that someone who has studied logic should have fallen so easily for the classic logical fallacy of “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” (roughly translated, “after the thing, therefore because of the thing”). Just because an event happened after another event, it does not follow that the second event necessarily followed as a result of the first. An adverse event is not the same as an adverse reaction. The report of an adverse reaction would imply causality. The report of an adverse event does not, necessarily. An adverse event, in this case, may or may not have been caused by the vaccine. The study states very clearly that “The initial causality assessment indicated that only one serious adverse event, an episode of febrile illness, in a male participant who recovered without sequelae, was related to vaccination”. There is no inconsistency in the report of the study in the Lancet article, and your conclusion that there is one is as a result of your incorrect assumption that an adverse event must have been caused by the vaccine. For confirmation of my understanding of the terms “adverse event” and “adverse reaction”, see, for example, this glossary of terms from the Uppsala Medical Centre, which I understand is responsible for carrying out the WHO drug monitoring programme:

My reply…
Dear Huw,

Thank you for your reply.

I am surprised you do not see the obvious flaw in your argument. It is called the logical fallacy of definition.

You have defined the term “adverse events” incorrectly. Your claim that there is a distinction in meaning between adverse events and reactions is false. This is clear from the medical and science literature.
Please peruse the countless examples where the term adverse events refers to adverse reactions as part of a trial.

Take this example

“Adverse events monitoring as a routine component of vaccine clinical trials: evidence from the WHO Vaccine Trial Registry.”

Or this example from the CDC website…

Chapter 21: Surveillance for Adverse Events Following Immunization Using the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)

These examples make it absolutely clear that adverse events refer reactions to vaccines reported as part of trials. Adverse events does not refer to separate cases of sickness as you claim. Your choice of the Uppsala glossary as the ultimate standard of the definition of adverse events is arbitary to say the least.

If participants in a trial contract a disease such as Ebola from an outside source other than the vaccine, those person are categorised not as adverse events to a vaccine or drug.

They are categorised as having contracted Ebola from another source. The onus is, then, on the study to show how the participants contracted Ebola from a source other than the vaccine. I see no such explanation in the Lancet study.
Best wishes, Jane Burgermeister

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