What does “antivaccine” really mean since the pandemic hit?
We frequently use terms like “antivaccine,” “antivax,” and “antivaxxers.” Critics think it’s a “gotcha” to ask how we define “antivax” or to accuse us of reflexively label "questioning" of vaccines as "antivax." It's not. There are gray areas, but not so gray that the word is never appropriate. Has anything changed since I first tried to define "antivaccine" in 2010? The answer:...
Aromatase inhibitors and acupuncture in breast cancer: Spinning a negative study, four years later
Four years ago, I wrote about an essentially negative study looking at whether acupuncture could alleviate joint pain caused by aromatase inhibitors, a common treatment for estrogen-sensitive breast cancer. The study's back, and it doesn't look any more positive.
The appeal of being a medical “apostate”
There has long been a huge appeal in medicine that derives from being an "apostate". Since COVID-19 hit, apostasy has become like a drug among too many doctors, and social media has amplified the popularity of "medical apostates" beyond anything I've seen previously.
The war on the science-based regulation of medicine accelerates
Last week, it was reported how increasingly there is a war on the science-based regulation of medicine and physicians. It's an old story, but unfortunately the forces arrayed against science-based policy have been emboldened by the pandemic and an stronger alliance with political groups that are against government regulation in general.
The making of COVID-19 “contrarian” doctors
In 2009, I tried to answer the question: How do doctors become quacks and antivaxxers? A Twitter encounter suggested to me that an update to that post is massively overdue.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t prevent transmission: Antivax disinformation goes viral again
Last week, antivaxxers were all over social media after Tucker Carlson touted a "revelation" that the phase 3 clinical trial used to support licensure of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine didn't examine its ability to block transmission as meaning that its inability to block transmission had been "covered up". It wasn't, and antivaxxers are ignoring everything we've learned over the last two years...
The State of Florida spreads antivaccine disinformation disguised as an epidemiological “study”
On Friday, Florida State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo released a non-peer-reviewed "study" that recommends against males aged 18 to 39 receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines based on bad epidemiology and science. This is the first time that we've seen a state government weaponize bad science to spread antivaccine disinformation as official policy, a dangerous new escalation in antivaccine propaganda.
“I know you are, but what am I?” Dr. Asseem Malhotra rails against COVID-19 “misinformation”
Projection is a common defense mechanism used by those spreading health misinformation and disinformation. Last week Dr. Asseem Malhotra published part 2 of a plan to cure "the pandemic of misinformation on COVID-19 mRNA vaccines through real evidence-based medicine". Unsurprisingly, it was chock full of antivaccine misinformation. It's a real "I know you are, but what am I?" exercise in disinformation.
“Censorship” and “thoughtcrime”? Antivaxxers and COVID-19 contrarians attack California AB 2098
One of the oldest tropes favored by quacks of all stripes, including antivaxxers, is to portray any attempt at regulating their quackery as an assault on freedom of speech. It's therefore not surprising that after its passage by the California legislature prominent spreaders of COVID-19 misinformation are labeling AB2098, which seeks clarify and codify the power of the Medical Board of California...