Does the Shingles Vaccine Stop Dementia... in women... and even more than it stops shingles?
99% of scientists retweeted something they did not read nor assess
Over 5000 people have retweeted and over 4 million have seen a new preprint that claims that the shingles’ vaccines reduces the risk of dementia. The vaccine purportedly lowers the risk of shingles by 1 percentage point over 7 years; Apparently, it also lowers the absolute risk of dementia by 5.6% in women (Bigger effect!) and essentially nothing in men, according to this paper. Is this plausible? In this piece, I will provide at least 4 core problems with this paper
The larger question of my essay is: why did thousands of scientists RT a paper they did not read nor assess? The answer is, in part, because the conclusion was one they liked. Vaccines are good for you. Ergo, any paper that finds something good about vaccines must be true. Even if vaccines claim to do unbelievable things, such as prevent 1 in 3 dementia diagnoses. Because scientists have become cheerleaders they easily click on something that furthers their preferred narrative without any thought. What does this mean for science going forward?
Let’s explore the paper and the cult of cheerleader, groupthink, nakedly tribal online science…..