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This is a modern brand of scientism. It’s the hybrid of Hayek’s epistemological criticism of social scientists dressing up their work in the language and tools of the hard sciences (actually, it’s more apt to say that studies of a complex order using the tools to study simple orders) and the complete politicization and self-delusion that some “science” has become. Here is the latest:

From the abstract of “Insurance Status and Vaccination Coverage Among US Preschool Children,” in which the authors conclude that having coverage is an important “marker for underimmunization,” even though their multivariate findings show that it isn’t:

Results: “…Children with private insurance were more likely to be UTD (80%) [up to date with immunizations] than those with public insurance (56%) or no insurance (64%). In a multivariate analysis that controlled for child’s race/ethnicity, household income; maternal age/marital status/educational level; location of usual care; and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children participation, insurance was no longer an independent predictor of vaccination.”

Conclusions: “The disparity in vaccination coverage among publicly, privately, and uninsured children is dramatic, underscoring its importance as a marker for underimmunization, despite the multivariate findings. The Vaccines for Children Program, a partnership between public health and vaccination providers who serve uninsured children and those enrolled in Medicaid, is well suited to target and improve vaccination coverage among these vulnerable children.”

The regression results suggested that receiving usual well-child care at a hospital clinic and having less than a high school education are associated with underimmunization. At the end of the paper, the authors write that “lower vaccination coverage among publicly insured children suggests that first-dollar-coverage laws may be an insufficient strategy among certain groups of vulnerable children.”

2 Responses to “And in This Week’s Annals of Science …”

  1. Speedmaster says:

    I’ll admit to be a bit slow on the draw here. It looks like the statistics find no correlation, but their conclusions say there is? Is that what’s happening here?

    If I didn’t know any better I might wonder if their minds were made-up before the numbers were in.

  2. Rod says:

    Anything for the children. Just think of the children.

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