Covid And The Vax: Risk - Benefit Balancing

I spent the day reading, and then spent hours digesting George Parry’s article on the DNC/Russia Hoax. Now I’m trying to catch up on Covid, and I’m going to take the easy way out by pasting in some tweets for articles that I was reading earlier.

By now everyone should be aware that five European countries—mostly in Scandinavia—have restricted the use the Moderna injection for young people. They looked at the stats and realized that a dispassionate risk/benefit analysis left them no other choice. Indeed, the numbers in the US also point in that direction: The danger of dying from the vaccine, especially for younger males, is much greater than any risk from the virus.

Meanwhile, and very much along the same lines, check this out from Taiwan:

How about this? From the NYT, of all places. Do they understand the implications?

Interesting to read some of the reply tweets to this next one. It’s as if these people think their government would never manipulate data to control the proles. Where do these people come from:

Here’s an interview/article with Michael Yeadon that I’d like to recommend:

Former Pfizer VP: ‘Clear evidence of fraud’ in Pfizer study claiming 95% jab efficacy

'I’m confident that their [Pfizer's] actions comprise deliberate mass murder,' stated Yeadon. 'Their objective appears to be to keep people as fearful as possible and receptive to vaccination.

Among other things there’s pretty clear explanation of the difference between “relative risk reduction” (RRR) and “absolute risk reduction” (ARR). This is an important distinction for performing a risk/benefit analysis. We’ve all heard the injections touted constantly as “effective”, but what does that actually mean? The quote here is from an article in the very, very, mainstream The Lancet:

The Lancet article, entitled COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and effectiveness—the elephant (not) in the room, says that although attention has focused on vaccine efficacy and comparing the reduction of the number of symptomatic cases, “fully understanding the efficacy and effectiveness of vaccines is less straightforward than it might seem. Depending on how the effect size is expressed, a quite different picture might emerge.”

The article continues: “Vaccine efficacy is generally reported as a relative risk reduction (RRR). It uses the relative risk (RR)—ie, the ratio of attack rates with and without a vaccine—which is expressed as 1–RR. Ranking by reported efficacy gives relative risk reductions of 95% for the Pfizer–BioNTech, 94% for the Moderna–NIH, 91% for the Gamaleya, 67% for the J&J, and 67% for the AstraZeneca–Oxford vaccines.”

“However, RRR should be seen against the background risk of being infected and becoming ill with COVID-19, which varies between populations and over time. Although the RRR considers only participants who could benefit from the vaccine, the absolute risk reduction (ARR), which is the difference between attack rates with and without a vaccine, considers the whole population. ARRs tend to be ignored because they give a much less impressive effect size than RRRs: 1·3% for the AstraZeneca–Oxford, 1·2% for the Moderna–NIH, 1·2% for the J&J, 0·93% for the Gamaleya, and 0·84% for the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccines.”

“Pfizer reported that its vaccine showed a 95% efficacy,” explained the documentary, entitled COVID Shot or Not? “That sounds like it protects you 95% of the time. But that’s not actually what that number means.”

“That 95% refers to the ‘relative risk reduction’ (RRR), but it doesn’t tell you how much your overall risk is reduced by vaccination. For that, we need ‘absolute risk reduction’ (ARR).

“In the Pfizer trial, 8 out of 18,198 people who were given the vaccine developed COVID-19. In the unvaccinated placebo group, 162 people out of 18,325 got it, which means that even without the vaccine, the risk of contracting COVID-19 was extremely low, at 0.88%, which the vaccine then reduced to 0.04%.

“So the net benefit, the absolute risk reduction, that you are being offered in the Pfizer vaccine in 0.84%

“That 95% number? That refers to the relative difference between the 0.88% and 0.04%. That’s what they call ‘95% relative risk reduction’. And relative risk reduction is well-known to be a misleading number, which is why the FDA recommends using absolute risk reduction instead. Which begs the question: How many people would have chosen to take the COVID-19 vaccines, had they understood that they offered less than 1% benefit?”

And here’s a chart so you can see this in a picture:

Chart: Doctors for COVID Ethics

You really have to ask: What is the point? BTW, the entire article is quite interesting.

Now some Covid related legal news.

First, good news from New York. A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction in favor of health care workers who are suing the state:

Judge Overrules NY Governor - Says Employers Must Grant Religious Exemptions To Healthcare Workers

A federal judge in New York ruled on Tuesday that State Health Officials must allow employers to grant religious exemptions to a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers while a lawsuit challenging the mandate proceeds through the courts, according to the NY Times.

"The question is whether the State’s summary imposition of § 2.61 conflicts with plaintiffs’ and other individuals’ federally protected right to seek a religious accommodation from their individual employers," wrote Judge David N. Hurd, a Bill Clinton appointee.

"The answer to this question is clearly yes. Plaintiffs have established that § 2.61 conflicts with longstanding federal protections for religious beliefs and that they and others will suffer irreparable harm in the absence of injunctive relief," reads the 27-page ruling, which offers a reprieve for thousands of unvaccinated doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers who would have otherwise been fired or prevented from working on Tuesday if the ruling had gone the other way.

Hurd issued a preliminary injunction preventing the NY Department of Health from acting against any employer who grants religious exemptions, adding that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed in their case.

"The Department of Health is barred from interfering in any way with the granting of religious exemptions from Covid-19 vaccination going forward, or with the operation of exemptions already granted," reads the ruling.

New York Governor Kathy M. Hochul indicated that the state would appeal.

Also, Sean Trende, who usually specializes in political prognostication, has written an article about Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the 116 year old case that vax enthusiasts fawn over. Amusingly, Trende describes Jacobson as a “legal coelecanth.” Which is to say, a “living fossil”. Totally seriously, Trende argues at length that Jacobson is far from the ironclad precedent that vax fanatics want it to be. It reminds me that not too long ago SWC pointed out that the same court that handed down Jacobson also handed down quite a few decisions that would horrify today’s vax enthusiasts:

Vaccine Mandates and Jacobson v. Massachusetts: A Closer Look

And last but not least: Banish Misfortune. The tune starts at about the 2:00 mark: