Vaccine rumors continue to swirl, and distrust in vaccines remains. The latest onslaught comes from blogs and social media around heart problems and sudden deaths following COVID-19 vaccination, particularly among young adults. This rumor has been a constant theme since vaccine roll-out, but has recently bubbled to the surface due to a constellation of events: external medical review in Florida on vaccines, videos released (called
I'm not schooled in Medicine or Statistics. But I was in IT, so I can follow or design a logical string or process to a desired end. I'm also old enough to have been drafted into the military, and been subjected to the Friday afternoon vaccinations that left us all sick for 2 days, but kept us from sickness in Vietnam.
I can read graphs, and follow a factual narrative that doesn't descend into pure opinion. <<<Thank you for this post.>>>
I feel a need for a small personal narrative, as follows: The first 3 Covid mRNA shots had me with a bit of a sore arm, which I welcomed, as I figured my immune system was at work. The Bivalent shot was murder, bad sick for two days; my PCP herself had the same experience. That misery aside, I was glad for it.
IMHO, the value of vaccinations is going to be tragically shown by what has begun to happen in China.
Please continue your Local Epidemiologist writings.
Good summary, thanks.
IMHO there is one sore point, however: The argument "yes, the mRNA vaccines cause myocarditis in rare cases, but COVID does so much more often" is really sort of past its expiry date. Given that protection against infection has become weak and short lived and that there may be a lot more sub-clinical cases (both, after vaxx and after infection, see the troponin findings) I would think it's not crazy to ask if there might be cumulative damages. Are repetitive boosters really the way to go for young people then? Will my heart be in better shape after 4x COVID + 10x booster than after 5x COVID? Also proper age / sex stratification is really mandatory when talking about myocarditis.
It is exhausting just reading about the stupidity over Covid deaths. And I'm a layman. I can't imagine what it's like to try to negate all these contradictions as a professional. Keep up the great work!
Your analysis is too broad and you are selling vaccines as the end all be all. Break it down into age groups because one size for all solution kills innocent people.
Break it down by age, preexisting conditions and then risk. You will find it’s unlikely for all the age groups to end with the same result.
Totally unfair to make this statement
“ No one denies COVID-19 vaccines can have rare but severe effects. The question is how severe they are and how often they occur compared to infection.”
Compare severe effects with severe infection.
Avoiding infection isn’t the goal. Staying Alive is.
It’s likely the healthy athlete under 29 isn’t going to die from Covid but has a risk if they take the vaccine.
Do you have a version of this in an “easily-turned-into-a-poster” format that I could post in my office? I’m a pulmonologist and I run into the vaccine hesitant in addition to the clearly anti-VAX people every single day. Ugh!
If you don’t have such a format, would you mind if I printed this out and posted it on my waiting room wall?
Excellent post! Some just want to believe in conspiracies even when the facts are presented to them. Keep up the incredible work.
I am fully vaxed and boosted. However, I am not sure I will keep getting boosters once or twice a year because I remain unconvinced that the benefits outweigh the risks. The good news is I’m willing to read things, mull them over, and decide accordingly. Unfortunately, this post does little to convince me that boosters will provide benefits to me going forward.
A few high level questions/observations:
1). For “All-cause deaths by vaccination status, England” - why not break the chart out by age? Why end the chart at May 2022, the point where the blue and red lines touch? Presumably, after May 2022 the red line is higher than the blue line (or perhaps the two lines are indistinguishable). Your whole argument is based on “blue line is always above red line”, so if that reverses, wouldn’t that be important to look at and understand - especially since that’s our best predictor of what the future holds? I visited the website from which this data comes, and the data is as current as yesterday - so why are 7.5 months of data missing from the chart?
2). For “Excess Deaths and COVID Deaths in Young Adults (age 18-49)” - the chart appears to end around February or March 2022, meaning nearly a full year’s worth of data is missing. Why? It would also be interesting to see data from before the pandemic begins. The real story here seems to be that excess deaths were lower before the pandemic started but increased (accidental overdose, suicide?) during the pandemic, perhaps due to lockdown measures. Also, I’m not sure a 49 year old should be considered a “young” adult. Maybe the 30 and 40 year olds are being lumped in with the actual “young adults” (teens and 20-somethings, who have very low risk of dying from covid) to make the purple “COVID-19 Deaths” more scary. One ethical question that I wish got more attention: is it moral to recommend vaccines to young people in the hopes that this benefits the vulnerable (i.e., through reducing transmission)?
3.). For the two charts “USA Age 18-39” comparing circulatory system deaths, you state “Vaccination roll-outs correlated with a stunning reversal of this trend.” For “a stunning reversal” to be true, wouldn’t we need to see the red line *decrease* in a meaningful way? Instead, it remains stubbornly high (between 125 and 130) even once the vaccination rate exceeds 60%. The chart ends in February 2022, meaning nearly a year’s worth of data is (again) missing - why? I’m also curious why the definition of “young adult” has now changed (18-49 in last chart, 18-39 here).
On January 26 the FDA will hold a “Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.” Wouldn’t it be important to understand the last year’s worth of data in order to make fully informed decisions about whether the current generation of vaccines/boosters have benefit going forward? The FDA needs to base decisions on data from January 2023, not January 2022. It’s my understanding that the CDC now projects that at least 95% of the country has already had covid. If we ignore the last year’s worth of data, policy makers will be unable to understand the impact of widespread natural immunity and how this should inform vaccine/booster recommendations going forward.
The anti-vax movement started at the beginning of the pandemic ignoring every person who had COVID and then died of COVID, but then insisting that every person who had the COVID vaccine and then died after must have died from the vaccine. It's almost like one fits their narrative and the other did not.
You say that but I know a checker at 7-11. Her boyfriend is a fireman. He was perfectly healthy before he got the shot, but only one year later, he was ran over by the truck! Avoid the jab, don't be a truck mat.
The UK Surveillance data is quite interesting. You have shown us the ASMR (age standardized mortality rates) in the UK during the pandemic. At first glance it seems that mortality rates are substantially higher in the unvaccinated. However, if this were truly the case, this should raise an important question. Covid mortality represents less than five percent of All Cause Mortality in England. The vaccination seems to be having a strong effect on preventing death from causes other than Covid. Is this happening? If so, why? If anything, it should lead us to investigate further.
The problem we are having with this graph is that it is plotting age standardized mortality rates. The reality is that the age distribution of the unvaccinated is much different than the vaccinated. Compared to the “standard” population to which standardization weighting is calibrated, the unvaccinated cohort is much younger and the vaccinated are much older. This will exaggerate the contribution of the mortality rates in the older unvaccinated and minimize that of the younger unvaccinated. The opposite happens in the vaccinated.
If you were to sum all the deaths in each group (vaccinated vs unvaccinated) and divide by the person-years in each group, you will find that the mortality rate in the unvaccinated is less than ½ of the vaccinated. This is not necessarily because the vaccines are causing deaths; it’s because the mortality rates in the unvaccinated are much lower because they are much younger.
I suggest you dispense with age-standardization and look at each age group over time. The UK Surveillance data set that you are referring to has this information. You will find something very interesting as I and others did.
Good job. As a doctor I do expect to see adverse affects from vaccine (hopefully rare) but logic suggests that Covid infections themselves will likely cause the same rare cardiac events and likely at higher frequency. At 69 It was Covid infection not vaccine or boosters which knocked me into A fib which I had once before 15 years ago.
The 20 million lives saved by the vaccines are based on modeling data only. My question is, the Pfizer vaccine trials indicated that we had to vaccinate approximately 20,000 people to prevent a single Covid-19 death. With approximately 250 million people in this country fully vaccinated, the best we could have ever predicted, based on the trial data that was acquired when the vaccine was best matched to the pathogen (ie the Wuhan ancestral strain), is 12,500 lives saved. I don’t think it possible that the 3.2 million US lives saved is anywhere near accurate for this reason. The model is off by at least a factor of 300.
Can you explain how and why the model could be so irreconcilable with the best data we have?
And again, a masterful job. Thank you. I'm reading Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, about the fourteenth century in Europe. And I remember Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. In some ways, humans have not progressed much, preferring magic and paranoia over truth, evidence, or reason. Or even kindness. Crazy stuff, but I guess we're stuck with us. Your work is a great blessing.
I sometimes despair at the stupidity and gullibility of humans. An absurd example is a friend who recently shared on social media a photo of a “train” of Starlink satellites that had been launched in mid January 2020. Her comment on the photo concluded “and the COVID disease arrived soon after.”
Thank you for this post. It is hard for me to understand why so many attribute all of this to the vaccines rather than COVID itself. Often we're making connections where there are no connections to be made, but it's interesting to me that the default seems to be to connect it to the vaccine and not COVID.
In view of the avalanche of data that is finally coming out about the dangers of the mRNA vaccines you still support them? Who is now anti-science?
Continuing to support these dangerous vaccines with suspicious data interpretation does not reassure those who have become skeptical and suspicious of all vaccines.