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How Many Red Flags Are Enough?
How many red flags are enough?
How much negative information is needed for us to say that “something” is going seriously wrong with how we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic? How many hits can the prevailing narratives take before they are set aside?
This much is certain: regarding the COVID-19 vaccines, we have quite a few warning signs to suggest they are not the “magic bullet” solution both public health officials and mainstream media outlets claim they are:
We have the study released late last month which showed the vaccines were far less effective in preventing severe COVID-19 symptoms and hospitalization than had been claimed.
We have the initial tranche of Pfizer's clinical trial data released by the FDA, showing adverse events were more common than was being reported.
We have the study from Denmark showing the vaccines may make people more susceptible to the Omicron variant.
We have unambiguous data showing an unprecedented 40% increase in all-cause mortality among people age 18-64.
We have a study from Germany indicating that increased vaccination is associated with increased excess all-cause mortality
We have the UK study suggesting the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis doubles with each COVID-19 vaccine dose.
We have another Danish study which indicates that Omicron spreads twice as fast among the fully vaccinated and three times as fast among the boosted.
We have the September study from the European Journal of Epidemiology showing no correlation between vaccination rates and COVID-19 outbreaks, indicating the vaccines have been utterly ineffective at mitigating community spread of the virus.
To this list of troubling indicators we can add the most troubling of all—a Bayesian analysis of worldwide case numbers which indicates the mass vaccination campaigns have actually increased both COVID-19 cases and deaths. If this analysis is even only somewhat accurate, the vaccines have made the pandemic far worse than it otherwise might have been.
About The Study
A bit of background on this analysis is in order.
The analysis was compiled by Kyle A. Beattie, a doctoral candidate at the University of Alberta's Department of Political Science (whose focus, ironically, is on the study of corruption). It has not been peer-reviewed at this time, nor is it available on one of the preprint servers where research studies are frequently posted while peer review is pending.
“Bayesian analysis” is a statistical analytical methodology which seeks to illuminate how outcomes shift when faced with an evolving data set. Bayesian techniques are often used to project the impact of introducing new elements into a particular paradigm. In this instance, Mr. Beattie uses Bayesian analysis to asess the impact of the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines into the COVID-19 responses of some 145 countries.
Mr. Beattie obtained his data sets for analysis from Our World In Data, the open source analytics site that I have referenced quite often when discussing the pandemic. Our World In Data compiles its COVID-19 data from official government public health sources, which it then harmonizes to account for variations in reporting formats. As it is an open source site, the data is freely available to all.
The analysis itself was performed using an analytical software toolset, Causal Impact, developed by Kay Broderson, et al, and described in detail in the March, 2015 Annals of Applied Statistics.
Thus, even without replicating Mr. Beattie's analysis to evaluate its accuracy, we can with confidence say that a legitimate analytical methodology was applied to a valid data set. His conclusions, therefore, warrant further consideration—attention the mainstream media thus far has failed to provide.
The Study's Conclusions
What Mr Beattie found is that in the overwhelming majority of countries, mass vaccination against COVID-19 causes more cases and more deaths than would have resulted had there been no vaccines at all.
Results indicate that the treatment (vaccine administration) has a strong and statistically significant propensity to causally increase the values in either y1 or y2 over and above what would have been expected with no treatment. y1 showed an increase/decrease ratio of (+115/-13), which means 89.84% of statistically significant countries showed an increase in total deaths per million associated with COVID-19 due directly to the causal impact of treatment initiation. y2 showed an increase/decrease ratio of (+105/-16) which means 86.78% of statistically significant countries showed an increase in total cases per million of COVID-19 due directly to the causal impact of treatment initiation.
Far from being even a marginal benefit, this analysis indicates the vaccines are doing demonstrable harm. The mass vaccination campaigns have increased both cases and deaths, rather than reduced them.
Short of replicating Mr Beattie's analysis, there is no definitive way to assess its accuracy. However, given that both the data and the analytical software have a known provenance, even without that assessment we are left with the uncomfortable proposition that the vaccines are a problem.
Not The Only One
This analysis gains further credibility from the existence of other data and evidence pointing in similar directions. The Harvard University study cited above reached a similar conclusion about the propriety of the mass vaccination campaigns.
The sole reliance on vaccination as a primary strategy to mitigate COVID-19 and its adverse consequences needs to be re-examined, especially considering the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant and the likelihood of future variants. Other pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions may need to be put in place alongside increasing vaccination rates. Such course correction, especially with regards to the policy narrative, becomes paramount with emerging scientific evidence on real world effectiveness of the vaccines.
The German study also found reason to question the mass vaccination.
The correlation between the excess mortality in the federal states and their vaccination rate when weighted with the relative number of inhabitants of the federal state is .31. This number is surprisingly high and would be negative if vaccination were to reduce mortality. For the period under consideration (week 36 to week 40, 2021), the following applies: The higher the vaccination rate, the higher the excess mortality. In view of the forthcoming policy measures aimed atreducingthe virus, this figure is worrying and needs to be explained if further policy measures are to be taken with the aim of increasing the vaccination rate.
“Something” Is Wrong With The Vaccines
While these statistical studies do not let us conclude what the defects of the COVID-19 vaccines are, these studies all point in one direction—that “something” is wrong with the vaccines. Regardless of what the long-term policy objectives might be regarding COVID-19 vaccination, these studies show that, in the here and now, we are moving away from the desired outcome of less illness and less death.
Which brings us back to the initial question: how many red flags are enough? How many warnings do we need before we stop doubling down on a vaccination policy that is quite possibly worse than doing nothing?
Preventing COVID-19 deaths is a laudable objective. It is the right objective. Yet we are not accomplishing that objective if we are exchanging a few deaths from COVID-19 for significantly more deaths as a result of efforts at mass vaccination.
How many red flags are enough? However many that is, it is quite clear that we have more than enough.
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