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Elephant in the room

Real Vaccine Efficacy Rates Are Much Lower Than Previously Estimated

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Vaccine efficacy is one of the most important questions of the pandemic.

World altering policy has been enacted due to the original estimates which ranged from 95-100%, according to The Experts™.

Those figures are still being endlessly referenced by politicians and prominent media figures when they inevitably test positive and thank the protection the vaccine provided for them.

Pfizer’s press release of the trial data specifically and triumphantly declared that their tests resulted in a 95% vaccine efficacy rate:

BNT162b2, met all of the study’s primary efficacy endpoints. Analysis of the data indicates a vaccine efficacy rate of 95% (p<0.0001) in participants without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection (first primary objective) and also in participants with and without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection (second primary objective), in each case measured from 7 days after the second dose. The first primary objective analysis is based on 170 cases of COVID-19, as specified in the study protocol, of which 162 cases of COVID-19 were observed in the placebo group versus 8 cases in the BNT162b2 group. Efficacy was consistent across age, gender, race and ethnicity demographics. The observed efficacy in adults over 65 years of age was over 94%.

Disgraceful discrimination and obsessive commentary that the “unvaccinated” should be banned from society and removed from healthcare systems has been a consistent feature of the post-vaccine era of the pandemic in large part due to these estimates.

For many prominent international media figures, it’s still a part of their COVID discourse:

But a recently released study, conducted as a systematic review of collected research, provides yet another contradiction to the 95%-100% rates, push for endless boosters and false sense of superiority from obnoxious commentators like Butterworth.

While many COVID restrictions have fallen by the wayside over the past several months, a significant number of businesses and universities are still enforcing vaccine mandates for new hires or students.

Despite the clear, substantial evidence that the vaccines do not prevent the spread of the virus, administrators have steadfastly refused to change course on mandates.

Whether out of a desire to avoid admitting they were wrong or a willful disregard for reality, these pernicious policies have continued to affect tens of millions of people.

While many of the efficacy estimates have been based on variants that have long since been replaced, a new pre-print involving a systematic review and secondary data analysis conducted by Italian researchers has attempted to academically measure the effectiveness of the vaccines against Omicron.

Many have finally acknowledged that the two dose vaccination series no longer protects against symptomatic infection, but maintained that boosters “top up” the antibodies generated from the initial series.

Even as recently as December 2021, Dr. Fauci claimed that boosters were 75% effective in preventing symptoms from infection due to the Omicron variant.

Likely due in large part to Fauci’s assertions and CDC recommendations, boosters became part of mandates enforced by employers and colleges.

However, as with nearly everything else he’s said, Fauci was completely, hopelessly wrong.

Far from the 95-100% range of Pfizer’s trial data or the 75% estimate from Dr. Fauci, findings from the study suggest a vaccine effectiveness of less than 20% against infection and less than 25% against symptomatic disease after only a few months:

“We found a marked immune escape associated with Omicron infection and symptomatic disease, both after the administration of two and three doses. The half-life of protection against symptomatic infection provided by two doses was estimated in the range of 178-456 days for Delta, and between 66 and 73 days for Omicron. Booster doses were found to restore the VE to levels comparable to those acquired soon after administration of the second dose; however, a fast decline of booster VE against Omicron was observed, with less than 20% VE against infection and less than 25% VE against symptomatic disease at 9 months from the booster administration.”

It’s important to point out that the FDA’s threshold for authorizing the COVID vaccines was 50% efficacy in preventing the disease.

Except that according to the study results, at “6 months from the second dose, any considered vaccine has an effectiveness of less than 13% against Omicron symptomatic infection.”

Not only is the initial two dose series incapable of maintaining anything remotely close to 50% against Omicron, the booster dose, which according to Fauci was to “keep people healthy,” rapidly fades to half that percentage against symptomatic illness.

It’s notable that their evidence review excluded studies that measured antibody levels to calculate effectiveness, considering the FDA authorized the vaccines for young children based on antibody production:

“Regulators allowed the vaccine makers to infer efficacy by demonstrating that the vaccines could elicit antibody levels similar to those that have been protective for teens and young adults, a concept known as immunobridging. That helped to speed up the trials.”

Instead of the FDA desperately hoping that antibody levels would lead to high rates of effectiveness, this research demonstrates the exact opposite. 

It’s also worth remembering that Moderna initially claimed its vaccines were “100% effective” in teenagers, and Fauci said in an interview that they were “virtually 100% efficacious.”

In light of this new study, it’s impossible to reasonably defend booster mandates for healthy college students or for employees based on “protecting the health and wellbeing of others.”

There is little to no protection against infection with the dominant variants and similarly little protection against symptoms.

It’s not even just Omicron that the vaccines struggle with. Effectiveness waned quickly and dramatically against Delta too:

two dose delta

Pfizer’s vaccine dropped to ~50% effectiveness against Delta after only a few months.

The stunning drop in effectiveness against Omicron wasn’t helped by boosters either. Using either Pfizer or Moderna wasn’t able to stop waning or result in significantly higher rates of protection:

two dose D
Two Dose E

So what is the Biden Administration doing with all this research?

Pushing to get everyone another booster.

A new report out from the Washington Post indicates that “Biden officials” are pushing to roll out second booster shots to all adults, not just the over 50 demographic they’ve currently targeted:

Biden Officials Push Booster

What’s the answer to the rapid decline in effectiveness seen against the dominant variants after the first booster? Why, a second booster of course!

The first paragraph of the story hints at the FDA and CDC’s current roles as functionaries assigned to rubber stamp whatever the president’s handlers want:

Biden administration officials are developing a plan to allow all adults to receive a second coronavirus booster shot, pending federal agency sign-offs, as the White House and health experts seek to blunt a virus surge that has sent hospitalizations to their highest levels since March 3.

Announcing your plan through leaks to the press before federal agencies have officially recommended it shows how confident you are that political pressure will overcome any regulatory hesitation.

When you know the FDA and CDC will do what they’re told, you can announce to your base that they’ll soon be cleared to receive their second booster. Does it matter that their vaccination series and first booster didn’t prevent them from getting COVID? Of course not!

But don’t worry, Ashish Jha and Anthony Fauci support it:

While the booster plan still needs formal sign-off from regulators and public health officials, it has the backing of White House coronavirus coordinator Ashish Jha and Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, according to five officials who like others interviewed in this report spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plan.

The same Fauci, who hopelessly overestimated the effectiveness of the first booster dose, now supports rolling out a second booster dose that will also rapidly wane from an already disappointing level.

When what you’re doing isn’t working, just do more of it.

One relatively sane vaccine expert actually did acknowledge that this strategy does not actually make much sense, given that COVID is never going away and that the vaccines are incapable of providing any significant level of protection against moderate disease:

“I do think [a second booster shot] does make sense for certain groups, but a universal boosting strategy doesn’t make sense,” Offit said in an interview Monday, citing data showing that three doses of mRNA vaccine provided long-lasting protection against severe disease. “At some level, we’re going to have to get used to mild illness and moderate illness as part of this virus — which is going to be with us for the rest of my life, the rest of my children’s lives, the rest of their children’s lives.”

Offit even warned that this strategy could lead to significant negative consequences and set the vaccination efforts back even further:

Offit also warned that repeatedly administering the same vaccine could lead to a phenomenon known as “imprinting,” where an individual’s immune system develops a highly targeted response to earlier versions of a virus and fails to adapt as that virus evolves.

“As you continue to boost with the same ancestral strain, you lock yourself into that response,” Offit said. “Should there ever be a virus that is truly resistant to protection against serious illness … you need to start all over again and give that vaccine.”

Will Fauci, Jha, Walensky and the other supposed “experts” be concerned about this? Of course not! That would require admitting they were wrong and moving on from endless COVID policies.

Anything that takes away from their power and influence is not an acceptable solution, and so the inevitable push for fourth shots will ramp up, despite the lack of benefits and potential harms.

Of course, across the US even with the minimal booster dose protection waning, cases are rising while deaths have remained low:

Financial Times New Deaths

Which raises the all important question, why is any of this remotely necessary? 

We’ve already seen that extremely high vaccination and booster rates are not enough to stop deaths from rising to record highs in a given geographic location:

New Zealand Deaths

Nor have they prevented some countries from reporting that 56% of their entire citizenry has tested positive:

Iceland Cases

What can possibly be gained by forcing additional shots? Will the next set of boosters also be mandated, based on antibody levels that have no correlate of protection?

It’s a ludicrous standard that will lead only to further division and distrust of public health.

Actual booster effectiveness against Omicron is less than 25%, according to new research.

So what’s the FDA, CDC and Biden Administration going to do with that information? Add another booster.

Even when deaths are low despite significant case rates, which are already under reported because of at home testing, they can’t stop themselves from adding more shots instead of just admitting they were wrong.

It’s a relentless push for more and more and more power and control, instead of just moving on with life and accepting an endemic virus that has mutated and will continue to mutate.

The administration is already signaling that the regulatory bodies should fall in line with their plan, so the decision essentially amounts to a foregone conclusion.

And yet, when asked about the justification for rolling out a fourth dose for younger Americans, the Post reported that CDC officials said: “there is no U.S. data for people under 50.“

Europe’s CDC agrees:

Seems like the perfect opportunity for more mandates.

Reprinted from the author’s Substack.

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