All the observational studies which have been carried out with the Covid-19 vaccines suffer, apart from some of the well-known general biases, from exactly the same fundamental flaw: They show a decrease in “Covid-19-related” symptom-free or symptomatic cases, hospitalizations or deaths, but they do not ask the question whether this decline in test-positive patients translates into an overall reduction of flu cases, of (atypical) pneumonias, of hospitalizations and deaths.
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The much publicized CMAJ simulation study is based on assumptions which are known to be flawed. The conclusions may be true in an alternate world where immunity from natural exposure is poor, and Covid-19 vaccine have high efficacy which does not wane; but they certainly do not hold in the real world.
It’s probable that the mountain of legislation produced over the last two years never fulfilled democratic norms of accountability and transparency. For science in a pandemic to be harnessed to serve the public interest, the institutions that set those terms of reference must be guided by principles that protect health.
Some thought April 2020 deaths were too high and justified putting our lives on hold, but January 2021 numbers were worse—the percentage death rate in 2021 is the same as it was in 2020. Why the increase in January 2021 deaths? Continued upward trend in deaths due to the increase and aging of the US population? Deaths of despair? Increased deaths due to untreated conditions in 2020? Deaths due to COVID or one of its variants? Vaccine deaths?
What lockdowns and mandates have done to society is a painful truth, and one that we will be dealing with for many years. As much as we all just want it to go away, and as much as we all have great cause to celebrate this day, as much as the real of the mask mandate represents a symbolic end, no one should lose sight of the deeper problem: all of this happened to us, and not only to us but to billions of people the world over.
It’s absolutely never that you will meet another human with whom you have everything in common, and agree on every topic. The important part is finding common ground. And it turns out that right now, the most important common ground I can think of is medical freedom, and bodily autonomy, which has landed me in the midst of a fascinating movement that is more diverse than any community of which I have ever been a part.
In what must be one of the most mind-bending public health measures adopted anywhere in the world during the entire Covid-19 pandemic, Germany recently reduced the period of validity of the country’s Covid-19 “Certificate of Recovery” from 6 months to 90 days – but only for people who are unvaccinated!
Many parents in California will decide in favor of mRNA vaccines for their children, and it goes without saying they should go forward as they think best. But so should the parents who decide otherwise. They would be the parents of the two-thirds of children in the state who have yet to be fully vaxxed.