Flat White

Four vaccine vexes

18 November 2021

4:00 AM

18 November 2021

4:00 AM

1 Vaccines are 95 per cent efficacious. Yeah, right. And double positives never make a negative.

Figure 1 gives the 7-day rolling average of daily new Covid-19 deaths per million people in the US. On 15 November last year, the vaccination drive had not yet begun. One year later, 58 per cent of Americans are fully vaccinated. Yet the Covid mortality rates are almost identical. 

The US vaccination campaign began on 14 December. The total number of Covid deaths then was 305,114. From 14 December to 16 November, the death toll was 459,249 (Figure 2) – stunning testimony to the effectiveness of vaccines in driving down mortality. To be clear, evidence to date indicates they are important in checking hospital admissions and deaths, but well short of a medical miracle that everyone must be coerced into getting. Besides, there’s still no clarity on the side- and long term effects. 

2 Covid is the pandemic of the unvaccinated.

3 ‘Sweden’s approach toCovid has led to death, grief and suffering’ – USA Today, 21 July 2020. 

For harsh lockdowns to be justified elsewhere, Sweden had to be discredited for having kept faith with the pre-pandemic scientific and policy consensus. This explains the fierce criticisms of Sweden’s approach by US media last year. The New York Times called it a ‘pariah state’ on 22 June. ‘Sweden Covid-19 deaths linked to failure to lockdown’ was the headline of a story in Newsweek on 7 July. ‘Sweden becomes an example of how not to handle Covid-19’, said a CBS News report on 17 July. 

Sweden’s chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell cautiously but with quiet confidence said let’s see where we all stand in about two years’ time. At this point in time, Sweden’s policy has turned out to be mature, effective and with much lower collateral damage than most countries in the Euro-Atlantic region. In the middle of last year, it was in the top six of the world’s worst mortality rates. At present it is the 54th worst in the world and 28th of 47 countries in Europe (Figure 4), which might explain its silent treatment from the mainstream media. 

4 New Zealand finally flattens the curve.

After twenty months of life locked inside a hermit kingdom, New Zealand has finally flattened the virus curve. A great shame, then, Dr Eli David comments, that they’ve flattened the curve along the wrong axis (Figure 5). 

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