The False Promise of A Pandemic-Ending Covid-19 Vaccine
The “95% effective” Covid-19 vaccine isn’t working as expected, now what?
Back in December, I questioned the possibility of a failed Covid-19 vaccination campaign and the problem with putting all of our eggs in the pharmaceutical company vaccine basket.
At the time, the Pfizer CEO Anthony Bourla, PhD, was making the media rounds touting a 95% efficacy of his vaccine which, at the time was still in an early clinical trial.
Suddenly, pharmaceutical companies, each with their own variation of the Covid vaccine, rushed to claim their own efficacy rating. Many had not even completed their clinical trials yet, most were unable to reproduce the 95% benchmark set by the company that brought us Viagra.
Those with research backgrounds know that “efficacy” is not the same as “effectiveness” and that the mere presence of artificial antibodies to a single antigen on the spike protein, does not necessarily guarantee immunity.
More on this in a bit…
Unfortunately, the damage was done and the promise of a light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel vaccine was all that was needed to change the public discourse from lock-downs and masks, to vaccinations and herd immunity.
Once FDA approval was granted for emergency use, we mourned the loss of sourdough bread tutorials and said farewell to seemingly quaint work-from-home gripes. Society had now moved on to vaccine virtue signalling and anti-vax shaming.
Communities and governments rallied around “trust the science” and “just get vaccinated” memes, citing herd immunity numbers that had yet to be determined by researchers, and a vaccine that had yet to be proven effective.
World leaders promised a return to normal, travel privileges, and expanded freedoms if citizens would voluntarily submit to the worlds largest clinical trial in history.
Anyone questioning the process, or even the origin story of SarsCov-2, was immediately branded “anti-VAX” and “anti-science”, the kiss of death for independent journalists, public figures, or anyone with a large following on social media.
9 Months Later…
Today, we are faced with delta variant strains and uncertainty around vaccine efficacy. Breakthrough infections among the fully vaccinated are rising. What was previously dubbed “a third wave among the vaccinated” a few weeks ago, has now turned into “decreasing vaccine effectiveness over time”, what ever that means. Booster shots expected soon.
With each new setback, health officials continue to move the “return to normal” goal posts and look for a new pandemic scapegoat to justify continued vaccine passports, travel bans, lockdowns and curfews.
Here’s a breakdown of the scapegoat timeline so for:
JAN 2020 — Way to go China! Thanks for the bat virus.
MAR 2020 — Covid 19 is deadly. We must lock down and mask up.
MAY 2020 — Well that didn’t work. Social distance instead?
SEP 2020 — Ok summer’s over mask up and Thanksgiving is cancelled.
DEC 2020 — Vaccines Yay! New normal.
FEB 2021 — Get the shot if you don’t want Covid.
MAR 2021 — Ok getting the shot won’t prevent Covid, but it will be milder and you won’t spread it to grandma.
MAY 2021 — WTF Anti-vaxxers! We got delta now.
JUNE 2021 — You wanna travel? Better get the jab or no Cancun for you!
JULY 2021 — Oh shit. Everyone is a super-spreader. Ummm… booster time?
Last year I suggested that 95% vaccine efficacy sounded like bullshit to me and that we should be weary of vaccine manufacturers who over-promise and under-deliver. So far, this has proven to be true for the Covid vaccine and is likely true for other vaccines and pharmaceuticals as well.
The elephant in the room, that no one wants to talk about, is the endemic conflicts of interest at the NIH, FDA and the peer review process itself.
Former, New England Journal of Medicine editor Marcia Angell, MD and author of “The truth About Drug Companies” has suggested that the peer review process for approving new drugs is broken and ripe with conflict of interest and sometimes, outright fraud.
It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine .
Given the realities of bias, low statistical power, and a small number of true hypotheses, Ioannidis concludes that the majority of studies in a variety of scientific fields are likely to report results that are false.
The over-commitment of governments to accept and finance a pharmaceutical solution to this pandemic, has put all of us in the unfortunate position where it will be difficult to course correct should the vaccines not work as intended.
The vaccine issue is complicated. Covid is real and deadly, and the public desperately wants a solution, no matter how imperfect. Perhaps we were too quick to accept this one as a panacea.
The moral of the story:
We shouldn’t blame humans for the natural behaviors of viruses seeking better hosts.
There is a huge disconnect between what the public believes vaccines can do, and what scientist know they can do.
People are scared and fear creates opportunities to erode freedoms and control behavior.
Researchers can lie with numbers. Governments and media will lie to you in order to get you to comply.