Vax Facts unpacked:

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Unpacked

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Official figures from the WHO are 5 million which doesn't reconcile with the modelling and predications quoted by the RNZCGPs of ten million deaths.

To put this figure in perspective, it is the cumulative deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020. The annualised rate is standard practise when quoting death statistics. For example, about 500 people die from influenza each year in NZ.

Excess mortality is more meaningful if it is expressed as a percentage. After all, we are approaching 8 billion people on the planet.

 

If every one of the deaths occurred in one year, instead of two, the global excess mortality would be 0.125%.  

For perspective, some countries did have higher excess mortality rates than others. The excess mortality percentage in the UK for example was 13.8% in 2020. This meant 13.8% more people died than usual.  An excess mortality of 13.8% more deaths puts it in line with the figure in 2018.

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That Covid is deadly:

The CDC estimations are the Infection Fatality Rate from Covid is 0.15% on average. This varies widely with age. The elderly and those with co morbidities are more likely to die from Covid. 

That Covid is highly contagious:

It is correct that the delta variant is more contagious than the alpha variant. Contagiousness is measured by the R value and represents the number of people that a single infected person can be expected to transmit that disease to.

 

R0 for the alpha variant was about 2.5 whereas the R0 value for the delta variant is about 5. In comparison the R0 for influenza is about 1.5.

Long-Covid symptoms may be serious. There are a wide range of symptoms. Fatigue is the most reported enduring symptom and is also recognised as a common symptom following viral infections and some bacterial infections. More serious long-term complications have been reported but appear to be less common.

 

Information about Long-Covid can be found at the MoH website 

More up to date information can be found here

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This statement is misleading because implies that with the vaccine almost everyone will not get the virus. This isn't backed by global data.  A recent publication across 68 countries indicates that there is no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new cases. (A video discussion by Dr Christopher Martenson is also available)

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The term "dangerously ill" isn't quantified by RNZCGPs, but let's assume it means severe infection. No reference quantifying of the figure "20 times" has been provided by the RCNZGPs. 

The "20 times" figure depends on catching the virus in the first place, which in turn depends on the prevalence of the virus in the community and varies from country to country and region to region and on other demographics. We would need a reference for the statement to comment on it further. 

The graph below is up to date data published in a  Swedish total population cohort study.  The efficacy against severe infection wanes to below 50% over six months (a recommended video summary is here from 5.00-19.00 min mark).

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Here is a graph of NZ Covid hospitalisation rates till 25 Oct which appeared in NZ media. It has not been stratified by age. Due to the large vaccination campaign in NZ, it may be assumed that the majority of NZs received their vaccination within the last six months.

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No reference was supplied to back up this statement.

 

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Yes, although this is not quantified by RNZCGPs.

Whether you're vaccinated or unvaccinated, if you're sick then hopefully you're in bed, at home, taking steps to stop the spread of the virus. Sick people know they're contagious and can proactively limit the spread. Unvaccinated people will get sick more often but have the same opportunity to limit the spread by staying home. In the vaccinated, the efficacy against symptoms (for delta) drops to below 50% after about 5 months.

It is likely that asymptomatic transmission is the biggest threat to the virus spreading because the carrier would not know they are infected. 

The risk reduction (RR) for asymptomatic infection after vaccination appears to be .44 (determined in an early paper on alpha variant).  That is, if you're vaccinated you have 44% less chance of acquiring an asymptomatic infection than an unvaccinated person. The duration of this risk reduction wasn't measured but may be similar to that in the vaccine effectiveness graph above in number 4.

Note that this is in contrast to a large study in Wuhan where there was not one asymptomatic spread of virus amongst any close contacts over 300 asymptomatically infected people.

Those who are asymptomatically infected, whether vaccinated or not, are just as likely to spread the virus  with a secondary attack rate of 26%. New research (still under peer review) also suggests that asymptomatic vaccinated people may shed more viral load than their unvaccinated counterparts.

Recap:

  • If you are vaccinated and sick, if you stay home your risk of transmission is minimised.

  • If you are vaccinated and not sick, your risk of asymptomatic infection is reduced by 44%.

  • If you are not vaccinated and sick, if you stay home your risk of transmission is minimised.

  • If you are not vaccinated and not sick your risk of asymptomatic infection hasn't changed.

Whether you are vaccinated or not, once you have an asymptomatic infection your risk of your whanau in a household catching the virus is the same whether your whanau are vaccinated or not.

(Vaccinated whanau have a 25% chance of becoming infected whereas unvaccinated whanau have a 38% chance of becoming infected, however there was no statistical significance between these numbers - Lancet)

In conclusion:

 

If vaccinated, your protection from symptomatic infection begins at about 90% effectiveness and falls off over 5-6 months. 

 

If vaccinated and asymptomatically infected, the reduction in chances of spreading the virus to your whanau, during the early phase of vaccine effectiveness, is:

.44 (chance of becoming asymptomatically infected)

x

.26 (secondary attack rate)

=

.11

 

That is, you are 11% less likely to spread the virus to your whanau.

After six months, if vaccinated, your risk reduction for spreading the virus to your whanau is half that = 5.5%. That is, you are 5.5% less likely to spread the virus to your whanau than you would be if you were not vaccinated.

 

Note, you are still at great risk of spreading the virus to your whanau if you are around them when overtly sick with a symptomatic infection. Commonsense would dictate to avoid direct contact with whanau when unwell.
 

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This is misleading. The Comirnaty vaccine has provisional approval only. This provisional approval was recently extended by Medsafe until 2023 while Pfizer meets all the conditions required for full consent. The remaining conditions relate to the ongoing supply of clinical trial data, batch testing information, and ongoing requirements for monitoring the use of the vaccine globally and reporting to Medsafe. 

Safety of the vaccine is a hugely controversial issue. Updated adverse event reports to Medsafe can be viewed here.