Covid-19 Science

The science behind the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic

The risk of vaccination in perspective to dying from Covid-19

By Juergen Ude : 24th May 2021

We constantly read that the risk of dying due to Covid-19 justifies the risk of vaccination. This assessment by the world health advisers has empowered politicians to practically enforce vaccination, often indirectly, which some call unethical, e.g. by negotiating with businesses to enforce that employees are vaccinated.

The topic discussed in this snippet is a sensitive topic. Governments have relied on vaccinations to get us out of this mess and hence are fighting in partnership with various social media sites to prevent any misinformation that will reduce the likelihood of a successful vaccination program. In principle this is understandable, but in practice it is unworkable because what is misinformation?

So let me discuss the risks without deliberate misinformation.

On the 21st of May 2021, Channel 9 News reported on Nine MSN that the TGA. Australia reported 5 new blood clot cases.

SA man in 'very serious' condition among six new blood clot cases linked to AstraZeneca

South Australia's Chief Public Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier, as have others, downplays the risk in the article.

"People need to think about this one in 100,000 risk - there are risks to everything we do in life, and there are certainly risks to all medications," she said.

It is one thing to imply that overall, the risk is tiny and normal. But that is not true for all. Some people have conditions that put them at much higher risk. The risk of blood clots and dying of blood clots may be small for the total population, but for some groups it is extremely high. I myself have low platelets. If I am driven by propaganda I will feel confident that I only have a small chance of developing blood clots. But I am in the high risk group and for me the risk is far too high to take a chance.

Some will find it difficult to accept being told that there are risks in everything we do in life and that we must accept them. Professor Spurrier may have forgotten that we no longer have a right to accept some risks. To tell us we must accept a risk of death makes little sense because health advisers and governments now define the risks we take. The Victorian Premier a few months ago told Victorians one Covid death is un-acceptable. New Zealand declared a National Emergency with zero deaths. So how can we now contradictorily say one death in 100,000 has to be accepted.

We have always said that corona virus deaths have been turned deadlier than the black death, without considering the human factors that exaggerated the deaths. It is not misinformation to say that the reported deaths maybe greatly over exaggerated. Hence it is not so clear cut to say that the risk of dying with Covid justifies the risk of vaccination. We cannot as scientists alledge that we know what the risk of dying with covid is without considering human factors which has a high possibility of having inflated death numbers. Until we get our unbiased facts it is pointless by all sides to make statements of fact.

It has been estimated that one in 100,000 people who receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are expected to develop thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome. This is only an estimate. We do not know on what basis this estimate was obtained, and hence cannot determine the confidence interval. To obtain some insight into how bad the situation is in Australia 2.1 million people have received the jab. 24 cases have been linked to vaccination according to Peter Dutton as reported also on the 21st May 2021.

Scott Morrison says government moving quickly on local mRNA production for COVID and other vaccines

Mr Dutton too downplays the risk, treating it as normal.

We can now determine a rough confidence interval based on the sample which yielded about 1 per 100000. Taking into account problems with confidence interval coverage we conclude that in the population number of clots may be as high as 2.4 amongst 100000 people. Of course, that is a small number, but we do not know anything about long term effects of the vaccine. Treatments has reduced the number of deaths, but can we be sure there will no future effect, such as a stroke. Those people who are subject to blood clotting are at high risk, not low. The low risk only applies to the population overall..

Since so much has been made of covid deaths that we will prevent with vaccinations let us compare the risk of dying from Covid. First, there have been reports that vaccinations have lowered deaths in countries such as the UK, and Israel. We cannot assume the that reports are completely correct. Recall that governments and Health Advisers also provide misinformation (not necessarily out of intent but incompetence). Deaths were already coming down before vaccination could have an effect in these countries. Natural immunity may have set in. On the contrary some countries with high vaccination rates are already showing an increase in cases. Vaccinations at this stage cannot be assumed to be the answer to life without covid. There is also the problem with variants and unfortunately the use of face masks may have accelerated mutations through rebreathing. According to reports each time we breathe the virus mutates. What about lockdowns? Have we bought the virus time?

In 2020 global total deaths with covid (NOT FROM) were 1.8 million or 23 people per 100,000. (Our politicians and advisers have resorted to biased reporting by quoting total numbers since the pandemic started, not per annum, which is the norm.. We will not do this because we do not believe in deceptive information and hence based global deaths on 2020).

Recall, the risk of blood clotting based on an upper confidence interval is 2.4 per 100000 or 1/tenth of dying with Covid (not from). One tenth is not a trivial number. However, we must understand that the reported deaths are dying with covid, not from and hence are greatly overinflated.

UK BBC

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200401-coronavirus-why-death-andmortality-rates

“During an epidemic, doctors are more likely to attribute a death with complex causes as being caused by the disease in question – a trait known as ascertainment bias. “We know, during an epidemic, people will call every death as though it’s related to Covid-19. But that is not the case,” says Heneghan. “Always, when people look back at the case notes and assign causation, they realise they will have overestimated the case fatality in relation to the disease.” The reason for the bias is that “there’s a tendency to focus on the worst-case scenario”, says Heneghan. “That’s the only message that gets out there.” One example is the H1N1 pandemic of 2009, known as swine flu. Early case fatality rate estimates were inflated by a factor of more than 10.

If Covid deaths have been inflated by a factor of ten due to ascertainment bias, then the risk of blood clotting is in the same order of magnitude. No precise statement can be made because the calculations are based on an upper confidence limit value. But using a lower confidence limit drew a similar conclusion.

But the situation is far more complex. The risk of dying for people below 50 without comorbidites, is virtually zero. Dying from blood clots and other complications does not seem to be directed at one age group. Hence taking vaccines for those below 50 one can argue is riskier than dying of Covid for that age group. At this stage we are not stating that the risk of vaccination for this age group is higher as a fact, because the data is too unreliable, but we are saying that the numbers are concerning and need to be investigated as a matter of priority.

Further more, not everyone will receive the Astra vaccine. Not everyone will die with clots. But more and more reports are now indicating other vaccines also have issues and that there is also biased reporting.

To conclude we are not making hard statements of facts. Infact no one can do this. We are in the realms of soft science, not hard science. The above is just food for thought. The information is too unreliable to draw firm conclusions. That begs the question how can health advisers and governments treat the information they have as reliable, especially with a track record of usually being wrong?

It is not our objective to advise against vaccination, nor advise for. This about pointing out that, because of the many unknowns, people must given a choice based on sound unbiased information, not misleading propaganda and censorship of individuals who may be right.

For an additional insight I have provided the following video.

The tone of the video does encourage not to get vaccinated. This does not seem to be for the wrong reasons, but a sincere concern. However, we do not condone 'emotionally' influencing people to make certain decisions. There is enough destructive propganda out there now. What we do support is people making informed decisions. The video provides SOME useful information to help make a decision and hence has been embeded below.

We have verified that most of the information is correct at this time. Much has already been reported. I will point out that we could not confirm the survival rates and the section on early treatment is not as conclusive as the presenter makes it seem. Although there does not seem to be any intent to deceive with misinformation the reader is advised to independently confirm presented facts.

Commonsense says that we cannot assume there are no risks with vaccination. There are and that is a statement of fact. There are too many variables involved to deny this. Anyone that has worked in Quality Control knows that all processes are unreliable. Bad batches are produced and bad batches are even knowingly released for economical reasons. With such large production volumes it is unrealistic to assume nothing can go wrong. Things will go wrong and that is a statement of fact.

You must thus consult with your Doctor to discuss the risks when deciding on vaccination.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr Juergen Ude has a certificate in applied chemistry, a degree in applied science majoring in statistics and operations research as top student, a masters in economics with high distinctions in every subject, and a PhD in computer modelling and algorithms. He has lectured at Monash University on subjects of data analysis, computer modelling, and quality & reliability.

Prior to founding his own company (Qtech International Pty Ltd), Dr Ude worked as a statistician and operations researcher for 18 years in management roles having saved employers millions of dollars through his AI and ML algorithms. Through Qtech International, Dr Ude has developed data analysis solutions in over 40 countries for leading corporations such as Alcoa, Black and Decker, Coca-Cola Amatil, US Vision and many more. Additionally he has developed campaign analysis software for politicians.