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Old 24 Nov 21, 09:50 AM  
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#11
Andy C
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We don’t know what’s in it!

Yes, we do. We get a list on the flipping leaflet!

Not that the vast majority of us would know either way if it was appropriate or not. Should we be worried by the β-D-Fructofuranosyl α-D-glucopyranoside?

Given that it’s table sugar, probably not.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (the MHRA) are in a position to know what is and is not dangerous or inappropriate, and they’ve gone through all these very closely indeed before authorizing them.

The FDA in the USA and the EMA in Europe, together with every European nation’s own national versions of the MHRA have also gone through them.

This one isn’t even misleading. It’s an outright untruth.
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Old 24 Nov 21, 09:50 AM  
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Andy C
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Someone said that it can affect fertility in young women, and it’s dangerous for unborn babies if you’re pregnant!

This one is one of the most pernicious and vile lies that’s been spread – because young women and especially pregnant mothers are naturally very concerned about it. They were deliberately and explicitly targeted because of that.

People also remember the thalidomide disaster, and few non-experts would grasp why vaccines are very different to small molecules (which is what drugs such as thalidomide are classed at). The latter are far more risky.

(It’s ironic, because we instinctively assume that pills are less risky than injections. After all, injections are far more intrusive. And they sting).

In addition, the various regulatory agencies reacted to the thalidomide disaster by becoming very cautious, and rightly so. Their authorisations of these vaccines were not done lightly.

The specific rationale for the “it could affect fertility!” argument came from a man called Mike Yeadon. He once was in charge of a department at Pfizer, working on allergy reaction medication, before he and Pfizer parted ways (with no animosity on either side).

He had no relevant experience in vaccines and this aspect of immunology – as he admitted in the leaked HART group chats. He just thought it could be plausible. Specifically, it was his claim that the spike protein looked similar to a protein found in pre-placental tissues and creating and exposing the system of fertile women to this spike protein could cause conflict and for the immune system to actually attack this crucial area of fertility.

A whole bunch of immunologists and biologists expert in the reproductive system took a look at his claim and pointed out that no, they don’t look anywhere near close to similar enough and the entire area doesn’t work like that, anyway.

Not to mention that if he was somehow right (if it did work like that and they were similar enough), catching the virus would be far more likely to make someone sterile. BECAUSE THE SPIKE PROTEIN IS ALL OVER THE BLOODY VIRUS!

It’s literally why it’s the vaccine target, for heaven’s sake! And, as with the potential very rare adverse effects of vaccines – the virus would always have a worse effect, because when it gets into you, it reproduces itself (including all those spike proteins all over itself) to massive levels.

Thanks to Yeadon, amplified by Toby Young and HART group, one sixth of all women in intensive care in the recent spike were pregnant or very recently pregnant. I don’t know if they would account that as a success, but it’s down to them.
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Old 24 Nov 21, 09:51 AM  
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Andy C
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If the vaccine’s doing its job, why should the vaccinated worry about the unvaccinated?

First of all, the vaccine isn’t doing anything any more for those protected. It’s gone, now.

It does seem to be an implied assumption by some that the vaccine is a medicine injected into you that circulates around your system on the long term and does the job of intercepting the virus instead of your immune system.

It sounds absurd when you put it like that, which is the reason to call out the implicit assumption.

The vaccine is gone. Dispersed. Evacuated. Cleared out. Run up the curtain and joined the Choir Eternal. It is no longer in your system. Just want to be clear about that.

What the vaccine does do is tell your immune system what the virus looks like. Nothing more, nothing less. It evokes the natural immune response from your immune system. And, as with any bug, your immune system’s reaction can be variable towards covid. If you’re a bit run down, you could be more vulnerable. If you’re younger, less so. But in each and every case, it relies on your natural immune system.

All it does is train up your immune system to immediately recognise the vaccine and have the tools to fight it instantly to hand. Some people will still get ill. These are called “breakthrough infections.” It’s not an on-or-off binary state. Immunity isn’t a switch. It’s a spectrum.

And, over time, your immune system’s alert state against a particular virus can wane down. Sometimes, with some viruses and vaccines, the waning is imperceptible. Other times, it’s significant. Repeated alarms make the alert state hold for longer and at higher levels (second doses, hybrid immunity after a breakthrough infection, boosters, and so forth).

But a vaccinated (2-dose) older person may be as vulnerable as a part-vaccinated younger person or even an unvaccinated even younger person. Because the natural immune system weakens with age, and the vaccine simply trains up the natural immune system.

(I can’t say that often enough).

So it’s not a case of “If any vaccinated people get ill then the vaccine is useless” or “If the vaccine works, no vaccinated people will ever get ill.” Immunity simply doesn’t work like that, no matter how much we’d like things to be black and white.

Fortunately, the booster seems to take immunity to such a level that very few vaccinated people will get seriously ill. Even now, the vast majority of those in ICU are the unvaccinated younger people who assumed they were invulnerable.

That, though, points to another crucial problem: if the unvaccinated fill up the hospitals and ICU beds, it makes things far worse for everyone. Not just them.
If you have to wait ten minutes or more for a 999 call to be answered, you’re affected.

If you can’t get an ambulance for an emergency, you’re affected.

If you’re stuck in a ten hour wait at A&E, you’re affected.

And the unvaccinated are causing massive knock-on damage that triggers all of the above.
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Old 24 Nov 21, 09:52 AM  
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Andy C
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The stats say that the vaccinated are no less likely to get covid than the unvaccinated – it says so in the UKHSA data!

That’s what Tim Harford calls “statistical bulls***” Slinging around numbers that are deliberately designed to be misleading, and give an impression that’s the opposite of the truth.

One key issue with infection rate comparison is that we don’t know how many people live in this country!

Believe it or not. We estimate them, and the two main ways are the ONS numbers and the NIMS numbers. The latter is based on registrations at surgeries and is known to double-count quite a few people. Whilst the former is known to undercount to a degree.

They mismatch by about 6 or 7 million people. That’s the degree by which the NIMS population estimate outstrips the ONS one.

It does mean that whilst we know accurately how many people are vaccinated, we don’t know how many are not vaccinated. At some ages, we might have jabbed, say, 3 million people and we estimate 3.1 million (ONS) or 3.5 million (NIMS) in that category. So either 0.1 million are unvaxxed or 0.5 million, or, more likely, somewhere between those numbers.

If we have 3,000 vaxxed people test positive and 400 unvaxxed people from that age category, we can be confident that 100 per 100,000 have tested positive from the vaccinated… but if we use the NIMS figure, it’s 60 per 100,000 in the unvaxxed. The vaccine makes you more likely to test positive!

Or if we use the ONS figures, it’s 300 per 100,000 in the unvaxxed, and the vaccine makes you a lot less likely to test positive.

Of course, the antivaxxers will only use one number (and the UK Health Statistical Authority have played into their hands by defaulting to the NIMS figures despite the known issues, because the important thing is to find people who need vaccination, and if you double-count people and they receive two letters inviting them for vaccination, that’s a lot better than missing them out).

In addition, we have what are called “confounding effects.” In short, are they measuring what we think?

With more and more people getting infected over time, and with us being able to assume that the more cautious will tend towards vaccination and those who assume it’s all made up or not very serious will tend towards the antivax side and be less cautious, that won’t be evenly distributed. We’re getting closer and closer to measuring the vaccine-triggered-immunity versus acquired-immunity rather than vaccine-triggered-immunity versus no immunity.

There’s also the very valid question of whether the more antivax types and those on the denialist side of things will be as likely to take a test when alerted or having symptoms as the more cautious.

This is one reason why we’re looking more at hospitalization numbers and ICU numbers, and noticing the way that those have become so greatly decoupled from infections.

In short, the antivaxxers are bulls****ing and badly misusing statistics to do so.
(I did note the recent one about all-cause mortality rates in the vaccinated 10-59 range versus the unvaccinated 10-59s. This was a particularly blatant one, relying on the fact that the younger you get, the less vaccinated (and 10 year olds are almost totally unvaccinated) and the older, the more vaccinated. And mortality goes up with age. In short, the surgeon in question (a HART member, unsurprisingly) was expressing concern that a group with a mean age of 43 had a higher mortality rate from all causes than a group with a mean age of 24. Not really shocking when put like that, is it?)

EDIT: Updated on 28 June 2022 following Census results:
It's official. The NIMS data was indeed very much out of whack as a denominator; the ONS estimate was much closer, except at the very oldest age category.



Every bit where the blue line juts out to the right past the red one is an age category where the number of unvaccinated people was much overestimated - so efficacy numbers were well out of scale on the NIMS data (and published UKHSA data).
Where the ONS estimates were used (pink lines), it was far more accurate.

Which means the antivaxxer line WAS completely wrong as described above. We now have the data to prove it.

Edited at 02:23 PM.
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Old 24 Nov 21, 09:53 AM  
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Andy C
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Vaccine "shedding", magnetism, 99% graphene oxide, microchips, Mark of the Beast

Do I have to address these? We’re well into the nutty fringe now.

Vaccine shedding: some antivaxxers believe that the vaccinated give off bad stuff floating through the air and can infect them with vaccination (if we could do this, I’d bloody well get it done this way rather than a needle). This is vaguely based on a polio vaccine decades ago that used the live-attenuated-virus method (it literally injected you with polio, albeit a version of polio that was badly stunted). In a few people with weak immune systems, it could still replicate like the full-on virus, and you could get viral shedding. Totally different from these vaccines, but the more ignorant and nutty antivaxxers either don’t know or don’t care.

Magnetism: I thought this was a joke. It doesn’t happen. Full stop.

It’s 99% graphene oxide: No it’s not. Some lab measured that and got that result, but obviously their sensors were accidentally covered in graphene oxide. For a start, not only would the medical agencies have noticed this, so would you. The vial would have been full of a black sludge. I don’t know about you, but mine wasn’t.

Microchips: Seriously? Just because we can chip pets with these massive needles and microchips that need to have something waved over them really close, people somehow seem to think we can get one down a needle far, far slimmer. In all seriousness, the power pack and the antenna would stick out a long way. Antenna limits are down to basic physics and the needs of the electromagnetic spectrum. These ain’t happening.

It's the Mark of the Beast: Oh, just go away, now. No-one reading this one and believing it is going to be remotely in grasp of reason.
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Old 24 Nov 21, 10:01 AM  
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lisa12000___
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Andy this is wonderful. One thing that is niggling at me - there have been far more instances over the last season and a bit of sports people having to go to hospital for unknown medical conditions where they have collapsed in the pitch - most of them heart related it has been found. Lots of people have jumped on this as vaccine related but I assume this may be as likely to be that they have had covid without realising which may have caused damage? Logically I know that it isn’t an issue but I do know it has worried me from time to time esp as I have a son who plays football
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Old 24 Nov 21, 10:03 AM  
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Ladyshopper
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What a fantastic thread!

Seriously, thank you so much for doing all that. Hugely informative, easy to read and factual.

Sadly I think most anti vaxxers are so far gone it won't make a blind bit of difference to them. I lost a friend to covid a month ago. She was 44, no underlying health problems, but believed covid was a hoax and was an anti vaxxer.

I feel desperately sad for her 14 year old daughter she left behind.
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Old 24 Nov 21, 10:04 AM  
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Andy C
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Originally Posted by lisa12000___ View Post
Andy this is wonderful. One thing that is niggling at me - there have been far more instances over the last season and a bit of sports people having to go to hospital for unknown medical conditions where they have collapsed in the pitch - most of them heart related it has been found. Lots of people have jumped on this as vaccine related but I assume this may be as likely to be that they have had covid without realising which may have caused damage? Logically I know that it isn’t an issue but I do know it has worried me from time to time esp as I have a son who plays football
I've seen a few antivaxxers amplifying this, and looked into a sample of three:

- In one, the sportsperson involved had had heart surgery in the past and stopped playing before with a heart murmur
- In the second, the sportsperson hadn't even had the vaccine yet
- In the third, I got no data on it

It's also worth asking if these events are indeed more common than before (as well as: "Was it really an unsuspected one?" and "Have they even had a covid vaccine yet?") - we've had stories on these before, sadly.

And, as you say, we know that covid itself does cause heart damage in some.
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Old 24 Nov 21, 10:18 AM  
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myaquarium
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Originally Posted by Andy C View Post
I thought it might be of use to put down the main memes spread by the lead Antivaxxer groups that worry people and make them more and more hesitant, and in some cases, seduce them into full-on antivaxxery themselves.

Please note that I’m not judging you if you’re worried by any of the below. If you are, you have been the victim of a carefully composed disinformation campaign that’s targeted at your fears and vulnerabilities, and skillfully put together to leverage human psychology.

Such as the “fill-in-the-next-words-yourself” technique (where they say something, use it to hint at something else, and get you to come up with the (obvious) link yourself – because what we come up with ourself, we believe by default).

The shield against that is to not worry about asking daft questions – the basic question: “So what?” can come over as daft, but it forces them to explicitly come out with the untruth that they want you to infer. Which they don’t like doing.

Because this would otherwise be a humongous post, I’ll do a separate one for each of the key antivaxxer lines:

They’re still in trial!

The mRNA vaccines aren’t technically vaccines but “gene therapies” and can change your DNA

They don’t stop transmission. And virus levels in breakthrough infections reach the same heights as in the non-immune

What about blood clots and myocarditis?

Thousands more are vaccine damaged or killed than they admit – look at the Yellow Card data!

Why do companies have blanket immunity from damages?

What about long term side effects?

Children aren’t vulnerable to covid but can get side effects from the vaccine!

But the JCVI said that children shouldn’t be vaccinated!

We don’t know what’s in it!

Someone said that it can affect fertility in young women, and it’s dangerous for unborn babies if you’re pregnant!

If the vaccine’s doing its job, why should the vaccinated worry about the unvaccinated?

The stats say that the vaccinated are no less likely to get covid than the unvaccinated – it says so in the UKHSA data!

Vaccine "shedding," magnetism, 99% graphene oxide, microchips, Mark of the Beast...
Apart from the last 3 points I think people could justify wanting the actual facts which won't be available for many years of investigation.
For example we won't know the fertility answer for many years of gathering data. Same as the clotting data.
I suppose a comparison could be the use of thalidomide in the 60s. It took years maybe a decade before the information came out.
It's easy for us who have had the vaccine to point. I'm happy to put the trust in the vaccine but part of me still wonders if I should of waited.
IV joined some sort of data collecting thing sent to me by the NHS. They have upto now asked about my health and IV carried out a covid test. They will send me questionair and tests over the coming months or years. I suspect it's to collect data on his my life as it pans out post covid.
I suspect then the answers given by Mps and scientist are not fully conclusive yet.
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Old 24 Nov 21, 10:19 AM  
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CCFCRJ
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Originally Posted by Andy C View Post
What about blood clots and myocarditis?

These are not to be laughed at. There are (incredibly rare) cases of vaccine-induced blood clots from the AZ vaccine and also extremely rare cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) from the Pfizer vaccine.
These weren’t picked up in the original trials (which were completed fully – see above) because they are so rare. They’re measured in “per million” rather than “percent.”

In the first case, the immune response stimulated by the reaction to the spike protein presented by the adenovector seems to cause an unusual blood clotting reaction that can, sadly, prove fatal. In the second, the immune response caused by the reaction to the spike protein described by the mRNA causes a temporary inflammation of the heart muscle.

In every case – these can be caused by the virus itself and are considerably more common from the virus than the vaccine. In both cases, it could well be the immune system reaction that causes them – which is why it can happen from both triggers and why it’s always a lot more common from the virus trigger than the vaccine trigger. Because when the spike protein is introduced to your system by the virus, it’s in a form such that it will reproduce and grow with far more spike proteins presented (in the millions and millions) level before your system gets hold of it. The vaccine version doesn’t reproduce. The virus version does. It’s almost the definition of virus.

And, for the vaccine case, we’re talking so rare that the rate of serious harm is eclipsed by such medications as paracetomol (taken in the normal dose). And as for the contraceptive pill…

There is one extra difference on the myocarditis front: the vaccine-induced version seems to clear far faster and with less chance of serious damage than the virus version. I’ll never dismiss concerns of heart damage – but I can compare them, and when one is both far less likely and far less severe than the other, I know which one looks better.
There have been several high profile footballers having collapsed with heart trouble in recent months, and I've started to see some online put two and two together with the vaccines. Would you expect further research into these cases?
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