1/ You may hear a lot today about “cases” (positive tests) in Israel dropping over the weekend, and how this trend proves vaccines work.

But here’s what you WON’T hear.

A: Israel has had ~NO DECLINE in the rate of positive tests. It simply cut the number of tests it runs...
2/ More than 85% of Israelis over 70 have received one vaccine dose. About 55% have received BOTH doses (which means they received the first dose at least three and more likely four to six weeks ago). This means many should now be protected, based on clinical trial data. BUT...
3/ The number of new deaths and cases of “severe” #Covid - both highly correlated with age - are at all-time highs.

So, six weeks into the widest #Covid vaccination campaign anywhere, Israel still provides NO evidence that the vaccines protect people who are actually at risk...
4/ And remember the clinical trials ALSO provided no evidence of reduced deaths or hospitalizations.

This may change. Let’s hope it changes. But don’t let anyone fool you about what the data says right now.

datadashboard.health.gov.il/COVID-19/
5/ One last point. Israel is both under strict lockdown (although the ultra-Orthodox don't much care) AND has had this wave going on for long enough that cases should have peaked and be falling - so the fact they are (if they are) says little about vaccines at this point...
6/ If in a month positive tests are zero and hospitalizations and deaths are way down, I'll be glad to say vaccines work. We should all hope they work.

BUT HOPE IS NOT EVIDENCE.

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More from @AlexBerenson

7 Mar
1/ Someone today asked if obesity wasn’t the real risk factor for death from #Covid. The answer is no. It’s age, age, age. And after a year we know the relative risks very well. Here’s a simple way to figure them - it’s not perfect but it’s highly directionally accurate...
2/ Baseline IFR risk for a healthy 20-year-old: 1 in 1 million. 0.0001%.

That DOUBLES every five years until 85. So by 40, it’s 1 in 62,500. By 60, 1 in ~4,000. By 85, 1 in ~100.

Still seem too low? It is. Adjust now for health - under 40, your risk triples per comorbidity...
3/ 40-60, it rises 2.5x per additional risk. Over 60, it doubles. And these are multiplicative risks, not additive. So if you are 30 and have two, your risk is 9x the baseline. Risks are mainly metabolic/CV- obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc. (Severe obesity counts as two.)
Read 4 tweets
7 Mar
1/ The Israeli vaccine miracle is officially over before it began. New serious cases rose week over week and have barely fallen for two weeks

2/13-2/20 699
2/20-2/26 643
2/27-3/5 660

After falling for much of February, total serious cases haven’t budged in the last 10 days... ImageImage
2/ Overall positive tests are rising, and R is above 1, indicating the epidemic is spreading. This comes with most adults vaccinated and nearly the entire high-risk population fully vaccinated. The mRNA vaccines are very obviously far less than 95% protective... ImageImage
3/ So how effective are they? Based on changes in overall hospitalizations and more importantly the median age of hospitalized people, a smart finance guy puts them at 70-75% protective a week after the second dose (which is probably peak protection). I’ll let him explain...
Read 6 tweets
4 Mar
1/ Based on big datasets from several countries, the real-world protection the mRNA vaccines offer (at peak power, after the second dose) looks to be settling in the 70-75% range, maybe a bit less.

For older people at high risk of death from Covid, that's a decent benefit...
2/ Assuming it lasts even a few months. Which it should, given the antibody data. For everyone else, it's hard to see how the benefit outweighs the potential side effects, especially since they are highly idiosyncratic (unpredictable) and the duration of protection is unknown...
3/ This is not to say you SHOULDN'T take an mRNA vaccine if you are young or middle-aged - maybe you prefer to take your chance with its side effects rather than #Covid (though you may wind up with both).

It is to say the decision should be a personal choice, not a mandate...
Read 4 tweets
4 Mar
Dvir - I think that's a highly optimistic view of this data.

First, you can't include deaths before Jan. 28 when you calculate the percentage of post-second-dose deaths. Under 1% of Israelis were a week past dose 2 on Jan. 18 and deaths come at least 10 days after infection...
In reality, "fully vaccinated" people made up <>20% of all #Covid deaths since Jan. 31. Not bad, since they are older than the unvaccinated group. Also not great. Put another way: more fully vaccinated Israelis died last month than Israel's total Covid death count last July...
But this analysis ignores an even more important point - THE HUGE NUMBER OF DEATHS AFTER THE FIRST DOSE. Those made up almost 1/2 of all Covid deaths in Israel in January - a number far disproportionate to the number of people vaccinated...
Read 6 tweets
2 Mar
1/ Let’s talk about vaccine misinformation, @cdcgov style. On Friday the CDC ran a report titled “Reduction in COVID-19 Patients Requiring Mechanical Ventilation Following Implementation of a National COVID-19 Vaccination Program.”

The headline is a lie. No other word will do...
2/ How do I know? From the data in the report itself.

The report, written by three Israeli scientists, intentionally tries to obscure the facts it presents (I’m not entirely sure why it was written at all), but they come out anyway to anyone paying attention...
3/ Your first clue the authors have no interest in presenting the facts honestly comes when they refuse simply to divulge how many people were on ventilators before and after the start of vaccinations on Dec. 19. Instead they focus on the ratio of patients in two age groups...
Read 9 tweets
1 Mar
Nothing to see here, folks: these are the most recent “life threatening” side effect VAERS reports in people under 50 - many healthcare workers, a baseline young and healthy group. Putting aside anaphylaxis, blood/CV events dominate - a lot of PEs and DVTs, a bunch of strokes...
And of course if you hate your platelets, you’ll love the mRNA vaccines!
Also, the reports include more than 60 cases of myocarditis, pericarditis, or STEMI (heart attacks). This is notable because on Feb. 15 doctors in Israel were told to watch for post-vaccination multisystem inflammation, which often presents with heart damage...
Read 4 tweets

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