1/ Let’s talk about Israel.

The good news: three months after it started mass vaccinations, new cases are finally below their levels when the campaign began.

And serious cases and deaths are far below their January peaks.

Great, right? Vaccines work!

Mmm. Let’s look closer.
2/ This analysis ignores two big issues. First, new and overall serious cases are STILL above where they were when vaccinations started Dec. 19. Deaths are roughly the same.

Vaccine advocates note correctly that most of those cases are in people who are not “fully vaccinated.”
3/ But they fail to note that at this point, the people in high-risk groups - i.e. over 70 - who are not fully vaccinated probably CANNOT be. In other words, most of those people got the first shot but not the second, probably because they could not tolerate the side effects...
4/ Are those folks at higher risk from Covid now because they are only partly vaccinated? Or is inability to tolerate the shot prognostic? More research is needed. Either way, limiting analysis to the “fully vaccinated” substantially overstates vaccine effectiveness...
5/ The second and arguably even more important issue is that Israel’s declines in deaths and cases since its January peak are basically indistinguishable from countries that have vaccinated far fewer people. Here are Spain and Canada for comparison...
6/ Of course Israel MAY avoid another wave while countries that have vaccinated more slowly don’t - the vaccine clearly reduces case counts overall and maybe that all by itself will do the trick. But we don’t know - in part because we don’t know how long vaccine immunity lasts...
7/ For now all we can say for sure is that Israel is no longer doing WORSE than countries that vaccinated less, and that, as expected, mild cases are down.

But of course that’s not how this will be spun. Israeli newspapers are already insisting that “the vaccines saved Israel.”

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More from @AlexBerenson

18 Mar
1/ What I think and have said all along is that the question is far more complex. I am trying to follow and report the data, as always.

Do these vaccines "work" in the basic sense of causing us to make antibodies? Yes. Did trials show they reduced mild/moderate infections? Yes.
2/ Did the trials show that they reduced deaths or clinically serious cases? No, because not enough people at high risk were enrolled, though there was a trend towards fewer serious cases...
3/ Are we starting to see real-world evidence NOW of fewer deaths and serious cases in countries that vaccinated early? I'd say yes, but with big caveats; the trend seems to run the OTHER way in the days after the first dose, and we don't know how long the good trend will last...
Read 9 tweets
18 Mar
1/ This fascinating piece last July from two Canadian immunologists highlighted the risks a #Covid vaccine would be far less effective in older people at far higher risk. Even the preclinical work for vaccines focuses on younger and not older animals...
2/ What the immunologists couldn't have known was how @pfizer etc would deal with the problem: by enrolling only a relative handful of those older people in their pivotal clinical trials. Genius.

You think that decision was a coincidence?
3/ This is not a conspiracy theory, friends. This is not 5G or whatever.

It's much cannier than that.

It's the equivalent of enrolling a bunch of people WHO DON'T HAVE CANCER in tests for your oncology drug and then proudly proclaiming no one who got the drug died of cancer...
Read 4 tweets
16 Mar
TL: DR - Top officials @EMA_News feared @US_FDA faced massive political pressure to okay the mRNA vaccines quickly and Britain's "rush" to authorize might worsen the problem.

They also worried Pfizer CEO @AlbertBourla was trying to play US and European regulators off each other.
Man, I am disappointed.

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THREAD I HAVE EVER POSTED. Stop making it about Trump or Biden. It's about regulatory collapse in the US and Europe. Once the topline results came out, @Pfizer knew it was in control. IT WOULDN'T EVEN GIVE THE FDA 10 EXTRA DAYS.
Yes, Trump clumsily interfered in the approval process; but the Democrats would have done the same, only more cannily. The EMA faced exactly the same problem.

And maybe @Pfizer knew if the stampede slowed down people would have more time to look at what the data actually said.
Read 4 tweets
16 Mar
1/ @US_FDA felt extreme pressure to allow the fast sale of @pfizer’s mRNA #Covid vaccine, emails from the European Medicines Agency show.

Just days after Pfizer posted its first big clinical trial results, a top EMA official warned FDA was being “pushed hard by Azar and US GOV.”
2/ Marco Cavaleri, the head of EMA vaccine strategy, made the warning.

By Azar he meant Alex Azar, the then head of Health and Human Services, FDA’s parent agency. Minutes later, another senior EMA official replied, “Azar is pro-Trump... Trump Is still pulling strings on this.”
3/ An undated email from Cavaleri at about the same time reveals concerns at both FDA and EMA that Pfizer CEO @albertbourla wanted to play the agencies off each other to force them to move even faster...
Read 17 tweets
15 Mar
1/ Welcome to the mRNA Vaccine Church! Anyone can join! Simply accept these creeds on faith. Do not look for clinical trial evidence for them as you will find none!

Say it with me, believers!

The hoooly shot reduces #Covid deaths!

And all-cause deaths!

And is safe for all!
2/ Now, believers, you may find yourself doubting at times. Is this blessed blend of cholesterol and modified genetic material too good to be true?

BANISH THESE THOUGHTS! For verily they are the devil’s handiwork. And the devil has opened a book. He calls it VAERS.
3/ Believers must NEVER upon pain of excommunication examine the side effects in this book of mis-dis-information. Only apostles may open the pages of VAERS, and only to remind believers of the hooooly truth that correlation is not just NOT correlation but can never be!
Read 4 tweets
15 Mar
Fun fact: the @AstraZeneca vaccine has 54,571 adverse events reports in Europe, including at least 198 deaths (63 cardiac).

The @Pfizer mRNA vaccine has 102,100, including at least 957 deaths (276 cardiac).

Similar number of doses given. But it’s the AZN shot that’s in trouble?
I say “similar number” because I cannot find an exact EU-wide figure for either: AZN said today 37 million doses worldwide and 17 million people vaccinated in Europe (some with two doses); @pfizer was at 28 million doses delivered (not given) as of Feb. 17 and has sent more...
I suspect @AstraZeneca is ahead, actually. But even if @pfizer is, it is by a little - far less than the 5x gap in reported cardiac deaths.
Read 4 tweets

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