Antivaxxers love to cite rising case numbers that include cases in unvaxxed kids as evidence vaccines don't work. Then they insist kids should be excluded when you calculate vaccination rates in the population. I can never tell if they're being willfully deceptive or just stupid.
For instance, antivaxxers love to claim that Israel and Scotland are highly vaxxed, because they've vaxxed a high pct of adults, and to then point to the number of cases in those countries as evidence vaxxes don't work.
But what they never mention is that 40%+ of Israel's cases since its summer surge started have been in kids, most of whom are unvaxxed. And Scotland's recent surge has been propelled by cases in unvaxxed kids.
If you count cases only in adults, then it's fine to exclude kids from vax calculations. Otherwise, ignoring kids when you cite countries' vax rates is a quintessential case of lying with statistics.

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More from @JamesSurowiecki

25 Sep
1. It's very strange to argue that the most important thing we need to do is "to reduce the spread of the coronavirus," but then focus only on how boosters affect the vaccines' effectiveness against severe illness and death, rather than against infection.…
2. It's true that the mRNA vaccines continue to offer excellent protection against severe illness for everyone, and particularly for ppl. 18-60. But no one doubts that vaccine effectiveness against infection is, while still good, much lower against Delta than vs earlier variants.
3. Similarly, no one seriously doubts that a booster shot for adults <60, even if it has no impact on VE vs severe illness (because it's already so high) will enhance effectiveness vs. infection, reducing the incidence of breakthrough infections and therefore community spread.
Read 4 tweets
25 Sep
Canadian study that found an absurdly high myocarditis rate of 1 in 1000 among ppl getting mRNA vaccines was completely wrong, because study authors reported that 32,000 doses had been given, when in fact 800,000 had. They were only off by 25fold.
Seems not to have been deliberate misrepresentation, and the authors have withdrawn the paper. But it’s totally weird that they didn’t realize that their count of doses administered over two months was ridiculously low.
I fully expect the antivaxxers who cited this study as evidence of the vaccines’ supposed risks to say…exactly nothing now that the study has been shown to be worthless.
Read 4 tweets
24 Sep
This is an infuriating thread about federal agents stealing money from American citizens - without any court approval - under the guise of "asset forfeiture." Just grotesque.
It is completely legal to carry as much cash as you want when flying within the US. But federal agents are able to seize that money, on the basis of nothing more than vague suspicion, and then *you* are required to prove that the money is legally yours in order to get it back.
You're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. But in civil asset forfeiture, your money is effectively guilty until you prove it's innocent. Complete travesty.
Read 4 tweets
24 Sep
1. The interesting question this raises, which I don't think there's much good work on, is whether healthy people aged 18-49 who are frontline workers and who therefore can get boosters should get them now, or should wait until it's more likely vax protection for them is waning.
2. Younger people generally have more robust immune systems, and generate stronger immune responses after vaccination. And there aren't great studies (free of confounders) showing sharp declines in vax efficacy specifically among younger adults.…
3. So even assuming that the vaccines' effectiveness will eventually wane, are younger adults better off waiting a few months to get the booster, rather than in effect reinforcing defenses that are working just fine right now? Or in the end does it make no difference?
Read 7 tweets
23 Sep
1. The contrast between Idaho and Vermont is incredible testament to the value of vaccination. They're both northern, rural states that have been dealing with a seasonal Covid wave. But Idaho has 686 people in the hospital with Covid. Vermont has 40.…
2. Idaho also has 21 people dying a day from Covid. Vermont has 1.

Idaho's population is 3x Vermont's. So per capita, its Covid hospitalization rate is 5.5x Vermont's. Its Covid death rate is 7x Vermont's.
3. This isn't because of differences in seasonality, or demographics. Both states are overwhelmingly white, Vermont's population is actually significantly older than Idaho's.

There is one big difference between them: Idaho is 49th in the country in vax rate. Vermont is 1st.
Read 5 tweets
23 Sep
1. This quote, from a woman whose unvaxxed husband nearly died of Covid perfectly captures the looking-glass world of vax skepticism: "We weren’t educated enough to know the science behind the vaccine so of course we were skeptical on our end."…
2. If you aren't educated enough to know the science behind the vaccines, why would you be skeptical of them, given that they've been approved by regulatory agencies across the developed world, and given that 96% of doctors, according to an AMA survey, have been vaxxed?
3. You probably don't know anything about the science behind ibuprofen, but I bet you take Advil. You probably don't know how planes can possibly stay in the air, but you still fly when you travel.
Read 6 tweets

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