July 3, 2021
The revolutionary vaccine has leveled the playing field in our fight against COVID-19
Six months ago, two COVID-19 vaccines won emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”).
Already, these two vaccines have profoundly improved national and world health…
COVID-19 vaccines are now being rolled out by the hundreds of millions of units. Globally, we could see at least 5 billion people treated with two doses before we eradicate the virus.
Put simply, COVID-19 is a killer airborne infection. One in 20 people who get this virus is hospitalized, and roughly half of those who are hospitalized will die. Granted, not everyone is equal. The sickest victims tend to be older and heavier. But that’s a bigger problem than you think…
See, there are 50 million Americans over 65, and roughly 100 million American adults are overweight. Until we vaccinate every American – with a few exceptions – we haven’t tamed the COVID-19 pandemic. Nor has any other country. Vaccines are the only way. In the real world, they are about 99% effective. Breakthrough infections that lead to hospitalization are very rare.
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The original pivotal trials showed the two RNA vaccines were around 94% effective, plus or minus 4%. In other words, these vaccines could be 90%, 92%, 94%, 96%, or 98% effective. But there’s another positive effect beyond preventing infection – protection from the worst symptoms.
Now, we’re seeing the real-world data for COVID-19 vaccines…
So, I am going to show you two “observational” trials. They aren’t quite as controlled as formal in-hospital trials, but that’s the point: They show us what really goes on “in the wild.”
For example, Cleveland Clinic took the raw number of its hospital employees (around 52,000 people) and excluded folks who already had COVID-19 (around 5,000 people), so 47,000 health care workers were followed.
Of these roughly 47,000 people, only seven had taken part in the clinical trials for the vaccines. Virtually everyone was unprotected. But 70 days after vaccines started, half of Cleveland’s staff got the COVID-19 vaccines.
By day 100, almost two-thirds had their shots, while the other third refused. Overall, the trial lasted 150 days – through May 15, 2021.
Since two-thirds of the people were vaccinated by the final one-third of the trial, the “person-days at risk” is roughly equal. The risk in this case is a COVID-19 infection. And “person-days” is how many people are exposed to this risk and for how many days they face the risk.
So because the time-and-person balanced risk is close to the same, here’s what we could expect to see if the vaccine did nothing: We would see as many infections in one group as the other.
But here’s what we saw: From December 2020 to May 2021, there were 15 COVID-19 infections in the fully vaccinated group. Among the people who refused the vaccine, there were 1,344 infections.
The outcomes in a real-world clinical trial completely validate the Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA) trials. These RNA vaccines, collectively, are more than 97% effective in preventing COVID-19 infections.
We saw 97% prevention of COVID-19 in a second real-world trial, too. This was reported in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (“CDC”) “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.”
This study came out in early April, so it was only a four-month study from December 2020 to March 2021. Still, it covered eight sites spread across the U.S. It also tracked health care workers.
The CDC study also included paramedics and nursing-home workers – not just hospital staff. However, it included fewer administrators. Virtually everyone in the CDC study had real patient contact.
So it was a different trial group in different cities over a different time period than the Cleveland Clinic study. But the outcome was the same.
Of the 4,000 health workers the CDC studied, 75% of these folks accepted the vaccine, but it took time to get them all vaccinated. So by the end of the study, there were 78,000 person-days at risk. There were only three infections among these 3,000 people.
Meanwhile, among the 1,000 unvaccinated folks, there were 161 infections. However, this reflected more person-days of actual risk – specifically, 116,000 person-days.
If you normalize both groups in units of “1,000 days at risk,” unvaccinated health care workers converted to a positive COVID-19 test at a rate of 1.38. For vaccinated folks, the risk per 1,000 days was 0.04.
In short, this study again showed that COVID-19 vaccines are 97% effective in preventing infections.
There were no deaths in the vaccine group. Plus there were only a tiny number of infections. So these two “observational trials” have their limits. It means we can’t use the Cleveland Clinic or CDC trials to measure the secondary protection you get from vaccines. However, we can use the ultimate “bottom filter” – the national death rate for COVID-19.
We watched what happened to the oldest people in the country when vaccines came out. Whether this vaccine went into senior citizens or their caregivers or both doesn’t matter – either way, it’s still a way to break the chain of infection – or to help protect you, if you are infected.
It’s because vaccinated people are carrying less virus even if they are infected. And if your COVID-19 infection is less severe, there are clear survival benefits.
For example, here’s the COVID-19 death rate collected by all 50 states, then compiled by the CDC. As you can see, the 75-plus age group made up 60% of U.S. COVID-19 deaths before the vaccines rolled out…
But note the change starting in March. Advanced senior citizens are now a shrinking proportion of U.S. COVID-19 deaths. The 75-plus group dropped to 50%, then to 40% by the start of June.
Not every senior got the vaccine – and some seniors got the Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) vaccine, which is not as effective as the two-shot RNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. Regardless, the effects are clear…
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, naysayers have complained that the oldest always die – just like with the flu. Now, the oldest are not dying because of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Simply put, we can see 50% protection at the national level thanks to vaccines. That’s what the drop from 60% of all deaths to 40% of all deaths for the 75-plus-year-olds mean. These folks are not getting any younger. Plus, they get the same medical care that any other American gets. So there’s a halo of protection now that we didn’t see last year…
In other words, even though there are a few breakthrough cases where the vaccine doesn’t work, it’s not translating into increased deaths.
Instead, it’s the opposite. On top of 97% real-world prevention, we’re seeing another 50% level of protection. In practical terms, this makes a 97% preventative COVID-19 vaccine close to 99% effective.
Globally, millions of people are still dying from COVID-19. The U.S. is one of the few countries with a surplus of vaccine. So if you haven’t yet gotten your shots, please get them. They clearly work.
The wealth gap in America has never been wider — we’ve still never fully recovered from the Great Recession of 2008, and it’s only going to get worse from here. But the effects of the Big Con are going to devastate those who don’t take action. So do something now while you still can.