The latest virus to infect the internet claims huge differences in safety between batches of mRNA vaccines rolled out. This is of course would be a huge problem, if only it were true. 

Once again, this is dressed up by professional looking commentators as “scientific” analysis to create scandal generated by those cashing in on anti-vaccination with some genuine looking bullshit. It is frustrating to see this paraded as good science and reduces important trust in public health which is why I care.

The source

The origin of this non-scandal is not really a scientific ‘paper’ at all. It’s a letter to the editor of the European Journal of Clinical Investigation from Denmark called “Batch-dependent safety of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine” and available on line with open access. Needless to say is has spread wildly on the outrage hungry internet to leave too many people misinformed and angry.

An accompanying editorial rightly criticises its findings but strangely is behind a paywall. ($10 for 48 hours access!)  Why it was published at all I have no idea – free headline grabbing nonsense followed by a quiet expensive disclaimer. Not a good start.

The Authors

The authors claim no conflict of interest, though they have made their pandemic minimising views on the virus known early in the pandemic and also during a rambling soft touch interview. The main author had even set up a company to sell dubious saliva testing kits early in the pandemic and has attended anti-lockdown protests! These should have been declared as a conflict of interest but they weren’t. That is simply dishonest. 

The claims.

The essence of it is shown in this graphic….it shows side effects from the first batches of vaccine were much higher than those subsequently rolled out which, if you like jumping to conclusions, means that vaccine production was problematical, with quality varying according to batch.

4% of batches caused 75% of reported side effects. SHOCK! HORROR! PUBLICITY!

No actually its all totally fine!

The explanation is just so simple.

The early vaccines (blue line) were rolled out to the most vulnerable people in society who were more likely to have side effects. Secondly, more side effects were likely to be reported, indeed, had to be, early in the vaccination campaign and once these were established were far less likely to be reported for later batches.

The Weber effect describes how reporting of side effects tends to decline with time as those side effects have been recognised in the past. That really is it!

Why Oh Why Oh Why

John goes on to declare that if he knew the vaccines were going to have that many side effects he would not have had them, a direct contradiction of what he said in the past about acceptable levels of vaccine adverse effects. He wonders, as usual, why the ‘establishment’ don’t own up to this scandal. This really is the pits. 

Sour grapes

Hilariously, JC’s video ends by running through all the editors who would not touch the letter with a bargepole. These are the world’s top journals who reject about 95% of submissions at the best of times.

One moan is that the editor of JAMA sent a rejection letter within two hours. I honesty think the letter was looked at put straight in the bin as it was clearly nonsense. Actually very efficient. End of story. It is a common thing now that low quality scientists moan about the ‘lack of debate’ which is actually the correct response to gibberish.

Its all a conspiracy

This as usual is represented as a conspiracy by the elite who seek to suppress dissent. They dress up valid rejection as censorship. I totally understand why the editors didn’t even put their peer reviewers to the trouble of having read through the paper to bin it.

The sad thing is that John Campbells two videos on this nonsense have had 65,000 views, and that is just one outlet. He is earning a fortune out of his daily output of sensationalist pseudoscience. This excellent description of why it is total bollocks had less than 1,000 hits.

If anyone is worried that batches of vaccines varied significantly in their effectiveness, please be reassured that they didn’t. 

I hope this helps.

2 thoughts on “Misinformation 12 – vaccine batch quality

  1. You really have no evidence that John Cambell is making any money from his videos. He states he is not.

    1. You Tube is monetised and JC’s earnings are guessed here. ( and elsewhere. Why would he, in effect, send the money back to YouTube?

      Indeed, I reflect that so much of social media is driven by the hideous advertising industry which encourages so much over consumption and waste. The other driver is outrage generated by folk like JC against public health and vaccination.

      Though he seems likeable and popular, he is simply too wrong about too much. If he were a practising nurse, he would be in serious professional trouble, but in this internet age, he is free to talk s much nonsense as he likes, this post showing the latest – it would be a full time job to debunk everything he says.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *