Covid-19 Vaccines Are Still Effective

Debunking the “12% efficacy” viral myth

Gideon M-K; Health Nerd


Pictured: great job all round. Vaccines are amazing! Photo by CDC on Unsplash

This piece is based on a fantastic investigation by Dr. Jeffery Morris that is worth reading and linked here.

Recently, the internet has been abuzz with a new and shocking claim. Apparently, the Pfizer vaccine was not as effective as the 95% we were sold on — in fact, people are claiming that it was barely effective at all. Dozens of tweets and articles have gone viral with this massive claim across the world.

This makes sense, because we are all deeply invested in the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines. If true, this claim would have serious implications for our trust in the vaccines, and indeed governments across the world.

Fortunately, it is completely and utterly false. The claim is based on a very simple misreading of the documents, and some truly woeful science.

Let’s have a look at the data.

The Claim

The claim itself is quite hard to source. Despite dozens (if not hundreds) of viral tweets referencing information recently released from Pfizer’s data dump, it is surprisingly hard to track down where the idea actually originated. While people have indeed recently uploaded a huge number of documents relating to Pfizer’s clinical trials on vaccines — which is great, transparency from drug companies is a rare occurrence — after having a look at the files I could not find the claim anywhere. Many of these are massive PDFs simply documenting things like exclusion reasoning for patients in the trial, and despite searching I could not find any source for the claim.

Pictured: Not particularly useful or interesting, unfortunately

However, if you look at enough of the tweets, you do see a clear common source between them all. They often reference the same Substack post, which was published about a month ago, and seems to be the first place that this…