Note: because I know people will say silly things, I have never been paid by any pharmaceutical companies, hold no interests in drugs of any kind, and am funded entirely by the Australian state and federal governments, as well as a bit of money that I get from locking my stories on Medium for you all to read.
Vaccines are always a contentious intervention, because they involve giving perfectly healthy people a medical intervention to prevent future disease. While we are pretty happy telling people with pre-diabetes to exercise, there’s something inherently scary about having an injection whose only purpose is to stop you from getting an infection at some point in the future.
It’s natural to be a bit nervous about immunizations. I’ve written about this before — as health experts we should be entirely comfortable admitting that it is a bit nerve-wracking to get a needle in your arm regardless of the evidence. Unfortunately, this modest fear provides ample ground for disingenuous people to stoke terror through total disinformation campaigns whose only purpose is preventing vaccinations.
Which brings us to the recent furor on social media. A study has been published that purports to show that Covid-19 vaccines are killing as many people as they save, which if true would be a calamitous finding. An intervention that caused as many deaths as it prevented would be essentially worthless, and it would make sense to stop vaccinating everyone immediately if this was the case.
Fortunately, the paper was deeply flawed, and the idea that vaccines are killing people totally wrong. As it turns out, Covid-19 vaccines save hundreds if not thousands of lives for every person who is seriously harmed, even in a worst-case scenario.
Let me explain.
The paper that has people across the world crying foul over Covid-19 vaccines is a perspective piece that compares two calculated figures and argues that these make vaccines a problematic intervention.