Apparent Efficacy against Severe COVID
When Goldberg et al. reported on the efficacy of mRNA shots during the Delta wave in Israel, they didn’t say much about severe COVID. Instead, they said that there was not enough data to make a conclusion over whether mRNA shots reduce the risk of severe COVID.
When the total count of events is below 20 (e.g., 15 deaths, 13 ICU admissions, etc) then you end up with an unreliable rate estimate, because the standard error of the rate represents too high of a fraction of the estimate.
Though there were 20 or more events in each broad group, Goldberg et al. didn’t report on the overall rate of severe COVID between those unjabbed and recovered, versus those double- or triple-jabbed. There were enough events in each group to present a side-by-side comparison, but Goldberg et al. decided not to.
Was that because they did not want to rock the boat too much?
Here is the age breakdown that they did report on:
If just focusing on the two sets of columns at right, there is the appearance of efficacy against severe COVID. However, this requires ignoring the efficacy of naturally-acquired immunity from those people who took no mRNA into their bodies (left).
Evidence suggests that the apparent efficacy of mRNA shots is an artifact of temporarily-supressed severity, but that the temporary suppression of severity is followed by such a high increase in future severity that it is much more dangerous than simply not taking the shots.
Another finding is the age-specific increase in risk among those jabbed — but not among those who acquired immunity naturally.
[apparent efficacy against severe COVID is not only short-lived, but requires ignoring naturally-acquired immunity] — Goldberg Y, Mandel M, Bar-On YM, Bodenheimer O, Freedman LS, Ash N, Alroy-Preis S, Huppert A, Milo R. Protection and Waning of Natural and Hybrid Immunity to SARS-CoV-2. N Engl J Med. 2022 Jun 9;386(23):2201-2212. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2118946. Epub 2022 May 25. PMID: 35613036; PMCID: PMC9165562. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35613036/