When you are a scientist, you know what doing your own research means. However, relatively few people are scientists, and among those who aren’t, many have not even the most basic understanding of what research is.
A few days ago, on Twitter, Someone was commiserating with Victorians for having 19 dead:
“Nineteen Covid dead in Victoria yesterday…..”
Then someone asked “How many of those had been inoculated with the Covid Vaccine?
I replied “Hardly any, apparently”
Someone, clearly an antivaxxer, replied “I recon [sic] all died from vax”
I replied to this drivel with “You are wrong. Very few have died from the vaccination. What you reckon doesn’t matter. Do you reckon the earth is flat too?”
Other people also jumped in and one stated that of the 19 dead, 17 had not been vaccinated1.
Then someone sent a meme to me, that they had found somewhere, and they accompanied it with the words ”this seems official…”
It was supposedly from the European Medicines Agency via their EudraVigilance system. Furthermore, the meme said:
“Covid-19 Vaccine Adverse Drug Reactions
2,448,362 Injuries Through Sep 25, 2021
COVID-19 MRNA VACCINE MODERNA (CX-024414)
COVID-19 MRNA VACCINE PFIZER-BIONTECH
COVID-19 VACCINE ASTRAZENECA (CHADOX1 NCOV-19)
COVID-19 VACCINE JANSSEN (AD26.COV2.S)”1
EudraVigilance is the system for managing and analysing information on suspected adverse reactions to medicines which have been authorised or are being studied in clinical trials in the European Economic Area (EEA). The European Medicines Agency (EMA) operates the system on behalf of the European Union (EU) medicines regulatory network2.
Memes claiming that vaccines are harmful have been around for a while. However, the use of EudraVigilance is more recent. One meme, posted to Facebook on October 27, claims EudraVigilance shows Covid-19 vaccines caused 2.5 million “injuries”, more than 27,000 of which were fatal. Another from November 1 claimed Covid-19 vaccine injuries had risen to 2.6 million, while deaths climbed above 28,000. A third from November 11 said injuries rose another 100,000, while deaths topped 29,000. Many of these are from Health Impact News, a website that describes itself as publishing stories “the mainstream media seldom covers”. It regularly posts stories criticising Covid-19 vaccines, along with claims that the EudraVigilance database has confirmed these adverse reactions to them3.
The problem with these memes is that they are not true. The EMA itself has said that these memes are incorrect. Medicines regulatory authorities and pharmaceutical companies from across the EEA are required to submit reports of all suspected adverse reactions to EudraVigilance from their respective member states. The database emphasises that each report describes an effect that happened either “following administration of, or treatment with, a medicine”. This is not confirmation of a causal link between the two3.
To put it more simply so that some of these gullible people can understand, it means that just because someone became ill or died after receiving a vaccination does not mean the vaccination caused it.
For instance, the EMA assessment on the safety of the Pfizer vaccine reports that 428 million dosses had been administered in Europe between December 21, 2020 until October 29, 2021. There have been 412,571 reported cases of suspected side effects, and 5,520 were fatal4.
This does not mean all these were caused by the vaccine, just that it is possible they were. For instance, if an elderly relative with a failing heart was vaccinated and died of cardiac arrest in their sleep some days later, this would be reported to EudraVigilance as a suspected adverse reaction to the vaccine, even though there may be no direct connection to the vaccine.
In Australia, since the beginning of the vaccine rollout to 7 November 2021, about 36.8 million doses of the various COVID-19 vaccines have been administered. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has found that of the 656 reports of deaths subsequent to vaccination, only 9 deaths were linked to the vaccines. The overwhelming majority of deaths reported occurred in people aged 65 years and older. The 9 vaccine-attributed deaths were all linked to the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine – 8 were Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) cases and one was a case of Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP). This is from about 13.2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine5, of which I have had two.
If the same ratio of reported deaths to those attributed to vaccines applies in Europe, to those reported to EudraVigilance, then of those 5,520 reported deaths, it is likely that only 75 could be attributed to the vaccine.
We live in an age of instant access to a fairly significant proportion of human knowledge, but unfortunately, due to the efforts of so many venal bastards trying to sell snake oil, and others incapable of determining what is likely bullshit and what is not, and on which the venal bastards prey, we are stuck in a world with gullible people believing that Covid-19 vaccines kill many thousands or that Covid-19 does not exist, despite it having killed more than 5,188,000 people around the world at the time of writing6.
When I received this stuff from these gullible people, I looked it up on the web, and it only took a few minutes to debunk this antivaxxer drivel, and another couple of hours to find more detailed data and to write this article. Why are antivaxxers so gullible? Do they just believe any old rubbish just because someone sends it to them and it “looks official”? Do they actually know how to do a search of the web? If they do read anything more than memes, do they actually comprehend it? Are they just passive receptacles for bullshit? You have to wonder.