A brief harm-benefit analysis
Posted On 23/12/2020
“My decrees I will make for the benefit and piety of the sick, according to the best of my ability and judgment; I will preserve them from harm and arbitrary injustice.”Excerpt from the Oath of Hippocrates (460 bis 370 v. Chr.)
When Pfizer or BioNTech write that their vaccine gives 90% safety, what does this actually mean?
The Pfizer and BioNTech study involved about 40,000 people; 20,000 of them were vaccinated, the others received a placebo.
In the vaccinated group, 0.04% tested positive and in the non-vaccinated group, 0.43% tested positive.
Thus, for the individual, the absolute risk of testing positive is reduced by 0.39% (=0.43-0.04).
In this case, however, they do not look at the personal risk, but at the relative risk, which means that in this study 0.39 is divided by 0.43 to check the proportion of people who would normally have been infected, but who did not test positive after vaccination: 0.39 / 0.43 = 0.906976… i.e. about 90%.
Of course, this sounds extremely advantageous, but it does not bring much benefit to the individual person, as the personal risk of being tested positive was only reduced by an insignificant 0.39%.
However, a doctor was able to confirm to me that this type of calculation is standard practice in the industry: they are only ever interested in the relative risk and not that of the individual person.
If this vaccination is supposed to be useful, its risk therefore must imperatively lie under this value of 0,43%.
However, according to current information from Great Britain, the first country to start vaccination, this does not seem to be the case: https://www.cdc.gov/…/slides-12-19/05-COVID-CLARK.pdf
With 3.150 “Health Impact Events” of 11.2807 vaccinations, we – however – are confronted with a vaccination risk of: 100 * 3150 / 112807 = 2,8%.
In plain language this means:
With a disease, where the probability to fall ill lies with 0.43%, on the other side the probable inoculation damage with 2,8% seems to stand the benefit in no reasonable relationship to the risk.
What would Hippokrates say or think about all this? And what do all those Doctors think and feel, who still want to stick to his principles and act accordingly?
This article has been written in luxembourgish language and translated into German, French and English.