I have a friend who works in the Kovid-19 “situation room” of the New York City Department of Education – identifying cases, making contacts, and so on. She’s very good at her job, so I’m shocked to hear that she’s weird.
That is wrong and dangerous. I find that an expert who works in this area on a daily basis can make such a mistake, and some are worth explaining.
Intuition is very straightforward. You can only get Kovid if you are exposed. In the current low-level cases in New York, and with reasonable precautions, you expect only a small portion of the population to be exposed. Therefore, if those people are also protected by the vaccine, the actual infection rate should be much lower than one in 20.
How low? Consider a clinical trial that measures the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine. There are two groups of about 22,000 people. Age, health, location, activities – they were all the same – one group received the real vaccine and the other the counterfeit. Over time, 162 participants developed at least one symptom and tested positive, with only 8 in the vaccinated group. This represents 95% less infections, 95% efficacy. Of the 2,700 people vaccinated, less than 1 became ill.
In real life, the threat of vaccination depends on the overall prevalence of Kovid. In early January, when one in 34 people in the U.S. became infected, vaccinated people could be estimated to have one in 700 people infected with the covid. Now there are less than one in 100 cases, and even vaccinated people are safe.
Remember that so far we are only talking about infections. People who have been vaccinated are also less likely to die from Kovid. The evidence is very good. Of the 87 million people fully vaccinated in the United States, only 88 were reported dead by April 20, and 11 of them were unrelated to Kovid ప్రకారం, according to the government website tracking “progress cases” in the general population. This is less than one in a million deaths.
Of course, there are exceptions. In the wild, vaccines are not necessarily comparable to undetected ones. They can usually be more careful varieties, which contributes to their lower infection rate. Or they may take more risks if they are protected. Mortality can be underestimated and in any case will increase over time as more vaccinated individuals are exposed. Not even an excellent vaccine can prevent cases in Kentucky, where a nursing home worker refuses to be vaccinated and causes a deadly outbreak.
Still, the Kovid-19 vaccine is a miracle of science. Although my best friend was fired, I wish all eligible students and staff would be vaccinated in the coming school year.
Kathy O’Neill Bloomberg Opinion columnist. She has worked as a mathematician, professor, hedge-fund analyst and data scientist. She founded the algorithmic auditing firm ORCAA and is the author of “Weapons of Monastery Destruction”.
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