How dangerous is Covid? Should one take a vaccine? Pfizer and Moderna Phase 3 vaccine trials data

01 December 2020

Data about Covid is all over the place, because of different tests and methods used to qualify positives and deaths worldwide. However, some good data has come out of Pfizer and Moderna from their Phase 3 vaccine trials.

Deaths due to Covid

Data from placebo groups of Pfizer (about 21K people. Press release here) and Moderna (about 15K people. Press release here) trials shows that combining the two placebo groups, there was 

- 1 Covid death in a total of 36K people in a period of about 3 months (Pfizer 0 deaths, 1 death in Moderna).

Therefore, the Covid mortality rate scaled to 1 year, is 4 deaths in 36K per year, or about 0.1 deaths in 1000 people per year.

The global all causes mortality rate is 7.7 deaths per 1000 people per year (Reference Wiki). [This means that about 0.77% of the population dies every year).

The effect of Covid is therefore 0.1/7.7, or about 1% increase in mortality rate.

Interestingly, no deaths from other causes were reported in this large sample of 36K (oversight or intentional?) by either Pfizer or Moderna. On a mortality of 7.7/1000 per year, you should see 277 deaths per year from non-Covid causes, or about 70 deaths in 3 months in these groups. Where are these 70 deaths (total) in these placebo groups of Pfizer and Moderna? I asked these companies via Twitter, but didn't receive any response.

The vaccinated groups together must also show around 70 deaths.

Looking at this data in another way, the vaccinated groups combined together of Pfizer and Moderna should have 70 deaths. The unvaccinated group should one extra death than the vaccinated group.

Severe illness due to Covid

Pfizer and Moderna also report severe cases of Covid. 9 cases were reported in the placebo group by Pfizer, and 30 by Moderna (again, the size of these groups were 21K Pfizer and 15K Moderna), for a total of 39 cases in the placebo groups of the two firms.

39 cases of severe case of Covid in a population of 36K in 3 months, is about 1 in 1000 in 3 months, or 4 in 1000 per year. Basically, assuming linear progression of the disease and no repeat infections, you will get the severe disease once in 1000 months, or 80 years. I am aware that these are rough estimations, but the ball park is that you will fall sick once with severe Covid in a lifetime.

The vaccines are being touted as lowering this already low probability even more. Covid is much like the HPV in that sense, as explained by my article here.

Positive tests due to Covid (mild illness)

Both Pfizer and Moderna also talk about mild Covid illness, and those numbers are 162 for Pfizer and 185 by Moderna.  I don't think vaccination should be even considered for mild illnesses, so this number is basically junk. They are touting them as cases because of Covid positive tests, which as I have argued before as being highly faulty. Not to mention that some people even in the vaccinated groups tested positive, why is that number not 0? 

Overall take: I believe a vaccine is not necessary at all for Covid, given the low probability of deaths, and even of severe illness due Covid. Just analyzing all the data from the horses' [Pfizer and Moderna] mouths.

See also notes on "statistically significant but clinically meaningless note" in this article here (on global warming, but the statistics  is the same).