Do you recall when Pfizer’s COVID-19 inoculation was rolled out amid much fanfare, touted as a 'game-changer', an 'elixir of hope', a veritable panacea with an impressive 95% efficacy rate? Well, let's pull back the curtain on that figure and reveal the inconvenient truth that mainstream media and Big Pharma would rather you didn’t know.
It all started with Pfizer’s original trial report, published in the reputable New England Journal of Medicine on December 31, 2020. This report outlined two months’ worth of safety and efficacy data from trials involving a whopping 43,548 participants. These participants were divided into two groups: the treatment group, who received the inoculation, and the control group, who were given a saline solution. The objective? To determine who would develop COVID-19 in the subsequent two months.
The result? An impressive 95% efficacy claim... Or so it seemed.
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Here’s the kicker: that 95% figure was based on Relative Risk Reduction, a statistical measure that can often be misleading. You see, the 95% refers to the relative decrease in risk for the treatment group when compared to the control group.
Now, if we delve a bit deeper and consider Absolute Risk Reduction, a measure that provides a more straightforward view of an intervention's effect, we find a starkly different story. According to the same data used to trumpet the 95% efficacy, the Absolute Risk Reduction was a mere 0.84%.
That’s right, less than 1%. Hardly the miracle solution we were led to believe, wouldn't you agree?
This is a plea for transparency and a critique of the problematic ways data can be presented, interpreted, and subsequently used to influence public opinion and policy.
As the world continues to grapple with COVID-19 and seeks solace in the promise of inoculations, it is imperative we base our trust and hope on accurate interpretations of data, not just the numbers that are most conveniently paraded by the media and pharmaceutical giants.
After all, in our fight against this pandemic, isn’t it better to be informed than simply pacified by seemingly comforting, yet potentially misleading, percentages?