Pick an Epidemiologist, any Epidemiologist

Peter Smith

Frequent contributor

A lady made a show of shying away from me the other day when I revealed I wouldn’t be able to watch the new Bond film until on or after 1 December (NSW ‘Freedom Day’), being unvaccinated. Don’t blame her. It’s the zeitgeist.

I’m about to assess the danger unvaccinated people pose to the vaccinated. I have no epidemiological qualifications. But then again, want an expert view to suit your virus agenda? I’m positive you’ll be able to find one.

Andrew Bolt has his favourite epidemiologist pushing the pro-lockdown, pro-vaccine line; and I see that Alan Jones also brought him onto his show, having presumably been softened in the head by knee surgery. Laura Ingraham on Fox News has a much better class of epidemiologists to call upon and does so frequently. Personally I prefer her retinue of experts. But choose your poison, so to say. All told, I prefer my own analysis to theirs (epidemiologists) whoever they are. They get stuck in blinkered medical mode.

Trump hater, and hence by definition COVID-crazed person, Cameron Stewart asserted in a recent edition of The Australian that “an unvaccinated person is five times likelier to spread the virus.” No source for this assertion was provided. I found it. It is a well-publicised CDC study dated August 24.

The study considered 43,127 infections, occurring in Los Angeles County from May 1 to July 25. Outcomes as at  July 25, pointed to infections among the unvaccinated being almost five times the rate among the vaccinated. In comparison, another study by Imperial College out of England found it was three times rather than five.

Noteworthily, the CDC study confirmed a number of other studies in concluding that the viral load of the infected vaccinated and unvaccinated is the same.

How robust are these CDC and imperial College studies? I don’t know. I’m wary. You might recall I referred to a study in a previous piece in QoL which purported to show that vaccinations had no effect on the rate of spontaneous abortions up to twenty weeks after conception.

Only problem, 700 of the 827 women in the sample had not been vaccinated until into their third trimester. A schoolboy error became the basis for our department of health advising Australian pregnant women that the vaccines were safe. And, by the way they’ve got away with it. Journalism in this country is dead.

In time, I suspect we’ll find that the vaccinated are as equally likely to contract the virus as the unvaccinated. And if the vaccines supress symptoms, as they tell us, then infected vaccinated people will become super spreaders. But, for the sake of my exercise, I will err on the dark side; split the results of the CDC and Imperial College studies, and assume the vaccinated have four times less chance of catching the disease and, thus, of passing it on.

I need a model. Models are de rigueur. I want one too. So, pardon me for using vulgar fractions. Here are my modelling assumptions.

First, eighty percent of those over 16 years are vaccinated. The soon-to-be-reached road-map target of the soon-to-be-gone Ms Berejiklian. And good riddance; which, by the way, I would say if any of the current crop of leaders, from Mr Net-Zero Morrison downwards, were mercifully to go.

Second, as the viral load of the infected vaccinated is equal to that of the unvaccinated; both, at some point, are equally infectious.

Third, in accordance with prevailing expert opinion, the vaccinated will be much less likely to get ill than will the unvaccinated; and, therefore, will remain infectious for, say, only half the time. That’s an extra give away from me and might not be true.

We need a scenario to manifest my model. I am going to take a Q&A studio audience of, say, 300 people. Extraordinarily, for the purpose of my modelling, I will assume these people are representative of the general Australian population. What does the model tell us?

A healthy vaccinated person in a middle seat, faces odds of 9/25 of sitting next to at least one unvaccinated person. The odds of being straddled, so to speak, by two vaccinated people is 16/25. (Ignoring slight statistical noise.) Don’t bother working this out. Take my word for it. Ditto for my comparative measures of risk right below. This kind of highfalutin’ mathematising isn’t for everyone.

Let’s compare a comparative index of risk. (The measure itself is of no matter; only the comparison is meaningful.)

The risk to our healthy vaccinated person from the unvaccinated is 9/25 by 4 by 1 = 36/25.

The risk to our health vaccinated person from the vaccinated is 16/25 by 1 by ½ = 8/25.

So, according to my model, the extra risk posed by the unvaccinated is 36/8. This is not quite the five times the extra riskiness that Stewart scribbled about. But it’s close. Gadzooks!

But hang on, my vulgar model may be as flawed as its more sophisticated cousins have proved to be. Pray tell why? Well, to reiterate, we are told that the unvaccinated are more likely to get ill. This narrative entirely alters the equation. Entirely.

Suppose for the sake of argument that of the 240 vaccinated persons (80% of 300) invited to Q&A, twenty are infectious (one in twelve) but only, say, five have symptoms, precisely because they’ve been vaccinated. All unknowing, fifteen dudes trundle along to Q&A; Typhoid Marys all.

Of the 60 unvaccinated invitees, twenty (four in twelve) are infectious, but most feel ill, precisely because they haven’t been vaccinated. Fifteen decline the invitation and are whisked off to hospital into an isolation ward or, much more likely, take to their beds with an aspirin. Five only attend the event. Ergo, in reality, the odds of becoming infected from an unvaccinated person sitting next to you at the Q&A green-left gabfest is one-third that of becoming infected from the vaccinated person sitting next to you.

The error is in the modelling. It takes no account of human behaviour. And, it seems to me, this delinquency is universal among expert epidemiologists; who, at the same time as saying that the unvaccinated are likely to get sicker, implicitly assume that those falling sick will go about their affairs as though they were well. Yet another one of those schoolboy errors.

My conclusion: even accepting the unproven hypothesis that the vaccinated are less likely to become infected, the vaccinated still pose more risk to the healthy vaccinated than do the unvaccinated. And, equally, the vaccinated pose more risk to the healthy unvaccinated than do the unvaccinated. The world is a highly complex place. Not set up for modelling or for blinkered experts.

Finally, think. The unvaccinated provide a scapegoating service. If the bully boys bludgeon everyone into being vaccinated, the only thing people will have to fear is themselves. Forever lockdowns anyone? Show your support Donate Now

Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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