On this blog, we have some people who continue to promote conspiracy theories about Covid and Covid vaccinations. It is, therefore, time, I feel, to present them with some solid evidence on the subject (even though it means departing from our usual focus on SCAM).

This Cochrane review assessed the efficacy and safety of COVID‐19 vaccines (as a full primary vaccination series or a booster dose) against SARS‐CoV‐2. An impressive team of investigators searched the Cochrane COVID‐19 Study Register and the COVID‐19 L·OVE platform (last search date 5 November 2021). They also searched the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, regulatory agency websites, and Retraction Watch. They included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing COVID‐19 vaccines to placebo, no vaccine, other active vaccines, or other vaccine schedules.

A total of 41 RCTs could be included and analyzed assessing 12 different vaccines, including homologous and heterologous vaccine schedules and the effect of booster doses. Thirty‐two RCTs were multicentre and five were multinational. The sample sizes of RCTs were 60 to 44,325 participants. Participants were aged: 18 years or older in 36 RCTs; 12 years or older in one RCT; 12 to 17 years in two RCTs; and three to 17 years in two RCTs. Twenty‐nine RCTs provided results for individuals aged over 60 years, and three RCTs included immunocompromised patients. No trials included pregnant women. Sixteen RCTs had two‐month follow-ups or less, 20 RCTs had two to six months, and five RCTs had greater than six to 12 months or less. Eighteen reports were based on preplanned interim analyses. The overall risk of bias was low for all outcomes in eight RCTs, while 33 had concerns for at least one outcome. 343 registered RCTs with results not yet available were identified.The evidence for mortality was generally sparse and of low or very low certainty for all WHO‐approved vaccines, except AD26.COV2.S (Janssen), which probably reduces the risk of all‐cause mortality (risk ratio (RR) 0.25, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.67; 1 RCT, 43,783 participants; high‐certainty evidence).High‐certainty evidence was found that BNT162b2 (BioNtech/Fosun Pharma/Pfizer), mRNA‐1273 (ModernaTx), ChAdOx1 (Oxford/AstraZeneca), Ad26.COV2.S, BBIBP‐CorV (Sinopharm‐Beijing), and BBV152 (Bharat Biotect) reduce the incidence of symptomatic COVID‐19 compared to placebo (vaccine efficacy (VE): BNT162b2: 97.84%, 95% CI 44.25% to 99.92%; 2 RCTs, 44,077 participants; mRNA‐1273: 93.20%, 95% CI 91.06% to 94.83%; 2 RCTs, 31,632 participants; ChAdOx1: 70.23%, 95% CI 62.10% to 76.62%; 2 RCTs, 43,390 participants; Ad26.COV2.S: 66.90%, 95% CI 59.10% to 73.40%; 1 RCT, 39,058 participants; BBIBP‐CorV: 78.10%, 95% CI 64.80% to 86.30%; 1 RCT, 25,463 participants; BBV152: 77.80%, 95% CI 65.20% to 86.40%; 1 RCT, 16,973 participants).Moderate‐certainty evidence was found that NVX‐CoV2373 (Novavax) probably reduces the incidence of symptomatic COVID‐19 compared to placebo (VE 82.91%, 95% CI 50.49% to 94.10%; 3 RCTs, 42,175 participants).There is low‐certainty evidence for CoronaVac (Sinovac) for this outcome (VE 69.81%, 95% CI 12.27% to 89.61%; 2 RCTs, 19,852 participants).High‐certainty evidence was found that BNT162b2, mRNA‐1273, Ad26.COV2.S, and BBV152 result in a large reduction in the incidence of severe or critical disease due to COVID‐19 compared to placebo (VE: BNT162b2: 95.70%, 95% CI 73.90% to 99.90%; 1 RCT, 46,077 participants; mRNA‐1273: 98.20%, 95% CI 92.80% to 99.60%; 1 RCT, 28,451 participants; AD26.COV2.S: 76.30%, 95% CI 57.90% to 87.50%; 1 RCT, 39,058 participants; BBV152: 93.40%, 95% CI 57.10% to 99.80%; 1 RCT, 16,976 participants).

Moderate‐certainty evidence was found that NVX‐CoV2373 probably reduces the incidence of severe or critical COVID‐19 (VE 100.00%, 95% CI 86.99% to 100.00%; 1 RCT, 25,452 participants).

Two trials reported high efficacy of CoronaVac for severe or critical disease with wide CIs, but these results could not be pooled.

mRNA‐1273, ChAdOx1 (Oxford‐AstraZeneca)/SII‐ChAdOx1 (Serum Institute of India), Ad26.COV2.S, and BBV152 probably result in little or no difference in serious adverse events (SAEs) compared to placebo (RR: mRNA‐1273: 0.92, 95% CI 0.78 to 1.08; 2 RCTs, 34,072 participants; ChAdOx1/SII‐ChAdOx1: 0.88, 95% CI 0.72 to 1.07; 7 RCTs, 58,182 participants; Ad26.COV2.S: 0.92, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.22; 1 RCT, 43,783 participants); BBV152: 0.65, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.97; 1 RCT, 25,928 participants). In each of these, the likely absolute difference in effects was fewer than 5/1000 participants.

Evidence for SAEs is uncertain for BNT162b2, CoronaVac, BBIBP‐CorV, and NVX‐CoV2373 compared to placebo (RR: BNT162b2: 1.30, 95% CI 0.55 to 3.07; 2 RCTs, 46,107 participants; CoronaVac: 0.97, 95% CI 0.62 to 1.51; 4 RCTs, 23,139 participants; BBIBP‐CorV: 0.76, 95% CI 0.54 to 1.06; 1 RCT, 26,924 participants; NVX‐CoV2373: 0.92, 95% CI 0.74 to 1.14; 4 RCTs, 38,802 participants).

The authors’ conclusions were as follows: Compared to placebo, most vaccines reduce, or likely reduce, the proportion of participants with confirmed symptomatic COVID‐19, and for some, there is high‐certainty evidence that they reduce severe or critical disease. There is probably little or no difference between most vaccines and placebo for serious adverse events. Over 300 registered RCTs are evaluating the efficacy of COVID‐19 vaccines, and this review is updated regularly on the COVID‐NMA platform (


As some conspiratorial loons will undoubtedly claim that this review is deeply biased; it might be relevant to add the conflicts of interest of its authors:

  • Carolina Graña: none known.
  • Lina Ghosn: none known.
  • Theodoros Evrenoglou: none known.
  • Alexander Jarde: none known.
  • Silvia Minozzi: no relevant interests; Joint Co‐ordinating Editor and Method editor of the Drugs and Alcohol Group.
  • Hanna Bergman: Cochrane Response – consultant; WHO – grant/contract (Cochrane Response was commissioned by the WHO to perform review tasks that contribute to this publication).
  • Brian Buckley: none known.
  • Katrin Probyn: Cochrane Response – consultant; WHO – consultant (Cochrane Response was commissioned to perform review tasks that contribute to this publication).
  • Gemma Villanueva: Cochrane Response – employment (Cochrane Response has been commissioned by WHO to perform parts of this systematic review).
  • Nicholas Henschke: Cochrane Response – consultant; WHO – consultant (Cochrane Response was commissioned by the WHO to perform review tasks that contributed to this publication).
  • Hillary Bonnet: none known.
  • Rouba Assi: none known.
  • Sonia Menon: P95 – consultant.
  • Melanie Marti: no relevant interests; Medical Officer at WHO.
  • Declan Devane: Health Research Board (HRB) – grant/contract; registered nurse and registered midwife but no longer in clinical practice; Editor, Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group.
  • Patrick Mallon: AstraZeneca – Advisory Board; spoken of vaccine effectiveness to media (print, online, and live); works as a consultant in a hospital that provides vaccinations; employed by St Vincent’s University Hospital.
  • Jean‐Daniel Lelievre: no relevant interests; published numerous interviews in the national press on the subject of COVID vaccination; Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Immunology CHU Henri Mondor APHP, Créteil; WHO (IVRI‐AC): expert Vaccelarate (European project on COVID19 Vaccine): head of WP; involved with COVICOMPARE P et M Studies (APHP, INSERM) (public fundings).
  • Lisa Askie: no relevant interests; Co‐convenor, Cochrane Prospective Meta‐analysis Methods Group.
  • Tamara Kredo: no relevant interests; Medical Officer in an Infectious Diseases Clinic at Tygerberg Hospital, Stellenbosch University.
  • Gabriel Ferrand: none known.
  • Mauricia Davidson: none known.
  • Carolina Riveros: no relevant interests; works as an epidemiologist.
  • David Tovey: no relevant interests; Emeritus Editor in Chief, Feedback Editors for 2 Cochrane review groups.
  • Joerg J Meerpohl: no relevant interests; member of the German Standing Vaccination Committee (STIKO).
  • Giacomo Grasselli: Pfizer – speaking engagement.
  • Gabriel Rada: none known.
  • Asbjørn Hróbjartsson: no relevant interests; Cochrane Methodology Review Group Editor.
  • Philippe Ravaud: no relevant interests; involved with Mariette CORIMUNO‐19 Collaborative 2021, the Ministry of Health, Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique, Foundation for Medical Research, and AP‐HP Foundation.
  • Anna Chaimani: none known.
  • Isabelle Boutron: no relevant interests; member of Cochrane Editorial Board.


And as some might say this analysis is not new, here are two further papers just out:

Objectives To determine the association between covid-19 vaccination types and doses with adverse outcomes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection during the periods of delta (B.1.617.2) and omicron (B.1.1.529) variant predominance.

Design Retrospective cohort.

Setting US Veterans Affairs healthcare system.

Participants Adults (≥18 years) who are affiliated to Veterans Affairs with a first documented SARS-CoV-2 infection during the periods of delta (1 July-30 November 2021) or omicron (1 January-30 June 2022) variant predominance. The combined cohorts had a mean age of 59.4 (standard deviation 16.3) and 87% were male.

Interventions Covid-19 vaccination with mRNA vaccines (BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna)) and adenovirus vector vaccine (Ad26.COV2.S (Janssen/Johnson & Johnson)).

Main outcome measures Stay in hospital, intensive care unit admission, use of ventilation, and mortality measured 30 days after a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2.

Results In the delta period, 95 336 patients had infections with 47.6% having at least one vaccine dose, compared with 184 653 patients in the omicron period, with 72.6% vaccinated. After adjustment for patient demographic and clinical characteristics, in the delta period, two doses of the mRNA vaccines were associated with lower odds of hospital admission (adjusted odds ratio 0.41 (95% confidence interval 0.39 to 0.43)), intensive care unit admission (0.33 (0.31 to 0.36)), ventilation (0.27 (0.24 to 0.30)), and death (0.21 (0.19 to 0.23)), compared with no vaccination. In the omicron period, receipt of two mRNA doses were associated with lower odds of hospital admission (0.60 (0.57 to 0.63)), intensive care unit admission (0.57 (0.53 to 0.62)), ventilation (0.59 (0.51 to 0.67)), and death (0.43 (0.39 to 0.48)). Additionally, a third mRNA dose was associated with lower odds of all outcomes compared with two doses: hospital admission (0.65 (0.63 to 0.69)), intensive care unit admission (0.65 (0.59 to 0.70)), ventilation (0.70 (0.61 to 0.80)), and death (0.51 (0.46 to 0.57)). The Ad26.COV2.S vaccination was associated with better outcomes relative to no vaccination, but higher odds of hospital stay and intensive care unit admission than with two mRNA doses. BNT162b2 was generally associated with worse outcomes than mRNA-1273 (adjusted odds ratios between 0.97 and 1.42).

Conclusions In veterans with recent healthcare use and high occurrence of multimorbidity, vaccination was robustly associated with lower odds of 30 day morbidity and mortality compared with no vaccination among patients infected with covid-19. The vaccination type and number of doses had a significant association with outcomes.

SECOND EXAMPLE Long COVID, or complications arising from COVID-19 weeks after infection, has become a central concern for public health experts. The United States National Institutes of Health founded the RECOVER initiative to better understand long COVID. We used electronic health records available through the National COVID Cohort Collaborative to characterize the association between SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and long COVID diagnosis. Among patients with a COVID-19 infection between August 1, 2021 and January 31, 2022, we defined two cohorts using distinct definitions of long COVID—a clinical diagnosis (n = 47,404) or a previously described computational phenotype (n = 198,514)—to compare unvaccinated individuals to those with a complete vaccine series prior to infection. Evidence of long COVID was monitored through June or July of 2022, depending on patients’ data availability. We found that vaccination was consistently associated with lower odds and rates of long COVID clinical diagnosis and high-confidence computationally derived diagnosis after adjusting for sex, demographics, and medical history.


There are, of course, many more articles on the subject for anyone keen to see the evidence. Sadly, I have little hope that the COVID loons will be convinced by any of them. Yet, I thought I should give it nevertheless a try.

18 Responses to Are COVID vaccinations ineffective and dangerous?

  • It is, therefore, time, I feel, to present them with some solid evidence on the subject (even though it means departing from our usual focus on SCAM)

    I would argue that COVID misinformation and disinformation is very much a part of the SCAM universe. It’s just that COVID SCAM puts a stronger emphasis on painting a negative picture of regular healthcare as compared to the purported positive aspects of the rest of SCAM. But apart from that, there are rather more similarities than differences:
    – Vaccines are demonized using all the usual, age-old SCAM propaganda tropes that they are ineffective, dangerous, untested, unnecessary, and only benefit Big Pharma’s deep pockets.
    – Regular, effective medicine including vaccines and other forms of prevention and treatment is relentlessly attacked, while proven ineffective ‘alternative’ treatments (hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin) are heavily promoted.
    – The majority of vocal COVID SCAMmers are people without any credentials or competence in medicine or science. This includes many traditional SCAMmers such as naturopaths, homeopaths, chiropractors and heilpraktiker, who have joined the COVID SCAM bandwagon in order to attract more customers and promote their particular type of SCAM.
    – The handful of COVID SCAMmers who do have legitimate medical/scientific credentials have shown to have gone into full SCAM crank mode, and/or have been caught falsifying research in order to keep defending their disinformation.
    – And last but not least: like all SCAMmers and their proponents, a COVID SCAMmer will never ever admit to being wrong, even when confronted with extremely strong evidence to that extent.

    As for this list of conflicts of interest: it would be interesting to draw up a list of the most prolific COVID SCAMmers and examine their conflicts of interest as well as their credentials. As David Gorski recently showed, many COVID SCAMmers have found a found a way to monetize their disinformation in no small way: a simple calculation shows that attracting a following of just a thousand subscribers at $5 per month brings in $60,000 annually – a sum that is not to be sneezed at, and certainly exceeds the dubious industry sponsoring in regular medicine, which is mostly limited to a couple of thousand here and a couple of thousand there.

    The really nefarious thing here is that once someone has gathered a lucrative following by spreading COVID disinformation this way, they are highly incentivised to keep producing COVID disinformation in order to maintain this source of income. And this disinformation also tends to get more extreme over time – because just repeating the same old message will also cause subscribers to leave – for other channels that still produce their favoured content …

  • Then,
    Why the immunity from prosecution?
    Why the mandates and the bribes?
    Why the censorship?

    This is why folks are put off, especially by the back-peddling “Oh, we never tested them for transmission (laugh)…” as if that was self-evident and anyone who did not know that already was an idiot, despite the MSM saying the opposite, night after night, month after month “The vaccines stop transmission!” two years ago.

    • “This is why folks are put off”
      No, this is the suff around which loons build conspiracy theories.

      • “Brussels: A senior executive of pharmaceutical major Pfizer has made a shocking admission that the company had no information whether its Covid-19 vaccine prevented transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus when it started to release the jabs.”
        “The Dutch MEP later referred to the Pfizer executive’s admission as “Scandalous”.
        “A claim that a Pfizer spokeswoman “admitted” that the company’s COVID-19 vaccine was “never tested on preventing transmission” is not quite right, CheckMate has found.
        In a video viewed close to 13 million times on Twitter alone, Rob Roos, a Dutch member of the European Parliament, alleges that a Pfizer director “admitted” that “at the time of introduction, the vaccine had never been tested on stopping the transmission of the virus”.

        And do you know why they didn’t know if the jab prevented transmission ? …. because they SAID that they never tested for it. However, they implied that they did.

        Please don’t resort to the lies that defend Pfizer, and the world authorities DID insist that the covid-19 vaccines would prevent transmission. That is a straight-up lie. They are all back peddling on that now, we all know what we were told. We were told we would kill grandma if we did not take the jab.

        Oh there is a conspiracy, yes.

        • I don’t want to discuss your conspiracies here; let’s discuss the evidence that I have posted.

        • RG, OB & other pro-disease flat-earther stooges,

          I never thought I’d say this, but you guys were right all along. The mainstream media in cahoots with big pharma is brainwashing everyone into thinking that vaccines are safe the earth is not flat. Only a few brave folks have the courage to expose the truth:

          In an interview with David Weiss (AKA “Flat Earth Dave”) and Matt Long on her “Jesus, Guns, and Babies” podcast, Taylor and her guests discussed biblical “evidence” that the Earth is actually flat as a pancake. “The people that defend the globe don’t know anything about the globe,” said Weiss. “If they knew a tenth of what Matt and I know about the globe they would be Flat Earthers.”
          “All the globes, everywhere” Taylor said later in the discussion. “I turn on the TV, there’s globes in the background … Everywhere there’s globes. You see them all the time, it’s constant. My children will be like ‘Mama, globe, globe, globe, globe’ — they’re everywhere.”
          “That’s what they do, to brainwash,” she added. “For me if it’s not a conspiracy. If it is real, why are you pushing so hard everywhere I go? Every store, you buy a globe, there’s globes everywhere. Every movie, every TV show, news media — why? More and more I’m like, it doesn’t make sense.”

          They are right, if vaccines are safe earth is not flat then why push hard that message? Why resort to brainwashing the masses into thinking that earth is a globe, not a pancake? Why deny folks their pancakes? Let them eat pancakes!!!

    • @Old Bob
      Thank you for once again regurgitating some of the many lies from the COVID SCAM world:
      – No-one is immune from prosecution.
      – Vaccine mandates can be necessary to protect people from getting seriously ill and dying – especially when pro-death people are spreading lies that those vaccines are dangerous, unnecessary etcetera.
      – There are no bribes.
      – There is no censorship. Correcting and debunking lies such as the ones you are routinely spreading is NOT censorship. And if private media channels such as YouTube choose not to help spread those lies from their users, then that is not censorship either.
      – There was no back-pedalling. Testing of a new vaccine never includes transmission(*), just its efficacy in preventing (serious) disease and death, and of course its safety. Transmission prevention can only be assessed after an epidemic or pandemic has already infected a significant proportion of a large population, which necessarily must include large numbers of vaccinated people as well.

      *: It is however a valid assumption that a vaccine that prevents people from getting seriously ill also prevents transmission, simply because those vaccinated people, even when they get infected, are far less prolific sources of the virus than unvaccinated people.
      And yes, it later turned out that COVID vaccines indeed helped to prevent transmission. Many people in higher-risk groups who didn’t get vaccinated themselves are still alive today because people around them did get vaccinated.
      The real idiots here are anti-vaccine propagandists and conspiracy believers such as you and RG who keep going on about this long-debunked piece of disinformation.

      Anyway, this will be my only response to your lies here, as I know that any reply from you will consist of just repeating these lies while dragging in even more lies.

  • Ahhhh, “Covid Loons” another silly expression that has no legal, scientific, or medical definition Edzard! I’m surprised you continue to tout these meaningless slogans. As usual, the truth can be found somewhere between two sets of extreme opinions. Governments have insisted that anti-covid drugs (aka vaccines) are ‘SAFE’. However, the literal meaning of SAFE is being free and protected from the risk of harm …
    But that is not the case Edzard. Just one example below (one of many I could list) shows that these so called vaccines are not safe for everyone. Even official Government reporting pages have published numerous serious side effects experienced immediately after subjects have been impregnated with a cocktail of synthetic chemicals (so called Covid ‘vaccines’).
    For your perusal:

    • “the truth can be found somewhere between two sets of extreme opinions”
      between the evidence I have shown in my post and the conspiracy theories?
      you really believe that?
      btw, I am not aware of a government statement claiming vaccines are free of risk; the terms ‘safe’ is used to indicate that harm is minimal compared to the benefits.

    • ““Covid Loons” another silly expression that has no legal, scientific, or medical definition”
      I did not say it had a definition.
      However, I find it an apt description for someone who vis a vis overwhelming evidence continues to deny the truth.

    • “the truth can be found somewhere between two sets of extreme opinions”

      Somewhere between two sets of extreme opinions is another silly expression that has no legal, scientific, or medical definition, ‘Mike Grant’! I’m surprised you continue to tout these meaningless slogans.

  • You’re right not to expect evidence to convince the doubters. Part of the problem I suspect is that the evidence requires some effort to understand – not least a degree of numeracy which many lack. Anecdotes such as “x had the vaccine and had bad flu symptoms for a week while y didn’t, had Covid and had only mild flu for 2 days”.

    This may be true, x and y are people you know so you can vouch for them. It’s also irrelevant but for many anecdote trumps evidence every time even if they are not in other respects conspiracy theorists.

  • In my experience anti-vaxxer very often belong to a group – including some physicians- that viruses do not exist, if they exist they have no proven harm to humans.
    Many of them have signed the virus-myth page, to declare that HIV does not exist. And some of them are homeopaths.
    Confusion can be manyfold.

    Here is the link, including a list of AIDS deniers. Dr. Christion Fiala an Austrian gynecologist is still a member of the board.

  • And of course, I forgot to mention, they assiduously avoided doing any autopsies on those dying shortly after being Covid vaxxed.

    • @stan

      … they assiduously avoided doing any autopsies on those dying …

      Well yes, of course. It turns out that autopsies are best performed slightly later, when people are dead, not when they’re dying.

  • I am tired of comments quoting COVID conspiracies and thus stopped posting them. So, COVID loons: you might as well not bother.

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