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About that New Zealand Vax Safety Data

By March 2, 2024Commentary

There is a group of quacks and attention-seeking incompetents who use social media to promote whacked vax safety conspiracy nonsense.  They are incapable of even the most rudimentary statistical analysis and make stuff up with absolutely no evidence.  Ludicrous gibberish about excess deaths and DNA integration and millions of people dropping dead.  Meanwhile actual research on gold-standard data shows basically nothing.  One of the latest pieces of drivel from this crowd is on supposedly damning death data from New Zealand.  As usual there are people who can do a far better job than I in debunking this garbage.  William Briggs is a phenomenal, contrarian, statistician.  You can find him on Substack and he is worth following, as he skewers climate hysteria and other pseudo-scientific nonsense.

He wrote an excellent analysis of the New Zealand data that was released, showing just how sophomoric and puerile the vax safety nuts use of that data was.  The data gave mortality by vax status.  Briggs first points out, as I have multiple times, that there is lot of nonsense spewed about excess deaths which has not statistical or other validity.  New Zealand had a mild epidemic and interestingly, except in the various oldest age group, overall deaths don’t appear to have increased.  He also points out that the data does not allow us to track an individual as he or she goes from zero doses to one to two and so on.  There are other issues with how it is presented, including what I think is the most important one, and isn’t mentioned by Briggs, which is that we have no information about the CV-19 infection status of the same people.  Whatever impact the vax has on overall deaths, CV-19 has a far higher one and not including that information makes the whole exercise complete garbage.

As he notes, a big problem is the lack of population numbers for each age bucket, which makes doing rates impossible and that is the only thing worth comparing.  The absolute numbers, especially for the non-vaxed are meaningless, because the number of unvaxed people in New Zealand dropped to a very low level over time so of course there were few deaths.  He also notes that in the youngest age group overall deaths in the years of the epidemic were on a downtrend, there were basically no CV-19 deaths in this group and so that overall decline likely reflects behavior changes during the epidemic, like less driving.    (Briggs Post)

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