Fact checking this morning’s the Ministry of Health press conference
This morning Dr Ashley Bloomfield hosted a press conference and explained how the government felt vaccination rates will affect outcomes. We fact check remarks:
1) Dr. Bloomfield says that vaccination confers immunity on household members and reduces the chance of transmission
Ambiguous support, The initial reduction in transmission is minor. At first the vaccine provides some protection against transmission. BUT a huge Swedish study cited by Bloomfield actually concludes that the protection conferred by vaccination declines rapidly. There is a lot of data from many studies on this.
Interpretation: Vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic Covid-19 infection wanes progressively over time across all subgroups, but at different rates according to type of vaccine, and faster for men and older frail individuals. The effectiveness against severe illness seems to remain relatively high through 9 months, although not for men, older frail individuals, and individuals with comorbidities.
2) Dr. Bloomfield says that the risk of hospitalisation and death is reduced by vaccination.
True, BUT in the long term protection from vaccination wears off as above, especially for some groups. Vaccinated individuals with comorbidities remain most at risk whether they are vaccinated or not. UK data is ambiguous and it remains the case that Europe with its high vaccination rates, is currently experiencing a rising fourth wave of covid.
3) Professor Nikki Turner says “The side effect profile has been clearly delineated.”
False. Adverse reaction reporting is not mandatory in New Zealand and elsewhere. Whistleblowers in the USA from within the VAERS system have said adverse effects are grossly under reported. Reports within NZ and overseas indicate that many doctors are dismissing adverse reactions without reporting them. No long term testing of vaccine adverse effects has been completed. The public has been given a completely false impression of vaccine safety.
4) Dr Bloomfield says that “vaccination of the under 12s would be a really good opportunity to protect our children”
False. The UK medical advisory committee on vaccination recommended against vaccinating 5-12 year olds, the risks of serious illness are negligible, but the risks of serious adverse reactions to vaccination are relatively high, especially for males. The ongoing studies in the USA cited by Bloomfield are very short and small, and crucially incomplete. According to safety standards previously used for childhood vaccinations, studies are liable to remain incomplete for a long time.
5) Professor Nikki Turner says “from the more recent data over 50 percent still have symptoms up to six months later.”
False A study published in the Lancet shows that in a down under setting 80% of those infected recovered within a month, but only about 5% continued to experience symptoms 3 months later.