A recent and massive review has demonstrated the effectiveness of some vaccinations: those against Sars-cov-2 have been subject to scrutiny in terms of clinical trials never seen for any treatment previously
Three hundred and two pages. This is the dimension of a very recent review published by the Cochrane Collaboration, the most prestigious and most independent medical organization dedicated to analyzing data on the efficacy and safety of drugs and medical treatments. The review is dedicated, coincidentally, the efficacy and safety of the vaccines developed so far against Sars-cov-2a review conducted starting from 41 clinical trials involving 433,838 people and 12 different types of vaccine.
Let’s start by examining the main results of this monumental work, before making some considerations. First of all, the conclusions summarized by the authors: “Compared to placebo, most vaccines reduce, or probably reduce, the percentage of participants with confirmed symptomatic Covid-19 and, for some, there is evidence with a high degree of certainty about the ability to reduce severe or critical illness. There is likely to be little or no difference between most vaccines and placebo in serious adverse events. Over 300 registered randomized clinical trials are evaluating the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines.
Words, when used in this context, matter a great deal: the data we have, Cochrane tells us, are all in favor of vaccination, for some vaccines (i.e. the first to be developed) so favorable as to reach very high levels of statistical certainty. Specifically as regards safety, according to the data we have, the most probable conclusion is that they do not induce more serious effects than vaccines; moreover, it should be incidentally remembered that, for the less serious effects, a wonderful article has just been published demonstrating the nocebo effect in those vaccinated against Covid-19 who are more fearful of adverse effects, thereby helping to explain any excesses of non-serious adverse events in the vaccinated.
Recalling that clinical trials exclude or have excluded previously infected individuals, pregnant women, immunocompromised individuals, and other particular segments of the population, the review authors rightly caution that the conclusions they reach do not apply to these individuals; however, this void has already been filled at least in part by ad hoc studies, which, not being randomized clinical trials of efficacy, are obviously not part of the analysis under discussion. Example of such studies excluded is the one documented on Lancet, which concerns pregnant women; the reason in this case is even simpler, because this study, in addition to not being included due to experimental design, was published after November 2021, the date on which the data considered are updated.
The time frame indicated, of course, represents a fundamental limitation as regards the evaluation of the current efficacy of vaccines – Omicron and all its subvariants have in fact spread widely throughout the world only after 2021 – but certainly not as regards their safety.
Therefore, I would like to focus on this point in particular, leaving aside the evaluation of efficacy, which has already been widely discussed on the basis of more recent data.
The damage caused by the vaccine and the “billions of possible deaths” that crowds of aggressive and uninformed commentators flaunt to scare people and to demonstrate an alleged machination against global health, come out again, and I would say even more profoundly, denied by this new, powerful analytical work. Vaccines against sars-cov-2, and particularly the most used ones, have been subject to scrutiny in terms of clinical trials, subjects involved in trials, analytical work of all kinds, like no other treatment before. They are therefore the products whose safety, and limits, have now been more thoroughly investigated: we know what the possible side effects are, even the very serious ones, and we know that those effects are too uncommon, compared to the damages that are prevented downstream of the infection. And be careful: sooner or later we will all be infected, especially the unvaccinated. The bill, then, is simple, and the safety data emerging from this review should clearly indicate which is preferable, virus or vaccine, in terms of potential adverse effects.
So the lies that we see published every day in the headlines of certain newspapers, headlines made specifically to play mirror with social forums and whip up the smoke of conspiracyist anger and protest, are once again revealed for what they are: insubstantial rhetorical devices, used by those who ride fear to obtain consensus, only to be knocked down by the polls with few votes that disappoint certain electoral ambitions and show in one the inconsistency of lies and that of the number of their supporters.