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We are all concerned for family, friends, community and Humanity as a whole in the COVID-19 Pandemic especially as the much more infectious Delta strain has become dominant. However many of us will be frustrated by family members and friends who variously are vaccine hesitant, anti-vaxxer (anti-vaccination), accept bizarre conspiracy theories, and reject expert medical advice. Set out below are examples of some quantitative arguments to make such friends see reason and act accordingly.

The facts of the matter as presented by medical experts are that the world is presently severely impacted health- and economy-wise by a COVID-19 Pandemic caused by the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus. Highly-specific PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction)-based testing  has so far (28 July 2021) detected 196.0 million COVID-19 cases of which 4.2 million have died and 177.7 million have recovered [1]. Spread of the disease has been very effectively curtailed in some countries, notably China (population  1,439.3 million) and New Zealand (population 5.0 million) that have achieved “COVID-19 deaths per million of population” ratios of 3 and 5, respectively, as compared to  536.5 for the World (population 7,795.0 million). The successful measures adopted include strict border controls, PCR testing, contact tracing, quarantine of positive cases and contacts, hand sanitizing, masks, stay-at-home Lockdown, closing schools, curfew, strict social distancing, and punishment for non-compliance. The expert epidemiologists  inform us that a return to “normal” (and hence a normal economy) will require mass vaccination to achieve “herd immunity” coupled with continuing good hygiene, better treatment protocols and non-vaccine therapeutics.

However there has been considerable resistance to measures for combatting  the COVID-19 Pandemic, most notably in the libertarian US and in particular from former president Trump and his numerous Trumpist supporters, most of whom fervently and bizarrely support nuclear weapons, US militarism,  deadly gun ownership, anti-science  religious beliefs, American and Apartheid Israeli exceptionalism, extreme neoliberalism, and effective de facto socio-economic Apartheid in the US and elsewhere.  Despite 7 months of rationality under President Biden, the US (population 333.1 million) has so far suffered 627,351 COVID-19 deaths and a “COVID-19 deaths per million of population” ratio of 1,883 for the US  (per capita GDP $63,544 ) as compared to 3 for China (per capita GDP $10,500) [2] i.e. an estimated (1,882-3) x 100/1,882 = 99.8% of US COVID-19 deaths have been preventable. However the killing-through-contrarianism continues, and presently as outlined below, about 99% of COVID-19 deaths in the US are of unvaccinated people.

Without wishing to give oxygen  to such  deadly contrarianism, it is useful to summarize the anti-science positions variously adopted by Trumpists, Trumpist-like people and many fervent  contrarian libertarians in general. Thus COVID-19 is dismissed as “just a flu” (as espoused by Trump); COVID-19 deaths and related statistics are dismissed as rigged or inaccurate; PCR testing is criticized as flawed; mass vaccination is variously opposed as ineffective, deadly or as a plot by multi-billionaires to further enrich themselves, spy on us, control and depopulate the world; an overwhelming proportion of  expert scientists are variously dismissed as fools, frauds, liars, and traitors (with official statistics being accordingly dismissed on that account); masks are dismissed as ineffective and indeed dangerous; Lockdowns, curfews, border controls, compulsory hygiene measures, punishment for non-compliance, and science-informed public education  are dismissed as authoritarian attacks on precious liberties; and instead of learning from China’s success in dealing with COVID-19, China is dangerously accused of deliberately causing the COVID-19 Pandemic…

It gets worse. Thus one notes that science is intrinsically sceptical  and is about critically testing potentially falsifiable hypotheses. However over-the-top anti-science contrarianism gets massive Mainstream Media (MSM) coverage (it sells newspapers or on-line advertisements) and creates a climate of massive  “manufactured dissent” in which some scientists  (typically very reticent anyway) are constrained from legitimate public discussion about measures and therapeutics for fear of being reputationally tarnished by the anti-science contrarian brush. Professors Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in their seminal book “Manufacturing Consent. The Political Economy of the Mass Media” (1988) described US MSM acting as mendacious agents of US governments in massively fooling the people about US crimes. The MSM, notably the Murdoch media, spread climate change denialism in the interests of powerful fossil fuel climate criminals and terracidal  neoliberalism. However there is a similar dichotomy between “private wealth” and “public health” in the  COVID-19 Pandemic, and now we have the Rightist and Trumpist MSM “manufacturing dissent” in the “economy” versus “health” debate  by giving oxygen to anti-science  contrarianism.

With that background, set out below are a selection of quantitative quotations and arguments that one hopes might convert our contrarian friends to seeing the light and getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

(A). Vaccination saves lives and nearly all COVID-19 deaths in US are now of the unvaccinated.

(1). US immunology experts Rodney E. Rohde (Professor of Clinical Laboratory Science, Texas State University) and Ryan McNamara (Research Associate of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) re 99.5% of US people presently dying from COVID-19 are unvaccinated (July 2021): “99.5% of all the people dying from COVID-19 in the U.S. are unvaccinated…As of mid-July 2021, the U.S. has fully vaccinated more than 160 million people – just under 50% of the population – against COVID-19. Despite a surplus of available vaccines, in recent weeks the rate of vaccination has slowed substantially. In early April, health workers administered roughly 4 million new vaccines daily. Today, that number is about 450,000 doses a day… On July 16, 2021, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky revealed that 99.5% of recent U.S. deaths from COVID-19 were of unvaccinated people. “Those deaths were preventable with a simple, safe shot,” she said. In early July, Fauci said that 99.2% of people who died recently were unvaccinated. In the state of Maryland, every patient who died from COVID-19 in June was unvaccinated. In her July 16 statement, Walensky also said that 97% of current COVID-19 hospitalizations are of unvaccinated people. An earlier analysis done by The Associated Press found that 98.9% of all hospitalized COVID-19 patients in May were unvaccinated. The director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services recently stated that all new hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Los Angeles were unvaccinated” [3].

(2). Carla K. Johnson and  Mike Stobbe of  Associated Press on 99.5% of all the people dying from COVID-19 in the U.S. are unvaccinated (June 2021): “Nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now are in people who weren’t vaccinated, a staggering demonstration of how effective the shots have been and an indication that deaths per day — now down to under 300 — could be practically zero if everyone eligible got the vaccine…An Associated Press analysis of available government data from May shows that “breakthrough” infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 of more than 107,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s about 1.1%. And only about 150 of the more than 18,000 COVID-19 deaths in May were in fully vaccinated people. That translates to about 0.8%, or five deaths per day on average… Andy Slavitt, a former adviser to the Biden administration on COVID-19, suggested that 98% to 99% of the Americans dying of the coronavirus are unvaccinated. And CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on Tuesday that the vaccine is so effective that “nearly every death, especially among adults, due to COVID-19, is, at this point, entirely preventable.”… About 63% of all vaccine-eligible Americans — those 12 and older — have received at least one dose, and 53% are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC… Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, said modeling suggests the nation will hit 1,000 deaths per day again next year [365,000 per year]” [4].

(3). UK BBC reports that 92% of Covid-19 cases  in February-June 2021 in the UK were not fully vaccinated (July 2021): “The latest Public Health England (PHE) figures show there were 92,029 confirmed Delta cases between 1 February and 22 June, most of which were identified in June. Of these, 58% were in completely unvaccinated people and only 8% were fully vaccinated. For context, by the start of June more than half of adults in the UK were fully vaccinated” [5].

(4). Dr Anthony Fauci (US CDC) on the highly contagious and now dominant Delta variant and vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization and death (July 2021): “Global prevalence of SARS-Cov-2 Delta variant, 7-day rolling average –  1 January 2021: 0%, 1 March 2021: 0%, 1 April 2021: 2%, 10 July 95%; Number of COVID-19  patients in the hospital, Israel [Israel leads the world in COVID-19  vaccination)] – 17 January  2021:  2,387,   15 July 2021: 100; Number of COVID-19  patients in the hospital, UK [massive vaccination] – 18 January 2021:  39,254,  13  July 2021: 3,615; >14,000 symptomatic COVID-19 cases with Delta variant (England, April-June 2021);  Vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization with Delta variant (England): Pfizer 96%, Astra-Zeneca 92% ; 99.5% of all the people dying from COVID-19 in the U.S. are unvaccinated” [6].

(B). Risk of blood clots and death from vaccination.

According to the Australian Health Department (June 2021),  a link has been established between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a very rare but serious side effect called thrombosis in combination with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS): “TTS risk per 100,000 first doses: <50 years 3.1; 50-59 years 2.7; 60-69 years 1.4; 70-79 years 1.8; 80+ years 1.9” [7]. Death of those with TTS is  about 10% with good treatment, so risk of TTS death with Astra-Zeneca is about 2 per million (roughly the annual probability of dying from bee sting). In Australia, the overall case fatality rate for TTS  in Australia is very low (3%; 2 deaths among 60 cases) [7]. 95% of US COVID-19  deaths are of people 50 and older (similar in Australia and other  countries).

The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on very low deaths definitely linked to COVID-19 vaccination  (July 2021): “Since the beginning of the vaccine rollout to 27 June 2021, there have been over 7.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered. The TGA has received and reviewed 335 reports of deaths in people who have recently been vaccinated and found that two were definitely linked to vaccination. These were both TTS cases related to the AstraZeneca vaccine…  As of 27 June 2021 reporting rate per 1,000 doses 4.6; total adverse events reports (AEFI reports) 33,807; total doses administered 7,374,666” [8].

(C). Vaccination in relation to protecting others as well as oneself.  

“Herd immunity” is achieved with  about 80-90% vaccination. Dr Fauci of the US CDC says that virus transmission from a vaccinated person is  less likely than from a non-vaccinated person (who has much more virus). According to a study in China discussed in Nature the ultra-fast spread of the Delta coronavirus variant is because viral load is roughly 1,000 times higher in people infected with the Delta variant than in those infected with the original coronavirus strain [9].

(D). Relative death risk from vaccine hesitancy- and anti-vaxxer-induced non-vaccination versus that from COVID-19 vaccination.

Anti-vaxxer and Trumpist propaganda about asserted dangers of vaccination range from minimizing the seriousness of COVID-19 (e.g. Trump’s ”just another flu”)  and assertions of huge numbers of unreported  deadly post-vaccination adverse events to asserted civil liberties constraints and “conspiracy theories” about multi-billionaires plotting to control and depopulate the world. Now I readily concede that governments lie, that Big Money has huge political influence in our typical Western Corporatocracies, and that One Percenters have the power and motivation to try to preserve their obscenely disproportionate ownership of 50% of the world’s wealth. Indeed during the COVID-19 Pandemic the  richer have got richer and the poor have got poorer. However as set out below, the risk of death from  vaccine hesitancy- or anti-vaxxer-induced non-vaccination can be vastly greater than the risk of death from COVID-19 vaccination.

Australia. As of 28 July 2021, Australia has a population of 25.8 million and has had 33,474 cases of whom 921 (2.8%) have died (36 deaths per million of population). However most of these deaths were due to the disastrous outbreak in Victoria in 2020 in which the virus got away (and tragically so in Federal Government-administered for-profit private Aged Care homes) before being eliminated by strong Lockdown measures applied over several months. Unfortunately, Australia has so far had relatively low vaccination due to the incompetence of the neoliberal Morrison Coalition Government. Australia’s sister country New Zealand (population 5.0 million) has had 2,864 cases and 26 deaths (0.91% of detected cases, and 5 deaths per million of population). Expert analysts are gloomily prognosticating that thanks to anti-vaxxer misinformation and vaccine hesitancy perhaps 20% of Australians will refuse vaccination. There is presently general enthusiasm for  opening up Australia to the world once it achieves 80% full (2-dose) vaccination. That will accordingly leave 20% of the population (5.16 million Australians) unvaccinated and subject to infection by the now dominant  and very infectious Delta strain of the virus in  an unregulated, “business  as usual” society subject to regular viral explosions due to infected travellers from  countries rich and poor with rampant COVID-19.  One can accordingly arrive at an upper estimate of 5.16 million unvaccinated Australians eventually getting infected and of these 0.91% dying  (assuming  the New Zealand result) or an upper estimate (ignoring vaccination and herd immunity effects) of  47,000 Australians dying  from COVID-19 thanks to non-vaccination.

However  a more realistic  estimate comes from considering the now significantly fully vaccinated UK. As of 26-27 July 2021, in the UK (population 68.3 million) 54.4% of the population has been fully vaccinated and presently each day there are 24,855 new cases and 131 new deaths (0.53%) i.e. 0.53%  of new cases result in death [1, 5]. If , for the purposes of argument, we accept that this will eventually be the  approximate “new normal” for a substantially fully (2-dose) vaccinated Australia,  then we can estimate that 5.16 million x 0.0053 = 27,348 unvaccinated Australians will die from COVID-19.

If we accept the recent TGA finding that only 2 of the 335 deaths of recently vaccinated people (7,373,666) were  “definitely linked to vaccination” then  double-dose vaccination of all of the Australian  population would kill an upper limit of 2 x 2 x 25,800,000/7,374,666  =  14 Australians. One can conclude that Australian deaths from non-vaccination could be 27,348/14 = 1,953 times or about 2,000 times greater than deaths from adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccination of the whole population.

United Kingdom. If we assume that 20% of the UK population of 68.3 million will decline COVID-19 vaccination and that 0.53% of new cases result in death (see above,) then one can estimate that 0.0053 x 0.2 x 68.3 million = 72,398 more British will die from COVID-19. Using the estimate for Australia (population 25.8 million) of  14 deaths from adverse effects from double dosage vaccination then we could crudely estimate   14 x 68.3 million/ 25.8 million = 37 British  deaths from adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccination of the whole population. One can conclude that 72,398 future UK COVID-19 deaths of unvaccinated British  will be 72,398/37 = 1,957 or about 2,000 times greater than  deaths from adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccination of the whole UK population.

United States of America. US modeling has predicted US COVID-19 deaths reaching 1,000 per day or 365,000 annually in 2022 with 99% of the deaths being of unvaccinated Americans [4]. Calculations based on present COVID-19 cases and deaths are consonant with  this estimate. Thus, so far in the US there have been 35.353 million COVID-19 cases and 0.627 million deaths i.e. 1.8% of infected Americans have died overall. However in the present situation (27 July 2021)  61,581 daily cases are associated with 339 daily deaths i.e. at present 0.55% of infected Americans are dying (a 3.3-fold improvement  on the overall figure that we can reasonably attribute to mass vaccination). Assuming that 20% of Americans (66.2 million) still reject vaccination, that all of these unvaccinated Americans will eventually get COVID-19,  and that 0.55% will die from the infection, one can crudely estimate that  a further 0.0055 x 66,200,000 = 364,100 unvaccinated Americans will die from COVID-19 to give a total death toll of 627,379 (as of 28 July 2021)  + 364,100 = 991,479 or about 1 million COVID-19 deaths.

Using the estimate for Australia (population 25.8 million) of  14 deaths from adverse effects from double dosage vaccination then we could crudely estimate   14 x 331.1 million/ 25.8 million = 180 US deaths from adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccinations. One can conclude that 364,100 future US COVID-19 deaths of unvaccinated Americans will be 364,100/180 = 2,023 or about 2,000 times greater than  deaths from adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccination of the whole population.

Of course one must note that while 95% of COVID-19 deaths are of 50 and older people, lingering  effects of COVID-19  are experienced by a majority of infected people (including young people) and in a significant proportion the effects can be debilitating “long covid”. Nobel Prize-winning immunologist  Professor Peter Doherty has estimated that 97% of people now dying from COVID-19 are un-vaccinated,  and further states that “Those who are hesitant re being vaccinated against COVID-19 need to know that, while vaccinated people are more than 90% protected against hospitalization, they can still become infected & transmit. Once we open up, globally or locally, unvaccinated people will be at major risk” [10].

Final conclusions.

For Australia, the UK, and the US, the future COVID-19 deaths resulting from vaccine hesitancy- and anti-vaxxer-induced non-vaccination would be about 27,000, 72,000 and 364,000, respectively, and  in all 3 cases about 2,000 times greater than estimated deaths from adverse effects of complete COVID-19 vaccination of the respective populations.

Thus the science-ignoring claims of contrarian  “manufactured dissent” that COVID-19 vaccination is dangerous and deadly are refuted by the converse  reality that future COVID-19 deaths resulting from vaccine hesitancy- and anti-vaxxer-induced non-vaccination in the rich Anglosphere countries of Australia, the UK and the US are estimated to be 2,000 times greater than  deaths from adverse effects of complete COVID-19 vaccination.

It is a tragedy that science-ignoring, MSM-complicit  “manufactured dissent” has already had a deadly negative impact on application of measures to suppress the COVID-19 Pandemic,  and is set to kill more people through non-vaccination. While contrarian, libertarian  and anti-vaxxer propaganda variously continues to contribute to mass COVID-19 mortality, it ignores the real scandal that so many governments have failed to properly protect their populations by failing to apply the measures  so successfully applied by China and New Zealand.  Thus “COVID-19 deaths per million of population” is presently 3 (for China), 5 (New Zealand),  1,882 (the US) and 1,894 (the UK) [1]. Thus over 99% of COVID-19 deaths in the US and the UK were preventable even before vaccines became available

Further, about 95% of COVID-deaths  have been of people 50 and over. Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and other neoliberal leaders who have been responsible for this horrendous mass mortality through favoring “private profit” over “public health”  should be arraigned for Gerocide – the intentional killing of old people – before the International Criminal Court. Yet the Silence is Deafening through the lying by omission of  Mainstream “manufacturing consent” and Mainstream-complicit “manufacturing dissent”.

Presently about  99% of COVID-19 deaths in the US are of unvaccinated people and the predicted further death of about 0.4 million un-vaccinated  Americans is an appalling tragedy that is also being played out in other rich, neoliberal countries. The causative Western anti-science contrarianism  is a profoundly misplaced indulgence, and a  reprehensible insult to the poor countries of the Developing World which are seriously deficient in resources to tackle the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please inform everyone you can starting with your vaccine hesitant and anti-vaxxer friends.

References.

[1]. Worldometer, “COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic”: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/?utm_campaign=homeAdUOA?Si .

[2]. “List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita .

[3]. Rodney E. Rohde and Ryan McNamara, “US is split between the vaccinated and unvaccinated – and deaths and hospitalizations reflect this divide”, The Conversation, 22 July 2021: https://theconversation.com/us-is-split-between-the-vaccinated-and-unvaccinated-and-deaths-and-hospitalizations-reflect-this-divide-164460 .

[4]. Carla K. Johnson and  Mike Stobbe, “Nearly all COVID deaths in US are now among unvaccinated”, Associated Press, 30 June 2021: https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-941fcf43d9731c76c16e7354f5d5e187 .

[5]. Rachel Schraer, “Misleading stat claims more vaccinated people die”,  BBC, 1 July 2021: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-57610998 .

[6].  Dr Anthony Fauci, US CDC: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/COVID-Press-Briefing_16July2021_for-transcript.pdf .

[7]. Australian Health Department  https://www.health.gov.au/news/atagi-statement-on-revised-recommendations-on-the-use-of-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca-17-june-2021 .

[8]. Australian TGA: https://www.tga.gov.au/periodic/covid-19-vaccine-weekly-safety-report-01-07-2021 .

[9]. Nature, 2021:  https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01986-w?utm_source=Nature+Briefing&utm_campaign=136ae955ef-briefing-dy-20210723&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c9dfd39373-136ae955ef-44714333 .

[10]. Peter Doherty, Twitter, 22 July 2021: https://twitter.com/ProfPCDoherty/status/1418017087591645185 .

Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia over 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, notably a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds”. He has also published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” and “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History”. He has recently published “US-imposed Post-9-11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide” (2020)  and “Climate Crisis, Climate Genocide & Solutions” (2021). For images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/  .


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One Comment

  1. You can still catch and transmit Covid-19 while vaccinated.