Statistical Shenanigans?

The manufacturers of Covid-19 vaccines say they are 95% effective. Peter Doshi re-examined the evidence and estimates they are only 19-29% effective. This pre-print of an as-yet unpublished re-analysis raises many questions but doesn’t support the claims being made on antivaccine sites. A correspondent asked for my opinion about a study that he said has been appearing

Do Covid-19 Vaccines Affect Fertility?

Fears of future infertility are keeping some parents from vaccinating their children for COVID-19. These fears are not supported by any evidence. A friend told me he had encountered a man who was fully vaccinated. This man says his whole family is vaccinated except his young 7-year-old daughter. He says he’s worried about the effect

Should I Get a Second Booster?

In China, COVID-19 vaccination is required for everyone and sometimes force and coercion are used. In the United States, vaccines are never required. No one is forced to get vaccinated, although consequences have been imposed; for instance, the unvaccinated have been refused employment for certain jobs and not allowed to attend public schools. The CDC makes recommendations,

Deciding Which Risks to Take

No medical treatment is risk-free. Paul Offit’s new book covers the history of innovations that went awry and advises how to balance the risks of new medical innovations with the risk of not treating. It is always risky to use a new treatment before all the evidence is in, but it’s also risky to let

The World’s Most Deadly Animal

Animals can be hazardous to human health. When asked to name the most dangerous animal, many people will give the wrong answer. Sharks have captured the attention of the public, and other animals that kill people may come to mind, like black widow spiders, rabid dogs, and venomous snakes. And don’t forget the human animal:

Get Your Flu Shot!

COVID-19 vaccines are important, but so are flu shots. They are safe, effective, and protect others (the elderly, the immunocompromised, and those too young to get the vaccine). While we are rightfully preoccupied with COVID-19 and the new vaccines, we mustn’t forget about flu shots. While the number of influenza cases has dropped dramatically (probably

Science Goes Viral

Joe Schwarcz has done it again! His new book is not only packed with good science-based information, but is highly entertaining. Joe Schwarcz’s prolific output continues. His latest book is Science Goes Viral. It’s not actually out yet (I read an advance copy) but can be pre-ordered on the Amazon website. As usual, it offers a cornucopia of

Quienes niegan las vacunas no son estúpidos

[This article is also available in English. Thanks to Pensar for the Spanish translation.] Ahora tenemos varias vacunas para el COVID-19. Han sido probadas adecuadamente. Son seguras y eficaces; y a medida que más personas se han vacunado, las tasas de infección, de hospitalización y de mortalidad han disminuido. La inmunidad colectiva puede estar a

Hepatitis C Vaccine Fails Testing

A vaccine regimen intended to prevent chronic HCV infection was tested in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. It failed. The incidence of chronic HCV infection was the same in the vaccinated group as in the placebo group. Hepatitis C is a virus that has infected millions of people worldwide. In 75-85% of cases, the infection becomes

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