A woman who was interviewed on the news explained why she refuses to accept a vaccine for COVID-19: “I don’t know what’s in it.” At first glance, that sounds like a very reasonable stance. Surely it is foolish to ingest or inject something when you don’t know what you’re getting.… read more "I Don’t Know What’s in It."
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 This pre-print of an as-yet unpublished re-analysis raises many questions but doesn’t support the claims being made on antivaccine sites.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… read more "Statistical Shenanigans?"
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… read more "Do Covid-19 Vaccines Affect Fertility?"
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… read more "Should I Get a Second Booster?"
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… read more "Deciding Which Risks to Take"
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… read more "The World’s Most Deadly Animal"
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… read more "Get Your Flu Shot!"
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,… read more "Science Goes Viral"
[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… read more "Quienes niegan las vacunas no son estúpidos"
[Este artículo está disponible en español. La traducción al español apareció por primera vez en la revista Pensar.] We now have several vaccines for COVID-19. They have been adequately tested. They are safe and effective; and as more people have gotten vaccinated, infection rates, hospitalization rates, and death rates have… read more "Vaccine Refusers Are Not Stupid"