07/02/2023 lewrockwell.com  13 min 🇬🇧 #223700

Vaxxing Risks for the Elderly

By  Ron Unz

 The Unz Review

February 7, 2023

I've recently published several articles arguing that the national and international mortality statistics indicate that the widespread fears promoted by leading Covid anti-vaxxers seemed wildly exaggerated. Contrary to their claims, the data seemed to show little if any evidence that the mRNA vaccines had been responsible for any significant number of working-age deaths. Instead, most of the excess mortality across different countries was much more closely associated with health factors such as the national obesity rate.

I was pleasantly surprised by the reaction to my articles from the more moderate and rational vaccine-skeptics.  Podcaster Kevin Barrett suggested that I'd made a pretty strong case and a couple of Substack writers reacted rather favorably, while other individuals in that camp such as prominent libertarians Lew Rockwell and Tom Woods Tweeted out my pieces to their followers:

Vaxxing, Covid, and International Mortality Rates
By Ron Unz
Vaxxing, Covid, and International Mortality Rates

Many have declared that our alternative webzine features some of the most controversial content published anywhere on the Internet, notably including the explosive articles in my own lengthy American Pravda series.
Meanwhile, the global Covid epidemic has been the dominant issue of the last three years, generating more controversy than any other topic, at least prior to the outbreak...

Ron Unz reviews the evidence and concludes that the COVID shots couldn't have led to more than a trivial number of deaths. Where is his analysis wrong?
Obesity and the End of the Vaxxing Debate?, by Ron Unz - The Unz Review
Over the last couple of years, our alternative media website has been flooded by a vast number of zealous anti-vaxxers, promoting their fears of the Covid vaccines with tremendous energy and commitment.
On its face, such concerns with the Covid vaccination drive hardly seem unreasonable. The vaccines used in most Western countries have...

Age is the overwhelming factor determining the severity of Covid infections, with individuals over 60 having perhaps 100x the death rate of those under 40. Different countries often have sharply different age distributions and their mortality totals would be drastically influenced by this. Therefore, I sought to minimize this distortion by restricting my analysis to the 15-64 working-age population.

Also, since Covid death rates are relatively low in that age range, this allowed me to detect the possible "signal" of vaxxing deaths without having these swamped by Covid deaths. I concluded that working-age deaths due to Covid vaccinations had probably been negligible.

Many anti-vaxxers have claimed that there was an ongoing epidemic of vaxxing deaths in this age range and books published on this subject such as  "Cause Unknown" by Edward Dowd have attracted considerable attention. So my analysis directly refuted those widespread beliefs within the anti-vaxxer community.

However, some other prominent anti-vaxxers have taken a different position, with Alex Berenson focusing on elderly deaths due to vaxxing. He argued that by ignoring that age range my analysis was severely flawed.

A guy named Ron Unz has written a piece purporting to debunk the rise in all-cause mortality in the mRNA countries, focusing mainly on deaths of adults under 65 in France and a few other countries. The piece has gotten love from jab advocates, but it's wrong. Here's why.

Similarly, Steve Kirsch had contacted me just before my third article was released and we had spent an hour discussing my findings. He seemed very surprised by my mortality statistics both for the US and other countries, and said he would carefully digest the data and then consider producing a detailed response to my analysis. He hasn't yet done so, but the day after my article appeared, a couple of his Tweets emphasized that the elderly were actually the greatest victims of vaxxing.

This is why it is impossible to find ANY success stories in retirement communities.

These sorts of objections seemed perfectly valid. Major Covid outbreaks have often produced high mortality rates for the elderly, and this obviously makes it difficult to determine how many of the subsequent fatalities should be attributed to the lingering consequences of Covid infections and how many to the side-effects of the accompanying vaccination drives.

This is especially true with regard to cardiovascular problems such as fatal heart attacks and strokes since research studies have pointed to both  Covid infections and  mRNA vaccinations as possible culprits. The large rise in such American fatalities came in 2020, before the vaxxing began, but an unknown fraction of the later deaths in 2021 and 2022 might have actually been due to the vaccines.

Although it seems unlikely that any significant number of working-age deaths have been due to vaxxing, the overwhelming majority of excess mortality over the last three years has been concentrated among the elderly, and it would be helpful to get some sense of whether or not the vaccines have played a substantial negative role in that global calamity.

Complex and confusing datasets are sometime best explored by focusing on extreme cases. Japan's age distribution is an considerable outlier among major countries, with an unusually large fraction of its population being elderly.  According to the World Bank, a full 30% of all Japanese are 65 or older, compared to just 24% in second-ranking Italy or 17% in the US or South Korea. So despite Japan's lack of obesity, we might expect it to have had one of the world's highest excess mortality rates over the last three years.

I came across a recent article suggesting that a huge wave of recent Japanese deaths had probably been caused by the country's exceptionally heavy mRNA vaccination program.

That article had emphasized that Japan's Covid vaccination campaign was one of the heaviest in the world, with its elderly population being "vaxxed-to-the-max" and this was hardly an exaggeration. According to one of the charts, the total per capita rate of Covid vaccine injections was nearly twice that of the very heavily vaxxed European countries, with the ratio being much higher compared to the relatively unvaxxed United States:

Thus, Japan seems an ideal test case for the hypothesis that Covid mRNA vaxxing is a deadly threat to the elderly: the country with the highest fraction of elderly also seems to have the world's most extreme Covid vaxxing program.

My recent articles had relied upon the mortality statistics conveniently provided on the  HMD website, but for some reason the Japanese data is not included there. Fortunately, the Economist provides  a webpage displaying the excess mortality rates for Japan and nearly all the other countries in the world, and it also shows those deaths relative to the size of the 65+ population. I've compiled these figures into a convenient table that includes Japan, most of the larger European countries, the US, Canada, and South Korea, while also throwing in Indonesia and South Africa as more typical Third World countries. The entries are listed in descending order of the relative share of their elderly populations.

The results are striking. Although we would have expected very elderly Japan to have the highest excess death rates, instead it has among the lowest, only rivaled by Canada and South Korea. The US population is far more youthful and also much less heavily vaxxed, but our excess death rate is roughly three times larger, and the same is true for Italy, also younger and less heavily vaxxed than Japan.

Furthermore, the last column is probably the most important and displays excess deaths per 100K of the vulnerable, 65+ population. Japan's results are absolutely outstanding, far better than those of any other country shown. Relative to the size of its elderly population, deaths have been 80% below than those in the US and 70% lower than Britain's. We cannot ignore that these exceptionally good results were achieved in conjunction with what was probably the world's most aggressive mRNA Covid vaccination campaign.

What about the article mentioned above that had indicated a very different situation? The analysis suggested that vaxxing and boosting had actually been responsible for a sharp rise in Japanese Covid deaths and included a chart that seemed to support this conclusion, showing that mortality rates had recently increased despite the very heavy vaxxing.

However, according to  the Worldometers website, Japan's strong public health measures had successfully prevented any significant number of Covid infections until early 2022. Then, with the vaxxing drive completed and ultra-contagious Omicron spreading worldwide, these efforts were relaxed, leading to a huge wave of Japanese infections, naturally accompanied by some deaths. This change, rather than any harmful impact from the vaccines probably explains the recent bumps in Covid mortality.

One surprising aspect of the Japanese data is that such a large fraction-between one-half and two-thirds-of all the excess deaths in that country were not reported as due to Covid, a ratio only matched or exceeded in our table by Indonesia and South Africa. While such massive under-reporting of Covid deaths might be expected in poorly-run Third World countries, it seems absolutely contrary to Japan's sterling reputation for government precision and efficiency.

According to the Daily Sceptic article, a considerable fraction of the recent deaths have been due to heart problems rather than typical Covid pneumonia, and this may provide the explanation.  Published research studies have claimed that even very mild Covid infections may lead to long-term cardiovascular damage, and since Covid vaccines merely tend to reduce the severity of the disease, this suggests that they may be ineffective in preventing such longer-term health problems. Meanwhile, vaxxing critics have regularly cited  studies indicating that the Covid vaccines themselves also have that same negative effect. So it seems quite plausible that the combination of such massive vaxxing and boosting of the entire population along with many tens of millions of new Covid infections would together have resulted in a very substantial number of cardiovascular deaths, a total even larger than those directly attributed to Covid itself.

But that's exactly why the overall "excess death" statistic is a far superior metric to use than one narrowly focused on the supposed total of Covid deaths. All medical treatments must be evaluated based upon their balance of risks and benefits. If the massive vaxxing campaign played a role in taking tens of thousands of Japanese lives but simultaneously also saved hundreds of thousands of others from death, it should be judged an extremely successful public health policy.

Thus, our crucial result is that elderly Japan was the country in the world most vulnerable to Covid and after choosing to implement the most extreme vaxxing campaign, it successfully emerged with a remarkably low death rate. While cause and effect cannot be conclusively established, these important results hardly support the hypothesis that Covid vaccines are dangerous for the elderly.

Admittedly, this entire analysis has been based upon the official mortality statistics of Japan and all the other countries that make such data available, and the same had been true for my earlier results focusing on working-age deaths. Anti-vaxxers are a highly suspicious lot, and many of the ones who haunt my website have dismissed all such government information, arguing that it was likely to be fraudulent.

I suppose it's possible that all those dozens of major countries have been manipulating their official mortality statistics, pretending that more (or fewer) people died each year than was actually the case. Perhaps it's all part of some diabolical globalist plot involving Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab. However, if we disregard all such worldwide mortality data, determining the possible health risks of vaxxing or anything else becomes quite challenging.

Some alternate methodologies do exist. Although Steve Kirsch has not yet released any response to my striking international results, during our conversation he had admitted that the official statistics seemed to support my position, but said that he couldn't believe that my analysis was correct because of the massive amount of anecdotal evidence he'd accumulated on the other side. He'd personally spoken to many, many nurses and care-givers who told him that the vaccines were dangerous and he was sure that was the case. He asked me several times whether I'd gone around talking to individual nurses and I said that I hadn't.

Just a few days ago, he compiled his related evidence into a massive 6,200 word statistical analysis that he argued fully confirmed all his claims about the enormous number of vaxxing deaths in America and elsewhere.

His findings were based upon an ingenious methodology. He simply surveyed his readership and asked them to report all the individuals known to them who had died from any cause since 2020 and when they had been vaccinated, then statistically analyzed the resulting dataset. Surprisingly enough, he discovered that his fanatically anti-vaxxing readership reported a considerable spike in such deaths soon after vaxxing.

According to him, this conclusively proved that vaxxing was tremendously dangerous and that the official government statistics suggesting otherwise were completely unreliable. He boldly declared: "all world governments have been killing millions of people worldwide."

As it happens, Brian Mowrey, a vaccine-skeptic writing on Substack quickly found the fatal logical flaws in Kirsch's methodology, as he explained in  a post and  an update, which one of our own commenters  helpfully summarized.

But for me, the most obvious problem was the extreme selection-bias of Kirsch's pool of respondents, and a similar technique could surely be applied to many other controversial causes disfavored by our ruling political establishment. For example, VDare could run a Twitter survey of its readership and thereby prove that 99.8% of all Americans strongly support drastic cuts in immigration levels.

Or as a better analogy, the leaders of a UFO organization could survey their membership on how many of them had seen a UFO and then extrapolate those results to the national population as a whole, thereby concluding that tens of millions of Americans had seen UFOs.

Reprinted with permission from  The Unz Review.

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