More on vaccines and the ivermectin fight
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In my analysis of last month I found that, despite extraordinary high numbers of vaccine adverse effect and death reports, the use of mRNA Covid vaccines looks favorable for the elderly. On the other hand and unsurprisingly, I found that it looks unfavorable for healthy young people who are at very low risk from Covid.
My estimations should not be interpreted as implying medical advice as I'm not a medical doctor. But to my pleasant surprise I found that Dr. Mobeen (I mentioned him in my last post) has given precise Covid vaccine advice. [edit: but of course, such precise general advice should still not be interpreted as personal advice!]
Although he based his advice on a different analysis, his medical advice is fairly consistent with my findings as he advices people above 50 to get vaccinated and he advises people under 30 not to get vaccinated (without accounting for eventual use of Covid medicine). He also distinguishes between men and women as well as different races; you can watch his video for explanations here, and in particular his advice starting from here.
He probably sees himself as a pro-vaccination establishment scientist, but despite that (and to his shock), some of his YouTube video's that happened to cover the topic of ivermectin were quickly deleted by YouTube (owned by Google). And that brings me to the related issue of the fight of Google and others such as Facebook and LinkedIn against ivermectin. The suspicion that something highly irregular was going on was already discussed in my blog post of last December; today it is official policy! However that policy can sometimes be circumvented by means of simple tricks, it's still possible to find a discussion of Dr. Mobeen with Dr. Kory titled "Dr. Pierre Kory Talks About Human Rights and The Big Science Disinformation" and of Bret Weinstein with Pierre Kory. Bret Weinstein starts that truncated video with "I need to say a word or two in light of the fact that there is [...] an industrial strength campaign to censor this story". (The full interview can be found on Odysee here).
Dr Mobeen presented also an interesting idea: what if people get vaccinated while taking ivermectin as prophylactic? As he discusses here - (surprisingly still on YouTube!)- he estimates that there should be no interference but ivermectin may even help to reduce side effects.
In recent months a number of reviews were published that shine a positive light on the efficacy of ivermectin in the prevention and treatment of Covid; those studies could influence policies globally. Several of them passed through a huge amount of obstruction. By allowing papers to go through full review and then still refusing them, publication of those papers was delayed by many months. Compare for example this Frontiers pre-publication with this current status and this end result; and a co-author of this other study, alleges that long before it was published, it had been refused by Lancet Respiratory Studies after four expert reviewers were satisfied by revisions already made.
But a week ago the Guardian newspaper published a sensational article against ivermectin: there is very convincing evidence that one of the biggest clinical studies on ivermectin was falsified! Apparently a significant amount of data was fabricated in the study led by Prof. Elgazzar.
However, the Guardian article starts very badly with double nonsense (to put it politely) in the first half of the first sentence. Ivermectin is promoted by medical doctors of all political orientations; the claim that it is "promoted by rightwing figures" is therefore telling - not about those "figures" but about the motivations of the Guardian authors. They give their readers the false impression that some crazy boundary "figures" promote ivermectin. And next they pretend that without that single study, "the efficacy is in serious doubt". They back that up by citing a certain Meyerowitz-Katz according to whom:
if you get rid of just this research, most meta-analyses that have found positive results would have their conclusions entirely reversed (emphasis mine).
Dr. Tess Lawrie, co-author of one of the latest meta-analyses , was invited for comments on a scientific podcast by Bret Weinstein - this time not on YouTube but on Odysee, and I extracted the following from that video presentation.
Here's how to read them: the studies are shown on the left on the pictures and the animation shows what happens when the Elgazzar study is not included in the analysis. There's a vertical line in the middle that signifies no effect (indicated with "1"). Each study has its results indicated with a horizontal line; if that line is centered around the vertical line then no effect was found. The further to the left, the higher the benefit (0.1 means a tenfold benefit). The solid black diamonds summarize the overall evidence of the studies that are pictured above them. What do you notice?
Top picture (deaths of Covid patients): with the reduced number of considered studies it is less sure (but still probable) that ivermectin helps to reduce deaths when mild covid patients are treated with it.
On the bottom picture (prophylactic) we can see that there is practically no change in the confidence that it can be a very effective protection against SARS2 infection when taken regularly; the confidence remains high.
However, this kind of meta analysis is based on only a selection of randomized placebo studies; the total body of evidence is hugely bigger as explained in the video and more than ample evidence remains in a recent scientific publication; see also this continually updated overview from which the Elgazzar study has already been removed. No matter that the Guardian pretends that now "the efficacy is in serious doubt", the body of evidence remains strong - and its safety remains extremely favorable.
The fight is now moving on from the media and scientific publications to the courts.
On May 9th, the state of Goa in India prescribed Ivermectin as prophylaxis for Covid-19. The next day, May 10th, the WHO chief scientist Dr Swaminathan recommended against it in a Twitter message - however her opinion was not based on science but on a statement by Merck, which happens to have a huge conflict of interest on this matter (see also here) (the State Health Minister countered it by referring to scientific articles).
Following her message, the Indian state of Tamil Nadu withdrew its treatments with ivermectin and a group filed a high court petition against the state of Goa because of alleged faulty management. But the high court ruled in favor of the state of Goa and against the WHO because of the WHO's terrible track record. After those incidents the Indian Bar Association served a legal notice upon dr Swaminathan "for her act of spreading disinformation and misguiding the people of India, in order to fulfill her agenda" and she deleted her tweet.
However that story did not end there, as on June 7th Dr Swaminathan sent another message on Twitter, this time in support of an Indian website that withdrew its advice to use ivermectin but that apparently doesn't have the authority to impose treatment changes. In reaction, on June 13th the Indian Bar Association sent a legal notice of contempt of court to dr Swaminathan, her boss and one other: "Legal position on punishment under Contempt for refusal to follow the judgment of High Court and attempt to create confusion so as to undermine the majesty and dignity of the judgment and authority of the Court of law".
Also the Malaysia Muslim Consumers Association has lodged a police report against the Health Ministry for refusing to use ivermectin to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
An increasing number of countries have included it as part of their standard treatment protocols while others such as the Netherlands threaten doctors with huge fines if they dare to prescribe it. The end of this global fight (which encompasses far more than just ivermectin) is still very much open.
Edits: highlighted key references (see comments) and fixed broken links; improved statistical confidence phrasings. Added disclaimer for Dr. Mobeen.
Comments, corrections and suggestions are welcome!
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