Elon Musk just shared a viral video which spreads misinformation on COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness!
Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!
Elon Musk Shares Vaccine Effectiveness Misinformation!
On Tuesday, September 26, 2023, Elon Musk shared a viral video which spreads misinformation on COVID-19 vaccine efficacy, that was posted by Wall Street Silver a day earlier.
To top it off, he appeared to make a pun which suggests that the reported efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines was “dis information”.
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Why Elon Musk Should Not Share Such Vaccine Efficacy Misinformation!
The video appears to be legitimate, showing screenshots of news headlines accompanied by the Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 – “In the Hall of the Mountain King”.
Let’s take a look at what’s wrong with the video, and why someone like Elon Musk should stop sharing such videos…
Fact #1 : This Is An Old Video From 2022
First, I should point out that this is actually an old video, which originally went viral on Instagram last year – at the end of November 2022.
Fact #2 : Video Timeline Is Not In Order
I should also point out that while the timeline is not in order – the news headlines do not appear in the right chronological order. For example:
If you look at them chronologically, they tell a different tale:
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Fact #3 : Video Shows Different Vaccine Outcomes
Now, you may be wondering – why do COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness jump up and down in the chronological order?
For one thing – they are based on different studies, and some variation is to be expected. But more importantly – the screenshots show different outcomes of those COVID-19 vaccine studies:
That is like comparing the results of a 100 m sprint versus a 5 km race and a 4 x 400 m relay race. They are all Olympic track events where the fastest competitor wins, but they are simply not comparable!
Fact #4 : Vaccine Effectiveness Is Different From Vaccine Efficacy
When COVID-19 vaccines started to be approved, the results of their Phase 3 clinical trials were announced. You may have seen tables like this one showing the efficacy of those COVID-19 vaccines:
|AstraZeneca||62% ~ 90%||100%||100%|
|Sinopharm||79% ~ 86%||90%||100%|
What many people may not understand is that – the above table shows vaccine efficacy, and that is a little different from vaccine effectiveness mentioned in those screenshots.
Vaccine efficacy is the reduction in disease (in percentage) that occurs in a vaccinated group under optimal conditions, compared to an unvaccinated group.
Do not confuse it with vaccine effectiveness, which is the real world ability of the vaccine to prevent the disease. Vaccine effectiveness may be lowered by underlying chronic conditions, medication, age, and even how the vaccine is stored and administered.
You can read more about this difference in my earlier article – Why COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy Does NOT Matter!
Read more : Why COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy Does NOT Matter!
Fact #5 : Vaccine Effectiveness Varies With COVID-19 Variants
The video also (deliberately?) mixes up news headlines comparing the vaccine effectiveness against different COVID-19 variants.
The first-generation COVID-19 vaccines were developed to prevent death and severe disease from the original (or ancestral) SARS-CoV-2 virus. Their Phase 3 clinical trial efficacy results were (mostly) based on that ancestral virus.
However, the SARS-CoV-2 virus evolves rapidly, and some new variants will be more capable at evading the antibodies produced by the vaccine, or a previous infection.
That does not mean that those vaccine are useless. It simply means we have to progressively adapt the first-generation vaccines to better deal with the new variants. Those in the military may better recognise this – a classical progression between weapons and armour.
For example, tanks were invented to protect against bullets in the battlefield. Anti-tank guns were then invented to defeat these new tanks. As tanks developed thicker armour, anti-tank guns got bigger and more powerful. After shaped charge rockets (Panzerfaust, RPG) were invented, tank were given spaced armour and later, reactive armour to defeat them.
Similarly, as the SARS-CoV-2 virus evolves over time, COVID-19 vaccines must evolve to target those new variants.
Fact #6 : COVID-19 Vaccines Have Been Proven Effective
The truth is – COVID-19 vaccines have been proven effective. We see it every day. No more lockdowns. No more overcrowded ICUs or hospitals, with COVID-19 patients gasping for breath in makeshift tents.
Over 13.5 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered worldwide in the past 2.5 years, and they are responsible for allowing the world to reopen safely and completely.
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Don’t forget to protect yourself, and your family, by vaccinating against COVID-19!
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