new-preprint-in-the-lancet-finds-mrna-vaccines-for-covid-19-have-no-effect-on-overall-mortality

New Preprint in The Lancet Finds mRNA ‘Vaccines’ for COVID-19 Have ‘No Effect on Overall Mortality’


A new preprint meta-analysis in The Lancet finds that mRNA vaccines for COVID-19—including the ones from Pfizer and Moderna—have “no effect on overall mortality despite protecting against fatal COVID-19.”


A team of researchers led by University of Southern Denmark Professor of Global Health Christine Stabell Benn has released a new preprint meta-analysis in The Lancet that shows that, based on data from three randomized controlled trials with the “longest possible” follow-up, “mRNA vaccines have no effect on overall mortality despite protecting against fatal COVID-19.”

On Twitter, Benn highlighted the significance of the findings, noting that “This might turn out to be one of the most debate-provoking papers I have authored. Nonetheless, it had to be written.”

Benn discusses the study—which compares mRNA vaccines to adenovirus-vector vaccines, such as the ones from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca—in more depth in a LinkedIn post.

“For overall mortality, the relative risk (RR) for the mRNA vaccines compared with placebo was 1.03 (95% CI=0.63-1.71). For the adenovirus-vector vaccines the RR was 0.37 (0.19-0.70),” Benn says in her LinkedIn post. She notes “the two types of vaccines differed significantly with respect to impact on overall mortality (p for same effect=0.030” and that “This was largely due to differences in their effect on non-accident, non-COVID-19 deaths (p for same effect=0.046).”

Critically, the authors note in their study that:

“Within the current understanding of vaccines, it is logical to assume that COVID-19 vaccines
reduce overall mortality corresponding to the number of COVID-19 deaths prevented.
However, there is now ample evidence that vaccines can have broad heterologous effects on the
immune system.
These effects can lead to additional protection or increasing susceptibility to
unrelated infections or even other non-infectious immune mediated diseases. Therefore, as it
has now been established in numerous studies, vaccines may have completely unexpected
effects on overall mortality, different from what could be anticipated based on the protection
against the vaccine-targeted disease.”

Benn et al. go on to note that “When the new COVID-19 vaccines were tested in randomized clinical trials (RCTs) against placebo/control vaccine, the trials were not designed to assess the effect on overall mortality.” The researchers say that this means “The possibility for observing such effects was further hampered by the short follow-up in these trials, as the individuals from the control groups received the vaccine after 3-6 months, following the emergency use authorization,’ and that, “though it was anticipated that the new COVID-19 vaccines would reduce overall mortality, especially in the context of a pandemic, this has not been formally studied.”

“Potential differences in the effects of mRNA and adenovirus-vector vaccines on overall mortality, if true, could have a major impact on global health,” Benn adds in her LinkedIn post. “The differences need to be explored, ideally in randomised trials of mRNA and adenovirus-vectored vaccines head-to-head comparing long-term effects on overall mortality.”

In the tweet immediately above Tracy Høeg—an MD with a PhD in both Epidemiology and Public Health—briefly summarizes the conclusion of the “important” new preprint. Note the forest plot she’s shared comes straight from the paper, and shows that mRNA vaccines had no effect on overall mortality (across three randomized controlled trials). Even worse, the mRNA vaccines were associated with higher numbers of cardiovascular deaths, as well as non-accident, non-COVID deaths.

Indeed, in the three sampled randomized controlled trials for the mRNA vaccines, the study’s authors found more deaths in the vaccinated group than the placebo group: 30 for the placebo group and 31 for the vaccinated group. (For overall mortality across three RCT’s, the authors recorded 61 deaths across 74,193 participants. In the adenovirus-vector vaccines there were 122,164 participants and 46 deaths; 16 in the vaccinated group and 30 in the control group).”

“Potential differences in the effects of mRNA and adenovirus-vector vaccines on overall mortality, if true, could have a major impact on global health, Benn adds in her LinkedIn post. “The differences need to be explored, ideally in randomised trials of mRNA and adenovirus-vectored vaccines head-to-head comparing long-term effects on overall mortality.”

If the protective effects of adenovirus-vector vaccines on overall mortality in the randomized trials reflect “the reality found in this paper,” Benn says that using mRNA vaccines overwhelmingly in the U.S. “could turn out to be a costly decision, both economically and health wise.”


Feature image: Spencerbdavis

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