Covid: does a study really reveal that the vaccine makes us more vulnerable?

Covid does a study really reveal that the vaccine makes

  • News
  • Published on

    Reading 3 mins.

    in collaboration with

    Dr Gérald Kierzek (Medical Director)

    On November 18, the FranceSoir site relied on a study by the very serious The Lancet to affirm that vaccinated people would ultimately be more vulnerable to Covid than people who refused the vaccine. With a catch however: their reading of the facts would be erroneous.

    Whether they are sincerely looking for answers or with the more devious intention of discrediting the health policies in place, many Internet users and the web media in particular have relayed more or less eccentric theses throughout the Covid.

    One of the latest tendentious publications comes to us from the site FranceEveningwhich asserted on November 18 in an article: Covid-19 vaccine: Lancet study shows immune erosion of vaccinated people over months. An article which suggests that not only 6 months after vaccination the effectiveness of this one is “not significant”, but worse, that it is “negative” beyond 6 months. Understand: you are more exposed to the virus, and with more danger, with vaccine than without. Something to worry the public concerned.

    From supposition to affirmation

    The article at the origin of this assertion does indeed exist. This is a February 2022 issue of the respected science magazine The Lancet on the risks of hospitalization and death 9 months after the second dose of vaccine, according to a study conducted in Sweden. A publication therefore, read by the journalists of FranceSoir, who quickly pass in their article from the conditional mode. “HASAfter six months, the most vulnerable people in the vaccinated group could be more exposed to the virus than their unvaccinated counterparts” to the statement “beyond six months and even more from eight months, the figures change and may show in some vulnerable people a non-significant effectiveness, or even a negative effectiveness” as the CheckNews section points out of Liberation. However, in this demonstration, the article adopts a reading of the facts which is not exact.

    A misinterpretation that blurs the message

    What does the Lancet study published in February say? That the evaluation of the effectiveness of a double dose of vaccine ceases, after several months, to be statistically “significant”, in the figures studied at that time in Sweden. That is to say that the protection of vaccinated people beyond 6 months is no longer necessarily greater than that of non-vaccinated people. But as Liberation claims: “At no time is a deleterious effect of vaccination on immune function demonstrated. Nothing says either that vaccinated people are exposed to more danger.

    On the contrary, the authors of the study conclude that reinforcement is necessary with a third dose: “our results strengthen the evidence-based arguments for giving a third dose of vaccine as a booster, especially to specific high-risk populations.”

    “We make the data say what we want”

    The example here may seem anecdotal and may only have inflamed the readers of the site in question, in accordance with its editorial line. Nevertheless, the practice is tiring, as Dr. Gérald Kierzek, medical director of Doctissimo points out.

    “This proves once again that we can make studies say what we want by taking them out of their context. Beware also of the frequent trend called cherry picking, that is to say the fact of seeking only the information, the figure that interests us, which validates what we want to say, even that we could see other studies that say the exact opposite”.

    Vaccine: a reminder to protect the most vulnerable populations

    As a reminder, according to the High Authority for Health, only vaccination today protects the most vulnerable people against covid. Since October 3, a booster vaccine against covid, whether or not coupled with the flu vaccine, has been opened as a priority:

    • For people over the age of 60;
    • Residents of accommodation establishments for dependent elderly people (Ehpad) and long-term care units (USLD);
    • People at risk of a severe form of the disease (immunocompromised, pregnant women, people under 60 identified as being at risk);
    • To people living in the entourage or in regular contact with immunocompromised or vulnerable people;
    • To professionals in the health and medico-social sectors.