Covid mania is so intense that it did not even take a FDA decision to authorize second Covid-19 booster shots for those 50 and over to push the hype about second boosters into overdrive.
A March 27 article in the Jerusalem Post, for example, trumpeted how a large Israeli study showed that a second booster “resulted in a 78% decrease in COVID-19 related deaths in adults aged 60-100.” The article, however, omits an equally key fact: the second booster also only improved the survival rate by a microscopic 0.077 percent.
In other words, the second booster only increased the survival rate from 99.901 percent to 99.978 percent – an increase of less than 1 in a thousand. And that’s in the age group that has a Covid death rate that is orders of magnitude higher than that of much of the rest of the population.
The Israeli study examined data for 563,465 people aged 60 to 100 who previously had received a Covid booster shot. 234,868 people in that group did not receive the second booster. 328,597 received the second booster, but the study excluded the small portion of this group who contracted Covid within seven days of receiving the second booster.
Of the 234,868 who did not get the second booster, 232 died. The death rate for this group was 0.09877889 percent, less than 1 in a thousand. The survival rate for this group was 99.901221 percent, more than 999 in a thousand.
Of those who received the second booster (and did not contract the virus within seven days), 92 died. The study reports that the death rate for this group was 78 percent lower, making it about 0.02173136 percent, about 0.2 in a thousand. The survival rate for this group was 99.978269 percent, more than 999.8 in a thousand.
Comparing the two groups shows that the second booster improved the survival rate by a microscopic 0.07704764 percent, less than 1 in a thousand.
I’m not yet 60, have received a booster, and support the second booster for those who want it. The very oldest and those with weakened immune systems likely will particularly benefit from it.
Hyping the benefits of this shot for vast segments of the rest of the population who already are strongly protected by vaccinations they already have had or by natural immunity, however, at the very least further cuts trust in public health officials.
It’s long past time to stop the hype and take a more thoughtful look at the second booster data.