We do not hold this type of modelling in high regard.

First of all, it is myopically focused on reducing harm from Covid-19. It is hard to understand the utility of presenting such results without context.

There is no mention that the average age of death of those predicted to die will be about the same as our life expectancy. To put it slightly differently, most of those forecast 7,000 deaths were on average likely to die that year with or without SARS-CoV2. About 35,000 people die each year in New Zealand and half of them are over 80 years old. 

There is not a single mention in any of the Matatini documents of deaths among Covid-vaccinated people. Even Pfizer’s latest trial shows more deaths in the vaccinated group compared to the unvaccinated. 

It is misinformation to build a model that generates a result used to promote vaccination without mentioning that up to half of the predicted deaths will be among vaccinated people.

A quote from the study:

During the blinded, placebo-controlled period, 15 participants in the BNT162b2 group and 14 in the placebo group died; during the open-label period, 3 participants in the BNT162b2 group and 2 in the original placebo group who received BNT162b2 after unblinding died.

There is a very concerning issue in this Pfizer trial – that the vaccine itself might be responsible for some of the deaths in the trial, not Covid.  It is not very convincing that there was a 40% (20/14) increased overall death rate in the vaccinated and eventually vaccinated group compared to controls.  While the Pfizer paper asserts that the deaths in vaccinated people had nothing to with the vaccine, it does not provide evidence.

This is a consistent trend across all covid-19 vaccine studies

The predictions from the study that high vaccination uptake will result in reduced harm from covid-19 are not borne out by real world experience, such as from Israel.

It is clear that high levels of vaccination coverage have not lived up to the hope indicated from the results of the trials.

The Covid policy responses modelled in the work are conventional ones already proven ineffective over the past 18 months in other countries. The model does not attempt to work out results of using other strategies, some now being attempted in countries such as India. 

For example, meta-analysis of trials (conventionally considered high level evidence) support the use of Ivermectin to reduce covid-19 mortality. https://lnkd.in/g3eMbaGU

The use of models without comparing or contrasting with actual trials, amounts to misinformation. Trials are conventionally considered stronger evidence than modelling studies.

It is deeply worrying that the government is using models to justify responses, when we have actual evidence and trials from the past 18 months of experience in other countries. It feels disturbingly reminiscent of the now widely discredited models used by other Western Governments very early in the pandemic.

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Dissection of Prof Hendy Model Presented at Ardern Conference 23/9/21
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