Misrepresenting Science in the “Plandemic” Video

Greg G. Wolff, a little known epidemiologist at Wright Patterson AFB, is all of a sudden quite a sensation. His article on influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference was cited in the “Plandemic” video going around. Wolff’s article in VACCINE (currently the most downloaded article from the journal) is open access so I had a look to see how the Plandemic video used the truth to distort the truth in a very subtle way.

Screen cap of https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.10.005

Plandemic notes that Wolff’s study found that those who received an influenza vaccine in the 2017-2018 flu season were 36% more likely to test positive for coronavirus than those who were not. This is true. 7.8% of those vaccinated tested positive for coronavirus and 5.8% of those not vaccinated tested positive. As you can see in Table 5 produced here, the odds ratio (OR) is *1.36* (subtract 1 and you get the % increase in likelihood of the outcome) and statistically significant at the <0.01 level (P-value). (It also increases the odds of contracting metapneumovirus, OR = 1.51, p <0.01.)

Screen cap of https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.10.005

However, consider the potential consequences of not being vaccinated for influenza also shown in Table 5. Any odds ratio (OR) below 1 means a vaccinated person has lower odds of having contracted the virus relative to a vaccinated person (P-values less than 0.05 indicate a statistically significant association in this sample). The rest of the story:

  1. Receiving the vaccine lowered the odds of all of the following respiratory viruses: Influenza A, H1N1, H3N2, Influenza B, Influenza B Yamagata, parainfluenza, RSV, and non-influenza virus coinfection.
  2. Receiving the vaccine does not increase the odds of contracting adenovirus, bocavirus, or rhinovirus/enterovirus.
  3. Receiving the vaccine increases the odds of there being no pathogen detected (by 59%, p. <0.01).

An additional “however” relative to the increased odds of contracting coronavirus in this particularly study, which Wolff also notes in the paper: Another published study found NO EFFECT of influenza vaccine on coronavirus: “Detection of a noninfluenza respiratory virus by multiplex RT-PCR was not associated with influenza vaccination status over a period of six influenza seasons. . . . There was no association between influenza vaccination and detection of RSV, adenovirus, human metapneumovirus, human rhinovirus, or coronavirus.”

So, always be careful when someone invokes a “study,” even a published study. Consider the source as well as the citation. And, as always, diversify your bonds.

Published by David Yamane

Sociologist at Wake Forest U, student of gun culture, tennis player, racket stringer (MRT), whisk(e)y drinker, bow-tie wearer, father, husband. Not necessarily in that order.

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