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Any thoughts on this analysis of COVID vaccine benefit?


Dan: A quick glance of that paper seems like it says nothing about vaccine effectiveness. VE is an input to the simulation. They then create a no-vaccination scenario, so all they have done is to reflect the presumed VE. "Vaccine efficacies against infection, symptomatic disease and severe disease after each dose and for each variant were derived from published estimates."

Also, on my quick look, I did not see how they configured the no-vaccination scenario. How would they know the counterfactual rates of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths were there no vaccine?


Here in Italy the third dose is mandatory for all people because it has been said that VE drops to 50% within the fourth month.
Do you know how VE is computed?
That is, VE at fourth month is calculated comparing vaccinated-in-4-months people to non vaccinated people or just-vaccinated people? I ask because the former and the latter alternative yield two completely different interpretations of the situation...


Antonio: The answer is "trust us". I was looking in the much ballyhooed UK report, and found that they just printed the final VE number; there is not any data to be found to learn how they got there. They use a "test negative" design which means that they are not comparing ratio of case rates but ratio of vaccinations. Long story: will write about that design in the future. You can't even do a simple check like I did above because the Supplementary File that provides data behind each chart skipped over all the charts showing VE. Interpret that however you wish.

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