Strange Math in Pfizer's "90% Effective" Vaccine

They Say Figures Don't Lie, But Maybe Pfizer Doesn't Figure in Claiming a 90% Effective Vaccine
WASHINGTON - Nov. 9, 2020 - PRLog -- Strange Math in Pfizer's "90% Effective" Vaccine
They Say Figures Don't Lie, But Maybe Pfizer Doesn't Figure

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 9, 2020) -  Pfizer has announced that preliminary figures from its initial testing show that its COVID vaccine may be more than 90% effective, but there's something strange if not suspicious about this result based upon the limited data the company has so far provided, says Prof. John Banzhaf, a math expert and the inventor of the "Banzhaf Index."

So the overall infection rate of all the 44,000 subjects was only 0.2%.  Even if one makes the simplifying assumption that all of the infected cases came only from the group which received the ineffective placebo injection, the infection rate would be only 0.4% [94/22000 = .004 = 0.4%].

But virtually all states, and even testing regions within states, usually show an infection rate of well over 1.0%.  For example, Connecticut was recently happy to report that its infection rate fell from 6.1% to only 2.5%.

Furthermore, if the number of people receiving the vaccine who contracted the virus was only 10% of those in the placebo group who contracted it, it would appear that about 85 subjects in the non-vaccine group became infected compared with about 8-9 subjects who actually received the vaccine.

But a number like 8 or 9, out of a total of some 22,000, hardly seems sufficient to draw a reliable statistical conclusion that the vaccine was 90% effective, since a change of only 1 or 2 detected infections either way - something which could easily be caused by a random statistical fluctuation - would cause a major change in the claimed effectiveness.

So Banzhaf suggests that we all reserve judgment as to what the initial figures may tend to show, at least until there is some further explanation as to why they may seem strange, and hope that the eventual vaccine can be shown to be safe, and anywhere near 90% effective. @profbanzhaf

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