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posted by martyb on Wednesday January 19, @10:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the it's-[almost]-all-in-your-head? dept.

More Than Two-Thirds of Adverse COVID-19 Vaccine Events Are Due to Placebo Effect:

The placebo effect is the well-known phenomenon of a person's physical or mental health improving after taking a treatment with no pharmacological therapeutic benefit – a sugar pill, or a syringe full of saline, for example. While the exact biological, psychological, and genetic underpinnings of the placebo effect are not well understood, some theories point to expectations as the primary cause and others argue that non-conscious factors embedded in the patient-physician relationship automatically turn down the volume of symptoms. Sometimes placebo effects can also harm –the so-called "nocebo effect" occurs when a person experiencing unpleasant side effects after taking a treatment with no pharmacological effects. That same sugar pill causing nausea, or that syringe full of saline resulting in fatigue.

In a new meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled COVID-19 vaccine trials, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) compared the rates of adverse events reported by participants who received the vaccines to the rates of adverse events reported by those who received a placebo injection containing no vaccine. While the scientists found significantly more trial participants who received the vaccine reported adverse events, nearly a third of participants who received the placebo also reported at least one adverse event, with headache and fatigue being the most common. The team's findings are published in JAMA Network Open.

"Adverse events after placebo treatment are common in randomized controlled trials," said lead author Julia W. Haas, PhD, an investigator in the Program in Placebo Studies at BIDMC. "Collecting systematic evidence regarding these nocebo responses in vaccine trials is important for COVID-19 vaccination worldwide, especially because concern about side effects is reported to be a reason for vaccine hesitancy."

Haas and colleagues analyzed data from 12 clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines. The 12 trials included adverse effects reports from 22,578 placebo recipients and 22,802 vaccine recipients. After the first injection, more than 35 percent of placebo recipients experienced systemic adverse events – symptoms affecting the entire body, such as fever – with headache and fatigue most common at 19.6 percent and 16.7 percent, respectively. Sixteen percent of placebo recipients reported at least one local event, such as pain at site of injection, redness, or swelling.

In comparison after the first injection, 46 percent of vaccine recipients experienced at least one systemic adverse event and two-thirds of them reported at least one local event. While this group received a pharmacologically active treatment, at least some of their adverse events are attributable to the placebo – or in this case, nocebo – effect, as well given that many of these effects also occurred in the placebo group. Haas and colleagues' analysis suggested that nocebo accounted for 76 percent of all adverse events in the vaccine group and nearly a quarter of all local effects reported.

Journal Reference:
Julia W. Haas, Friederike L. Bender, Sarah Ballou, et al. Frequency of Adverse Events in the Placebo Arms of COVID-19 Vaccine Trials [open], JAMA Network Open (DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.43955)


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Wednesday January 19, @11:27PM (11 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday January 19, @11:27PM (#1213993)

    "It doesn't work 100% perfectly" != "It doesn't work at all".

    People don't seem to understand the concept of probability on this issue.

    --
    Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
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  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @12:11AM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @12:11AM (#1214002)

    People understand enough. "No one I know had it bad" == "Probability is negligible". "My vaccinated neighbors all got it" == "Vaccines do not work". You can juggle numbers and twist words, but you cannot make people unsee what they see.

    Another thing people increasingly come to understand: "You told us dozens of falsehoods over these two years" == "You are never to be trusted with anything".

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @12:18AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @12:18AM (#1214004)

      Donald Trump telling you "dozens of falsehoods" does not mean that no one can be "trusted with anything". It just means you have to reevaluate who you are trusting. Hope this enlightens.

      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @03:50AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @03:50AM (#1214055)

        Another leftist reply that doesn't respond to the topic. Your guys in office are failing hard because they think they are above dealing with real world events. Hope this enlightens. *snicker*

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mcgrew on Thursday January 20, @07:30PM

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Thursday January 20, @07:30PM (#1214297) Homepage Journal

          I'm not a Democrat, I'm an independent voter, and your Trump colored glasses are blinding you. Democrats not dealing with real world events? Like Bush's "forever war" that Biden stopped? Like trying to make it easier for people to exercise their right to vote, instead of trying to take that right away? Like your Texas Republican governor when it got cold? Like the moronic Republican governors who are against masks and vaccinations?

          Like fixing our crumbling infrastructure that former President Pinocchio promised to do but didn't even try? WTF did government do AT ALL under the last administration than cut taxes on the super rich, the people who need tax breaks the least?

          Meanwhile, the leader of your party (I have no party except beer and pot) has never once won a popular vote, lost the house and senate, and tried to overthrow the election and are now trying to take the right to vote away from people? And the Republicans think they can't win without that loser?

          What's in that Republican Kool-Aid, cocaine? You accuse Democrats of not regarding real world problems? Sorry your mother was such a heavy drinker when she was pregnant with you.

          --
          Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @07:34PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @07:34PM (#1214299)

          As we see here the deplorables do not respond well to education, thus making a vicious circle resulting in failed relationships, jobs, and in some extreme cases, even murder. Join us next werk as we explore the intricacies of bovine bowel movements.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by khallow on Thursday January 20, @04:30AM (3 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 20, @04:30AM (#1214063) Journal

      People understand enough. "No one I know had it bad" == "Probability is negligible". "My vaccinated neighbors all got it" == "Vaccines do not work".

      Sure, and my neighbor's pigs fly. The reasoning [soylentnews.org] is more like "We know a girl who missed her period for five months after getting the vaccine" == "Vaccine will make my daughters sterile". It's pure hysteria.

      And my experience, being in Yellowstone National Park with thousands of people a day going through this park is. "A lot of people I know got it" == "Probably ain't negligle". And "Most people who got it (and tested positive for covid) didn't have their booster shot (they all were vaccinated)" == "Get the booster and stop whining".

      If you don't interact with people at all, then you can afford to not get that shot or booster. But if you do, especially if those people are rabid anti-vaxxers, you'll probably need a booster.

      Another thing people increasingly come to understand: "You told us dozens of falsehoods over these two years" == "You are never to be trusted with anything".

      Got to agree with the AC replier, there's a lot of liars out there, and Trump was one of the biggest. It must have been hard to get true believers to do the right thing and vaccinate themselves.

      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Thursday January 20, @07:32PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Thursday January 20, @07:32PM (#1214298) Homepage Journal

        Well, hell. I'd mod you up if I had any points left.

        --
        Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @07:38PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @07:38PM (#1214301)

        "But if you do, especially if those people are rabid anti-vaxxers, you'll probably need a booster."

        it's the vaxxed getting sick, you stupid bitch-ass slave.

        • (Score: 2, Touché) by khallow on Thursday January 20, @07:54PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 20, @07:54PM (#1214310) Journal

          it's the vaxxed getting sick, you stupid bitch-ass slave.

          Sounds like you go vaxxed with stupidity, because that was quite the immune response to an intelligent argument.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Thursday January 20, @04:36AM (1 child)

      by Thexalon (636) on Thursday January 20, @04:36AM (#1214065)

      A brief admittedly anecdotal story about this: The guy who delivers my heating oil, who hates the previous US president mostly because said ex-president cheated him and his company on a construction contract a while ago, got his Covid vaccine as quickly as he could. His wife was more reluctant, but her employer mandated vaccination, and she broke down and got it rather than get fired. So they're going about their lives, and shortly after Christmas several of the relatives who were present at the family gathering got sick, and 2 had to spend time in the hospital, because it turned out that one of the people present had Covid. But you know who didn't get sick? The people who were vaccinated. Within a week, the relatives who hadn't been at that Christmas dinner got vaccinated.

      As for the flawed logic you're talking about here:
      - You're using "No one I know had it bad" to justify the conclusion "Probability is negligible". But "no one I know" isn't "no one", and not even "no one I come in contact with", because if you're like most people, you fairly regularly come in contact with people you don't know such as the random person who you walked by in your local Walmart or the person who dropped off your Amazon order.
      - "My vaccinated neighbors all got it": How many neighbors do you have? How severe was it? Were any of them hospitalized? Did any of them die from it? Because it sure sounds like what you're saying is that the correct thing to do is to oversimplify your data, limit your sample size dramatically, and ignore any wider information that might contradict that data set. Which is equivalent logic to: "All of my neighbors got around 20 inches of snow this week, so that must mean everybody in the US got 20 inches of snow this week. After all, that's what I'm seeing, and everybody at NOAA and TV weather reports might be lying to me."

      --
      Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @02:27PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @02:27PM (#1214154)

        - "My vaccinated neighbors all got it": How many neighbors do you have? How severe was it? Were any of them hospitalized? Did any of them die from it?

        My boss got it and his child that was in school. Both vaccinated.

        Caveat: boss had sore throat for 1 day. The child had positive test before it turned negative 3 days later.

        So, you can stretch what "got it" == "vaccine not work", but it seems that it's working quite well. Another nice stats, for unvaccinated Omicron is 1/3 as deadly as Delta. For the vaccinated, it's less deadly than seasonal flu.