Serious Adverse Events of Special Interest Following mRNA Vaccination in

Introduction: In 2020, prior to COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Brighton Collaboration created a priority list, endorsed by the World Health Organization, of potential adverse events relevant to COVID-19 vaccines. We leveraged the Brighton Collaboration list to evaluate serious adverse events of special interest observed in phase III randomized trials of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

Results: Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were associated with an increased risk of serious adverse events of special interest, with an absolute risk increase of 10.1 and 15.1 per 10,000 vaccinated over placebo baselines of 17.6 and 42.2 (95% CI -0.4 to 20.6 and -3.6 to 33.8), respectively. Combined, the mRNA vaccines were associated with an absolute risk increase of serious adverse events of special interest of 12.5 per 10,000 (95% CI 2.1 to 22.9). The excess risk of serious adverse events of special interest surpassed the risk reduction for COVID-19 hospitalization relative to the placebo group in both Pfizer and Moderna trials (2.3 and 6.4 per 10,000 participants, respectively).

How serious is this?

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Not very, because most of their 95% CIs include 1.0. I’m not a clinical trial expert, but it all looks like reporting artifacts to me.

This is a preprint article, it offers immediate access but has not been peer reviewed.


Thanks. There are so many vaccine conspiracy theories going around that many people are just baffled as to what to take serious.

Peter Doshi is an author. I’m imediately skeptical. His previous articles & editorials have drawn a lot of valid criticisms. In fact a number of the authors have raised spurious concerns in the past about a number of vaccines. That doesn’t necessarily mean the paper is bad but I’d be careful wasting much concern about the conclusions without verification. For those outside the fields, probably better to have discussions with your personal health professional network (Drs. RNs, NPs) about what to do one’s specific circumstance.

Sorry to say but the urgency of addressing Covid has meant that a lot of shit papers and shit science has been published. And even more in unedited preprints… There has also been absolutely outstanding work as well but the signal to noise in the literature as a whole has dropped.

A smallish number of previously respected scientists have let their ‘freak flags fly’ and revealed personal psychological pathologies that weren’t so obvious earlier. Personally, I don’t find that all too surprising because we saw the same patterns with HIV/AIDS research in the '80s and '90s. It was just a little slower paced then before the dominance of social media.


I’d say that the pace was a LOT slower, as someone who was a virologist in the 80s. We were working on cytomegalovirus, which was a major focus then.

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I had the ‘pleasure’ of watching Peter Duesberg give a lecture on the reasons AIDS couldn’t have been caused by HIV… Then there was the “Perth Group” in Australia claiming that the HIV hadn’t been purified or identified.

And back in the Usenet days, watching ID’s Pillip Johnson dabbling in some “HIV doesn’t cause AIDS” JAQing and his wondering why HIV wasn’t easy to find in blood samples from AIDS patients using PCR. (SPOILER for lay readers: HIV was known to be a retrovirus so HIV particles circulating in the blood were composed of RNA, not DNA sequences. Therefore, the PCR test used in the papers he referenced for viral DNA sequences wouldn’t detect the particles. When reverse-transcriptase was added to first convert the viral RNA to DNA, it was reliably easy to find HIV in blood of AIDS patients.)

Johnson unwittingly demonstrated the obvious error, that professional training and lifetime experience in logical analysis of legal theory has little utility without subject matter knowledge. Actually, a wise, professional logician would recognize the information they lacked and not make the gaffe.

There seem to be a number of commonalities in a fair proportion of creation scientists, fringe science promoters, conspiracy theorists and people who are overly self-confident. I undoubtedly share some such flaw, somewhere as well. My only hope is that it doesn’t express in areas that directly hurt my professional or personal life. Many others aren’t so lucky.


My postdoc advisors invited him to give a seminar (not that any of us believed him) in the late 80s. He came across as perfectly sincere over lunch with the lab.

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There is an excellent chance that historians a decade or two from now will be describing the great worldwide AIDS pandemic as a fiasco. If that happens, the historians won’t be gentle with those who resisted an unbiased review of all the evidence when the cracks in the official story were already evident.

Talk about being hoisted on your own petard.


Consider that Johnson’s alleged strengths, promoted by the DI and mentioned in his ‘Darwin on Trial’ for being able to dissect the ‘illogic behind evolutionary theory’ was his ‘generally applicable to anything’, deep analytical experience with legal scholarship.

After the ‘success’ of his book and naturally primed to critically investigate other scientific controversies, Johnson proceeded to ‘do his own research’ again, this time on HIV/AIDS. Which is to say, he hung out with some pretty daft cranks. Hilarity might have ensued, if it weren’t for the tragedy that a number of people convinced by the ‘HIV doesn’t cause AIDS’ twits decided to forego antiviral treatments and died (or passed HIV to their children by not taking prophylactic treatments before giving birth).

A spill over effect was that a number of prominent ID supporters also adopted a similar acceptance of AIDS crankery. My cynical assessment is that any admission of error, particularly from a movement’s ‘founder’ was epistemically intolerable for some. It’s much like how creationists tend not to publically air profound scientific disagreements between competing hypotheses within their community.


Thanks for that reference, Ron. At the time, we knew that would only get better with age.

And I am amazed how much different science feels now that we’re living in the age predicted by Johnson and Dembski, where ID theory has completely & powerfully revolutionized so many fields! Who knew that adding the ideas of ‘mind’ and the ‘supernatural’ to how everything works would provide so much more explanatory & predictive power?


In any case, back to the topic of the thread:

A nice discussion.


The NNT (Number Needed to Treat) is about 10,000 and 15,000 people treated for each additional adverse event OSI. The increase risk to the individual is truly miniscule. EVEN IF this were statistically different, it is unlikely to be of clinical or epidemiological significance. We would need to look at Excess Deaths, but those rate-differences are going to be smaller and even less certain.


Thanks Dan,

I am past my diagnosing days but it is obvious that people like these authors who knowingly distort science are likely suffering from an antisocial personality disorder.

Antisocial personality disorder, sometimes called sociopathy, is a mental disorder in which a person consistently shows no regard for right and wrong and ignores the rights and feelings of others. People with antisocial personality disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate or treat others harshly or with callous indifference. They show no guilt or remorse for their behavior.

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And I have never been qualified to make diagnoses. but I observe that the Internet enables certain people with certain personality types to find an audience.


Also every type of adverse event that people ascribe to the vaccines are things that are caused by the virus at a much higher, much more severe and actually significant degree. Thus the vaccines protect people from real adverse effects of infection (eg MISC in kids, myocarditis, cardiovascular events, blood clots, etc). The question in treatment is the risk/benefit ratio of treatment. People are at much much much higher risk of getting negative outcomes from the actual infection than from the vaccines, which ultimately reduce negative outcomes overall