Antivaccine nonsense Medicine

“The midwit effect”? Antivaxxers are irritated by a study on intelligence and vaccines

A study was published linking vaccine acceptance to intelligence. Whatever the validity of the study, it irritated an antivaxxer, who called it the “midwit” effect.

One of the narratives that antivaxxers love to promote about themselves is that they see things about vaccines that the average person—including scientists—do not and cannot. Because, like all science denial, antivaccine beliefs are thoroughly rooted in conspiracy theory, it’s important understand that a key element of conspiratorial thinking is the belief that one is not a “sheeple,” that one has knowledge not appreciated or understood by the rest of the “sheeple,” that one is—dare I say it?—intelligent than average person. That’s why the antivaxxer supposedly “sees” all the “harms” caused by vaccines when everyone else, including top scientists, do not, which brings us to the “midwit effect.

Apparently there is study published last month (Cognitive ability, health policy, and the dynamics of COVID-19 vaccination) that is really irritating antivaxxers. I learned of it from an antivaxxer whom I don’t recall having encountered before going by the ‘nym eugyppius, who—of course—has a Substack, eugyppius: a plague chronicle, where he he/she/it ranted about the study in a post entitled Vaccines and the Midwit Effect, or: Why smart people seem to believe all manner of crazy things, and smarter people seem to believe them even harder. Given that some antivaxxers are no doubt quite intelligent, one can’t help but suspect that a bit of projection is going on here, but, still, I found this antivax take on the study to be amusing and not unexpected given the self-description of the blogger doing the Substack:

Welcome to my plague chronicle. Here I post primarily on current affairs in Germany, as well as broader political and historical matters, various conspiracy theories, and the absurdities of modern academia. This blog was born as running commentary on the Corona pandemic, and that remains an important focus, but increasingly one among many. My guiding thesis is that the excesses of the response – from unending lockdowns to mask mandates and mass vaccination – reflect the deeper social, cultural and political pathologies that arise from late-stage postwar liberalism.

“Political pathologies that arise from late-stage postwar liberalism”? Yeah, that tracks with typical rhetoric from COVID-19 pandemic minimizers, antimaskers, and antivaxxers. It could have come straight out of the Brownstone Institute. As for the ‘nym Eugyppius, it turns out that Eugyppius (c.460-535 AD and also spelled Eugippius) was a disciple and the biographer of Saint Severinus of Noricum who also compiled a 1000-page anthology of the works of St. Augustine. I often say that you can tell a lot about a blogger by the ‘nym he chooses. (I’ve been fairly open about why I chose the ‘nym Orac and keep using it even though it was long ago linked with my meatspace identity. Make of that what you will about me.) Clearly, this blogger views himself as some sort of scholar. Be that as it may, the results are rather predictable in how eugyppius—who seems to like to do a little e.e. cummings style—frames the study:

Some weeks ago, this Swedish study on the correlation between cognitive ability and readiness to accept Covid vaccination made the rounds. It irritated a lot of people, particularly in these circles, for appearing to support the observation that getting vaccinated is just something that more intelligent people do – and, by implication, that vaccination is more objectively rational.

Again, it amuses me how eugyppius interprets the study, namely that it implies that supporting vaccination and seeking out vaccines for oneself are “more objectively rational.” As you might imagine, the study is a bit more complex than that, but let’s see the antivax spin. But first, let’s describe what the study found.

In brief, investigators at Uppsala University in Sweden examined individual-level data of 750,000 individuals to look for correlations between vaccination-seeking behavior and cognitive tests and found a strong correlation between cognitive ability and swift vaccination. In other words, those who scored high on cognitive tests tended to seek out COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they were made available. The subjects were overwhelmingly male, because the the source of the cognitive test results used by the investigators was tests taken at age 18 by enlistees in the Swedish military which were then correlated with how many of these individuals were vaccinated, as well as how soon after the vaccines were made available, or, as the investigators phrased it:

In this paper, we analyze how cognitive ability is related to if and when individuals get vaccinated against COVID-19 and whether simplifying the vaccination decision by providing pre-booked vaccination appointments (opt-out policy) may alleviate heterogeneity in vaccination behavior. For this purpose, we use individual-level administrative data from Sweden covering 750,381 men and 2703 women aged 42–59, in 2021. We match information on their COVID-19 vaccinations with scores on a cognitive ability test, capturing general intelligence (Mårdberg and Carlstedt 1998), that was taken at about 18 years of age as part of the Swedish military enlistment procedure, which was mandatory for men and voluntary for women. The test scores are reported on a stanine scale (min=1, max=9, mean=5, standard deviation=2).

We find that cognitive ability is positively associated with swift COVID-19 vaccination. At each point in time, during a 360 days period following the vaccine rollout, there is a positive monotonic relationship between cognitive ability and the rate of first dose vaccinations. For example, a vaccination rate of 80% is reached after approximately 50 days in the group with the highest cognitive ability score and after 180 days in the group with the lowest score. Moreover, we show that the relationship is remarkably robust; it remains strong when using a twin design (3375 twin-pairs) to control for confounders (e.g. social background) and it is not mediated away by socioeconomic characteristics (i.e. education, income, marital status, parenthood).

Relevant to what eugyppius calls the “midwit effect” the results are a bit more complicated than that. I will note that the authors did the appropriate controls to verify that potentially predictable confounding factors did not account for this difference, as listed above and including education, income, marital status, and parenthood. The authors then examined the effect of a regional policy on the difference in vaccine-seeking behavior that prebooked vaccine appointments as the vaccine became available. Basically, the authors found:

…that such a simple policy increases vaccination uptake disproportionately more among those with lower cognitive abilities, leaving them with a vaccination rate comparable to that of high cognitive ability individuals in the absence of the policy. Given that individuals with lower cognitive abilities are relatively more susceptible to many health risks, including COVID-19 infection, such a policy is likely to be associated with large welfare gains for this group. Our findings also imply that if everyone got vaccinated as quickly as individuals with a high cognitive ability, the pandemic would likely have ended earlier, with fewer lives lost and with lower costs for society.

You can see why antivaxxers would be unhappy with this study. But how to explain it, if you’re an antivaxxer? One obvious set of potential explanations include that more intelligent people were (1) more motivated to get vaccinated, (2) more able to navigate the system to get an early appointment; or (3) some combination of (1) and (2). Unsurprisingly, eugyppius focuses almost entirely on (1) in order to attribute the observation to the “midwit effect.” According to eugyppius:

Those who are of merely average intelligence don’t have much social influence at all. They find their intellectual superiors far more persuasive than their peers, at least to a point. Those who are very intelligent suffer from much the same disadvantage, because they are comprehensible only to a fairly small pool of slightly less intelligent people at the extreme right end of the curve.

Ours is therefore an IQ 120 midwit society; it could not be any other way. Those with the most influence have an upper comprehensive range extending to about IQ 140. They are still capable of internalising and mostly comprehending the criticism of the smartest professors. In the other direction, they look on the vast population of the unintelligent with a muted frustration, because their powers to persuade those with an IQ much below 100 are as weak as the power of their IQ 145 superiors is to persuade them. Since our midwit rulers are cognitively better endowed than probably 90% of the whole population, it’s easy for them to overlook the rare 10% of people who are smarter than they are. Accordingly, they throw all of their opponents into the same basket of intellectual deplorables, and commit themselves to unceasing wars against “disinformation,” to devising various social manipulation schemes and to banning the political opposition.

As might be typical for antivaxxers, eugyppius employs memes, because of course he does. First, he claims that the “midwit effect” is misunderstood as this:

Midwit "misunderstood"
The “midwit effect” misunderstood, according to an antivaxxer. Also, even though eugyppius does acknowledge the questions over the validity of IQ as an accurate measure of intelligence given all the socioeconomic and racial biases implicity in the tests, he’s still basically sayin gthat antivaxxers are much more intelligent and much better at critical thinking than the average person.

Note how this meme places antivaxxers like eugyppius, who presumably believes himself to be superior at data analysis, at the very highest level of cognitive ability, differentiating him and his “peers” from the presumably knuckle dragging conspiracy theorists who rant about 5G magnets in the vaccines. That’s not eugyppius! Oh, no! Antivaxxers like eugyppius know that the conspiracy theories about 5G and magnets in vaccines are ridiculous, but they also “know” that vaccines are dangerous and don’t work because the “data just doesn’t add up.”

This leads to eugyppius “correcting” the meme:

midwit meme
“Vaccine advocates and those wanting vaccines now are more intelligent than average, but we antivaxxers are super-geniuses!” That’s right! They view themselves as being among the top 0.1% in IQ!

When considering what this meme tells us about eugyppius’ view of his apparently intelligence, I cannot help but be reminded of an old Looney Tunes cartoon:

Midwit? No! Super genius!
How antivaxxers view themselves. Remember, though, that no matter how much Wile E. Coyote viewed himself as a super genius, the Road Runner always outsmarted him.

Consistent with this view of himself and his fellow antivax conspiracy theorists, eugyppius decides to dump on those who are merely “more intelligent than average” but not a super genius like him:

It follows that the ideas which dominate our world are not necessarily the best or the most rational approaches to things. They are rather those ideas which appeal to people whose intelligence is above average if less-than-phenomenal, and whose other personality traits optimise their institutional influence. They have the brains of upper middle-class professionals, and they’re also much more extroverted, conscientious and conformist than the broader population.

That’s right, you people with merely a 120-ish IQ! You’re not only not as smart as you think you are, but you’re highly conformist! Basically, here eugyppius is calling these people “sheeple” without using the actual word. Because the word “sheeple” is associated with with the most bonkers conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones, it would not do to use it here, although you know that that’s exactly the word that eugyppius is signaling to his readers by using terms like “brains of upper middle-class professionals” and “conformist.” Also, there’s a good bit of anti-intellectual, anti-elite characterization, because eugyppius immediately pivots to academics:

In academia, where they dominate like nowhere else, we see a range of learned pathologies – not only a deep faith in irrational hygiene procedures like perpetual vaccination and masking, but a whole world of bizarre ideologies pertaining to human gender and biology, the environment and society. Something has obviously gone very wrong with these kinds of people, but – and this is the crucial point – those things which have gone wrong with them are calibrated precisely to that midwit peak. However irrational the ideas current in this sphere, their appeal will increase with intelligence up to a point that is very nearly out of sight from us, because people of outlier high intelligence are extremely rare and their influence is negligible.

Gee, I wonder who these people of “outlier intelligence” who are “extremely rare” and therefore have “negligible” influence are? No doubt eugyppius considers himself one of these outstandingly intelligent people. Also note how eugyppius ties this supposedly super intelligence with the ability to see through “bizarre ideologies” that don’t just include “perpetual vaccination and masking”—never mind that almost no one is calling for perpetual masking and that we already have “perpetual vaccination” for influenza and a good case can be made for adding COVID-19 to that category given how the virus evolves—but also the bête noir of right wing science deniers, “gender ideology,” a.k.a. anti-trans bigotry, which is also based on conspiracy theories very similar to pre pandemic antivax conspiracy theories that “they” are coming for your children and want to do something to them that will permanently alter them. Before the pandemic, it was public health, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies making children autistic. Now it’s trans influencers, doctors, and the pharmaceutical companies wanting to persuade children that they are trans and need to medically—and even surgically—transition.

You might wonder why this particular Substack post caught my attention. The reason is simple. I’ve long pointed out how antivaxxers believe themselves to be more intelligent, more knowledgeable, less easily fooled than the average person who supports vaccination, as evidenced, for example, by some of the ‘gyms (e.g., The Professor) that some of them like to take on. eugyppius’ take, in which antivaxxers are not just more intelligent than average but in essence geniuses who are so much more intelligent than provaccine influencers, who are portrayed as being above average in intelligence but not enormously so, is just antivax self-image conspiratorial thinking on steroids. By pushing the “midwit” effect from being centered on the “average” IQ of 100 to being centered on an IQ of 120, eugyppius goes beyond portraying himself and his fellow antivax conspiracy theorists as just more intelligent than the average population, but more intelligent than the thought leaders of the population; i.e., as geniuses. (Remember, that only around 2-3% of the population has an IQ of 130 or greater, and eugyppius places the “rational” antivax conspiracy theorist element at 140 or higher.)

eugyppius also rationalizes why people of such supposedly high intelligence have negligible influence in society with respect to vaccines and gender. Surprise! It’s because very intelligent people who are not “geniuses” are the most persuasive to the dull masses and are also conformist sheeple. Even as eugyppius is arguing that it’s not about intelligence, he’s really saying that it’s about intelligence and that those with an IQ of around 120 who dominate the “upper middle class” and academia don’t “see” what he and his fellow antivaxxers who aren’t gullible enough to fall for 5G conspiracy theories about vaccines can “see” in the data. Again, conspiracy theories are all about believing that you see something that nearly no one else sees, that you understand connections that only you and your fellow conspiracy theorists can see, and that you are somehow, if not more intelligent, more able to see incongruities that prove that “something is wrong” than the sheeple—excuse me, conformists—who accept current science do. Even if you accept the likely retort that what is being claimed is not so much that “elite” antivaxxers have much higher IQs than vaccine advocates but that they are better at critical thinking (which is nonsense), the end result is still the claim that antivax conspiracy theorists are much smarter than vaccine advocates, again a key component of conspiratorial thinking.

The more that I think about it, eugyppius should change his ‘nym to Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

48 replies on ““The midwit effect”? Antivaxxers are irritated by a study on intelligence and vaccines”

If I understand the study correctly, the finding was that intelligent people could navigate the system to register for vaccination much faster than the less intelligent, and the goal was to advise that a simplified registration procedure that was not so difficult for those who aren’t highly intelligent would lead to better registration and thus better health benefits, across the board.
Eugyppius appears to suffer from the curse that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. His egotistical spinning of it calls to mind Jenny McCarthy’s support for the Indigo Children rot.
The “Wile E. Coyote – Super Genius” cartoon ends with Wile E. saying “Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mud.” And Bugs telling the audience “And remember, mud spelled backwards, is dum.”

The study also suggested that more intelligent people were more motivated to navigate the system and get vaccinated as soon as the vaccines were available.

Sounds pretty similar to the writings (or more ramblings) of the gunman who killed three people in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Automatic translation from
“It’s the loner versus the rest of the world. He, with an IQ of 156 and Asperger’s, feels superior to the 99.9 percent of the rest of humanity, with whom he cannot contact ‘because they are too backward compared to me’. He consistently calls them normies . Normal, ordinary people who adapt to society. It is actually very understandable that he is such a loner, he writes. ‘Their thoughts are at the level of a dog, compared to me, you can’t socialize with them. Conclusion: death to the normies.'”

“It is not the only conspiracy he espouses. He speaks of ‘the climate hoax’, the 9/11 attacks were an ‘inside job’ that, again, the Jews were behind and there is also deception of the world elite about the vaccines. He administered them as a medical student, but he himself has not been vaccinated. Fouad is convinced that the vaccine has led to heart problems, thrombosis and significant excess mortality.”

That guy really is mad.
Had to think of some familymember, some kind of far removed nephew or so, who studied medicine a long time ago. His aunt said he was far to clever to become just a family doctor. Well, to me is was more is anti-social behaviour that would make him unfit to be a doctor with regular contact with patients. I remember a birthday party he attended with his girlfriend, his sister and I think her boyfriend. They were the only ones who hade more or less my age, but they kept the converstation just between themselves and ignored everybody else.
But well, at least he never killed anyone, he was just an unpleasant guy.

Quite similar to the writings of the antivax medical student who recently shot a professor and two neighbours in Rotterdam, the Netherlands: other people were at the level of dogs compared to his Asperger’s brain with IQ 156.

A few days ago, an Ipsos poll showed that US people who wanted the new Covid vaccine were more likely to be college graduates, older and Democrats ( 70% vs 28% for the last variable). Yet antivaxxers will reject both these studies.

Amongst those I survey, ridiculing experts is common: they themselves are much superior and not compromised by upper middle class conformism and reliance upon media, governmental sources and university standards. They often illustrate how experts have been wrong before and how SBM can’t be trusted ( as though they could! ). Internet sources such as Wikipedia and educational sites are always rejected.

As I wrote elsewhere, they choose topics that are extremely detailed with very recent research that can be frightening AND that are not familiar to the general public so they can confabulate easily: vaccine science, immunology, virology, cancer biology, autism aetiology and SMI are topics that fit the bill. Substack,, websites: Naomi Wolf, Celia Farber, Jessica Rose, Igor, Covid contrarians Malone et al, Katie Wright, RFKjr/ CHD, NN,, The Highwire etc.

Denice, Orac touched upon a very interesting topic in this latest post that we are commenting on. I also would like to cover it when I get my thoughts together.

Regarding the Ipsos poll: if 70% of Democrats and 28% of Republicans want to take the latest Covid shot, it suggests that about half of the American adults (so over 100 million people) would get the latest Covid vaccine shot.

That number seems very high, to put it mildly, and very unrealistic.

That number seems very high, to put it mildly, and very unrealistic.

And why would it be unrealistic [he asked, despite knowing any “answer” igor gives will be monumentally stupid]

That number doesn’t seem high to me, based on other recent behavior: the number of people who got previous covid vaccines, and the number who typically get the annual flu vaccine. A bit over half the population

I suspect that percentage looks high to you because you don’t think most of your friends and family will get the vaccine. It looks low to me, because of how many of my own friends and family have either already gotten the new covid vaccine, or are talking about where/how to get it.

From the Politico article, only 17% took the last year’s Covid vaccine:

Still, both those numbers are much greater than the 17 percent of all Americans who got last year’s vaccine, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That suggests there’s ample room to make inroads with those who held out but might be open to getting a booster in the next few months.

@ Igor:

So apparently, you would rejoice if more people reject the vaccine? Why?

Commenters here have shown studies illustrating that people/ places with lower vaccination rates have more illness, hospitalisation and death, Dr Yeti, in no uncertain terms, described serious consequences in the unvaccinated that she has observed since 2020, Orac himself tirelessly elucidates vaccine safety and efficacy. Why should we listen to you- or any of the anti-vaxxers I listed along with you?

You don’t understand enough of relevant topics to extrapolate about consequences of vaccines. You may be intelligent- and I believe that you are- but you lack the ability to discriminate which stats and reports are meaningful and which aren’t. Intelligence testing measures many abilities and is often controversial BUT a few skills stand out such as verbal ability, manipulation of symbols, mathematics, reasoning, memory etc.
There are highly intelligent people who apply their skills to TOTALLY unreal situations creating complex scenarios, plots and artistry. David Bowie created alternative visions and soundscapes; Steven King writes bizarre, internally consistent horror; other scifi writers describes worlds that never existed and NEVER COULD.

I’ll add anti-vax/ alt med writers as inadvertent scifi writers: they make up complex storylines about viruses, vaccines and biological processes that
are not real. Read websites and nitter of any one of those I list and you will find solidarity with their process.

I used to have great sympathy for anti-vaxxers who rejected vaccines and became ill BUT the damage they have wrought makes them outside my concern: I worry more about those who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons/ poverty or the few whose vaccines failed whom anti-vaxxers might infect. Unvaccinated children generally have no say in the matter.

… also would like to cover it when I get my thoughts together.

Ain’t none of us gonna live that long.

Funny how they believe that they and their allies – that elite 2-3% ( well, actually less)- never question why only outliers show up. That it’s not something else about why they’re outliers. Not intelligence but some other unnamed quality.

“Given that some antivaxxers are no doubt quite intelligent”

As the old saying goes, that’s important is not the size of your brain, but what you do with it…

There is some truth that being smart does not immunize someone against fallacious reasonings and conspiracy fantasies. Quite a number of scientists/physicians have been part of nutty cults. Or of the antivaccine movement.
One could objects that being smart and having diploma do not correlate all the way. Specialization and rote learning are big factors in getting a diploma.

It also has been observed (notably by Terry Pratchett) that only some very smart people are able to reach some very high levels of stupid. ‘Less” smart people would not be aware that such heights are achievable, or would not be arrogant enough in their self-certainty to make decisions going that way.

I am or have been a member of the larger High IQ societies (Mensa, Intertel (short for International Legion of Intelligence lol) and the Triple Nine Society) so am supposedly one of the superintelligent he claims. Having perused these groups’ literature and social media groups for decades, I find it humbling to see that so many poor thinkers passed the same tests that I did. There are, of courses, many talented and reasonable people in these groups but tend to be drowned out by the leather-lunged types that Orac has chronicled for so many years. On the good side it has made me more likely to examine my own beliefs for irrational presuppositions and bias. One the down side it makes interacting with these groups a chore of separating the good from the chaff of antivaxxers, holocaust apologists, and conspiracy nuts.
I am well aware of the limits of IQ tests and got my qualifying score after taking a class on test taking strategies that I credit with adding a good 20 to 30 points to my usual score. Or it could have been my biorhythms lol. When PCs became common there were many free biorhythm programs around, so I checked and sure enough I took my GRE on a triple high day – only proving that anecdotes are not data.

I once took a seminar that allowed people who weren’t pursuing a degree there but already had a graduate degree in something. One woman nominated me for one of these societies which she belonged to ( of course, I declined).
In the group, she espoused several extremely detailed theories of personality/ education that resembled nothing in the literature or research to our continued amazement. One day, the prof let loose succinctly criticising her ideas and her reasons for taking the class and wasting his time. Needless to say, she wasn’t seen around there long.

Q: How do you know someone belongs to mensa or is an anti-vaxxer?

A: Don’t worry they’ll tell you.

Yeah, they mostly don’t make a secret of it.
I wonder why someone would want to join Mensa.

A common theme with these people is the glaring absence of self-awareness. I recently saw the classic Far Side comic of the kid in the gifted and talented program pushing to open a door that says pull.

Although, TBH I never look. Outer doors should always open outward for fire safety and it’s been that way forever.

Wel, perhaps they should, but I’ve never seen a frontdoor opening outward. I suppose it is a safety issue to make break-ins harder.
The door to my balcony is opening outwards though.

We’ve had antivaxxers for almost as long as we’ve had vaccines – for well over 200 years.

Just one simple question: in all those centuries, have those antivaxxers ever been right, even once?

Methinks what we have here is just a rather serious case of Dunning-Kruger.

Those with an exalted opinion of their own brilliance unsurprisingly tend to be triggered by evidence that their beliefs are widely shared by dumbasses.

We’ve had people who overestimate their own abilities for even longer than that…

Well, some criticisms of vaccines or concerns about specific vaccines was right – but it was not from anti-vaxxers. When there’s a problem, it’s inevitably mainstream scientists that find it.

Part of the issue is a definition one: who is an anti-vaxxer? It’s not just someone who has concerns about vaccines. It’s someone who denies data on vaccine benefits and disease risks, and overstates – or invents, or accepts false – claims of vaccines risks.

If that’s your definition, these people just cannot be right.

@ Igor Chudov

Though I wasn’t able to find up-to-date stats on how many Americans got boosters, I did find the following:


US Coronavirus Tracker updated May 10, 2023
At least 270,227,181 people or 81% of the population have received at least one dose.
Overall, 230,637,348 people or 70% of the population are considered fully vaccinated.

I think 230,637,348 a bit higher than 100 million; but given your level of stupidity, mental derangement, and “intellectual” dishonesty, you probably disagree. LOL

And you don’t understand our immune systems; but even those who only received full vaccinations without boosters are still somewhat protected. Why? Because B-memory cells that create antibodies can still recognize mutated strains of COVID, just not as well or as fast; but still do help. So, one might still get sick; but less severe and some, maybe, hospitalized; but fewer and need for intensive care less.

As I’ve pointed out, you see world in extremes of black and white; but the real world doesn’t work that way.

By the way, I just got back from donating blood. This time one unit platelets, one unit plasma, and one unit red cells. Took an hour in chair with needle in my arm. My reward: One package of Oreo cookies, 120 calories with NO nutritional value. There is a shortage of blood donors in US, so, though in my late 70s, I try to go every four weeks. And last Monday went to get Respiratory Synctial Virus Vaccine and latest COVID booster. Got RSV; but they didn’t have COVID booster. There is a shortage, so will go as soon as available. I have been getting vaccines since infant, 1st smallpox, then in 1955 Salk polio vaccine, and when worked in Far East got cholera, plague, typhoid/paratyphoid, and several others. And if they develop other vaccines, I will get them all. But, of course, I understand vaccines, you don’t.



I think 230,637,348 a bit higher than 100 million; but given your level of stupidity, mental derangement, and “intellectual” dishonesty, you probably disagree. LOL

I specifically mentioned last year’s covid vaccine.

Igor: From the Politico article, only 17% took the last year’s Covid vaccine:

Re: donating blood. Thank you for helping our society with donated blood.

However, wait for some time after Covid vaccine shot to donate your blood, because for some time your blood could be contaminated with Covid vaccine mRNA (which does not “stay in the arm” like it was supposed to).

This is explained in the scientific study by Castruita et al., SARS-CoV-2 spike mRNA vaccine sequences circulate in blood up to 28 days after COVID-19 vaccination. So wait at least 29 days to keep people safe from Covid vaccine mRNA in your blood!

In light of the national blood shortage, this unfounded suggestion borders on the sociopathic.

The Red Cross does not exclude healthy donors who’ve recently been vaccinated against Covid-19, but it does require deferral of donations for at least 10 days after someone tests Covid-positive.,to%20protect%20your%20own%20health.

The Australian Red Cross requires that people wait 3 days after having a COVID vaccine before donating blood. But the wait has nothing to do with the reasons Igor wants to use to discourage blood donation:

The reason you need to wait 3 days after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is that it may cause minor side effects such as a mild fever.

@ Igor Chudov

As usual, you find one paper that confirms your scientifically ignorant bias and post a comment. Well, here is just one of several papers:

“The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work by introducing mRNA (messenger RNA) into your muscle cells. The cells make copies of the spike protein and the mRNA is quickly degraded (within a few days). The cell breaks the mRNA up into small harmless pieces. mRNA is very fragile; that’s one reason why mRNA vaccines must be so carefully preserved at very low temperatures.

Nebraska Medicine (2022 Nov 1). How long do mRNA and spike proteins last in the body.

I already knew the above because I have known about mRNA and how it works for over 30 years. And so donating blood a week later posed NO problem.

Just one more example of your stupid, mentally disturbed, “intellectually” dishonest antivax bias.

There are millions of websites on the internet and one can always find something that confirms ones biases, regardless of how invalid they are.


@ Igor Chudov

The Politico articles stated: “The POLITICO | Morning Consult poll (toplines, crosstabs) was conducted Sept. 9-10. It surveyed 1,967 registered voters online and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. Results for subgroups, like for parents of children under 18 or voters who identify with a particular party, carry greater margins of error.”

I doubt their estimate of margin of error, based on less than 2,000 registered voters, especially not giving how many they actually were unable to contact; but, again, you base your position on one paper.


p.s. though I learned how the immune system works decades ago, I don’t rest on that, for instance, currently I am reading an undergraduate text in immunology and following 35 hour lectures from an undergraduate course, instructor Brianne Barker. Unfortunately a few of the lectures have a bit of static; but most quite clear and informative.

I doubt their estimate of margin of error

If they used 95% confidence and only found 17% of the respondents saying they got the shot, the margin of error works out to be around 2 percentage points (just a bit below, but 2 after rounding). It’s not the calculation I’d wonder about, it’s the sampling.

It’s no surprise that they state margins of error for subgroups are higher — smaller sample sizes there.

Luckily Joel is not a blithering idiot as igor’s subscribers [igor’s subscribers, across the board I will wager, must be or they wouldn’t pay for his crap] and knows that igor’s “warning” is pure nonsense.

@ Igor Chudov

First, if Politico’s article is correct, IF, then only 17% getting this year’s COVID shot not something to be pleased with. Though I don’t see the world in extremes of black and white as you do, as Winter approaches and more and more people indoors, closer, longer contacts, reasonable probability that COVID cases will increase and those hospitalized will increase. Paxlovid helps if taken within three days of exposure; but does NOT eliminate symptoms, just reduces severity and does NOT eliminate hospitalizations; but reduces them. And Paxlovid has side-effects such as diarrhea.

As for waiting 29 days to donate blood, if mRNA lasted as long as you, in your ignorance believe by finding one article, it would be great because my blood donation would not only replenish lost blood; but contribute to whoever receives it an increase in immunity against COVID. But, of course, mRNA barely lasts two days.

It is irritating that you never give a citation. Sequences certainly do not circulate anywhere. Sequence is list bases published in the literature. Your statement shows that you know absolutely nothing.
Link is
RNA was extracted from patient plasma and RNA sequencing was performed on the Illumina platform. In 10 of 108 HCV patient samples, full-length or traces of SARS-CoV-2 spike mRNA vaccine sequences were found in blood up to 28 days after COVID-19 vaccination.
Interesting thing is that author’s comment is:
This allows prolonged spike protein production giving an advantage for a continuous immune response in some persons.

@ Aarno Syvänen

Not sure you are addressing me. If you notice, I always start my comments with who I am addressing. So, if you are addressing me, you write: “it is irritating that you never give a citation.” Well, only a few comments above, I give: “Nebraska Medicine (2022 Nov 1). How long do mRNA and spike proteins last in the body.” And I have given lots of references in my comments. And you write: “full-length or traces of SARS-CoV-2 spike mRNA vaccine sequences were found in blood up to 28 days after COVID-19 vaccination”. First, traces of mRNA is meaningless since they can not lead to translation to proteins. As for 28 days, I suggest you read the article closer. If nano lipid particles somehow don’t deteriorate in short time, then possibly some mRNA may last longer; but the article explains that it is a Hepatitis C infection that is screwing up the blood system. And it is one article. Regardless of how good they are a scientists, doing everything right, result could still be wrong. I will wait for someone to replicate their study..

You write: “Interesting thing is that author’s comment is:
This allows prolonged spike protein production giving an advantage for a continuous immune response in some persons.”

Did you notice, I agreed: “if mRNA lasted as long as you believe by finding one article, it would be great because my blood donation would not only replenish lost blood; but contribute to whoever receives it an increase in immunity against COVID.

I knew a mathematician-turned-episcopalian-priest years ago who made me realize that high intelligence is a double-edged sword – it can make you very good at reasoning, and very good at rationalizing. What determines which predominates is probably down to your personality.

Given eugyppius’ misunderstanding of guassian curves, s/he will soon be the next IPAK fellow.

@ Igor Chudov

I find your comments quite entertaining/amusing. They remind me of one of my favorite novels and movies: Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

However, at the same time they remind me of one major problem we have in United States, uneducated, scientifically illiterates, who base their rigid antivax positions on nothing but their stupid antivax biases.

@ Dr Bruce:

All day yesterday, I searched regular news sites about him and saw nothing- I guess war takes precedent over folly. Only at altie sites.

I was worried when I heard it was at Philadelphia because I could imagine him grandiosely cosplaying in front of the iconic Independence Hall – but instead it was at the modern Constitution Hall. Articles today describe it as his ” last gasp” and how he forgot to bring his speech ( HuffPost).

This gave me a good chuckle. The idea that there are some antivaxxers with high IQs who are capable of analyzing data better than millions of scientists and doctors on earth is so funny!!

“Why smart people seem to believe all manner of crazy things, and smarter people seem to believe them even harder.”

TBH, I don’t think that ‘smart’ is all that apt a description for anti-vaxxers. 😂

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