Science Goes Too Slow For The News
Last year's misinformation on vaccine-associated myocarditis in young men is this year's well-established fact
I’ve been hoping to write on last week’s CDC ACIP meeting about whether or not to recommend the Omicron-modified bivalent vaccine booster candidates. While you can peruse the slide presentations that were used for these meetings, the meeting video has not been made public. It often takes a week or more before the CDC manages to upload the video of their ACIP meetings.
Normally, it’s not really a problem that things move this slow with the CDC. Before Covid, no one really cared that much if the CDC had their meetings available in a timely manner. But I prefer to have the full video available before I write about it because the most interesting part of these meetings is when the doctors and scientists discuss what they are about to vote on and what the pros and cons are.
Absent the video, this meeting was still somewhat astonishing.
There were several shocking charts and statistics within the slides, but a notable one is this chart, which noted that the incidence of myocarditis among young men in response to the vaccine is much higher than previously reported.
This, in and of itself, is astonishing. The rates of dose 2 myocarditis are 3-5 times higher for young men than what the CDC was reporting this time last year. For comparison, this is what was presented in the ACIP meeting this time last year.
But what is even more astonishing is that the latest CDC data on myocarditis is almost perfectly in line with the study on vaccine-associated myocarditis first published by Tracy Høeg, Allison Kruf, Josh Stevenson, and John Mandrola almost exactly a year ago.
This study was a canary in the coal mine in the debate about whether or not the COVID vaccine should be recommended for young men. With rates of myocarditis this high and the severity of COVID as low as it is for this age group, the case in favor of the vaccine for this age group is not strong. These results are why countries across Europe suspended the Moderna vaccine for men under 30.
This is a triumph of independent investigation and data analysis. These authors were a full year ahead of the CDC with important, actionable data that we should have been using to inform (among other things) the need for vaccine mandates among college students. The “formal” science moves slowly, but it has fully vindicated this analysis.
Unfortunately, science moves too slow for the news cycle.