Dr. Brownstein: New Shingrix Vaccine for Shingles Fails 97% of Time

Let’s look at the Shingrix data.  I went to the Physicians Desk Reference information on Shingrix.  In section 14, the clinical trials used to get the vaccine approved are described.  There were 14,759 subjects aged 50 years and older who received two doses of either Shingrix or placebo.  In the NYT article, it was written that SHingrix was about 98% effective at preventing shingles for one year.  The PDR report stated that same thing.    If this vaccine was truly 98% effective, then I would have to seriously consider recommending Shingrix.

Here’s the actual data:

Six people out of 7,344 who received the two doses of Shingrix developed shingles—that is 0.08%.  210 out of 7,415 people who received the placebo became ill with shingles—that is 3%.  How do they get 98% efficacy out of these numbers? Again, I have written about how the Big Pharma Cartel manipulates statistics to make a poorly performing drug or therapy look better than it actually is by using the relative risk (RR).  Dividing .08% by 3% and subtracting from one provides the RR decline of nearly 98%.  However, the relative risk is an inaccurate statistical model that should never be used to make clinical decisions.  The more appropriate statistical model to determine if a drug or therapy should be used is the absolute risk reduction (ARR).
The ARR for this study can be calculated here:  3%-0.08%=2.9%.  Therefore, a more appropriate determination of the effectiveness of Shingrix is that it is 2.9% effective at preventing shingles for a median of 3.1 years (the length of the study).  And,  a true statement about Shingrix is that it takes 34 people to be vaccinated with Shingrix (1/2.9%) to prevent one case of shingles.  That means the drug failed 33 out of 34 who took it which is a 97% failure rate!

So, Shingrix is certainly better than Zostavax since Zostavax fails 99% who take it

via Vaccine Impact Dr. Brownstein: New Shingrix Vaccine for Shingles Fails 97% of Time