Science & Tech

Another Common Statistical Illusion Arising From A Drug Trial

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Why are UKHSA obfuscating data on stillbirths by vaccine status: just another statistical illusion?

How a hypothetical drug that is definitely not safe for pregnant women may inevitably be shown to be safe because of a simple ‘trick’ in the way the data is handled.

The latest UKHSA covid vaccine surveillance report provides a figure that suggests no increased risk of stillbirth in women who are vaccinated. But, as pointed out by Soutar Hamish those vaccinated prior to pregnancy are included in “no doses in pregnancy”:

This is outrageous obfuscation. Even though the rest of the report contains lots of detailed raw data, there’s no raw data provided to answer the simple question: “Is the stillbirth rate higher for those unvaccinated than those vaccinated (before or during pregnancy)?”

To see how easy it is to arrive at a figure like UKHSA provided, even if stillbirth rates were significantly higher in the vaccinated, consider the following hypothetical example data for 20,000 pregnant women broken down into the 4 categories:

Then we can present the results as follows, which clearly shows the increased risk of stillbirth in the vaccinated:

Or we can do what UKHSA have done in their Figure 8 which ‘shows’ that there is no increased risk of stillbirth from vaccination:

In fact, by just adjusting the numbers in each category we can create hypothetical examples in which the vaccine appears to reduce risk of stillbirth using the UKHSA ‘method’. Why doesn’t UKHSA simply provide the raw data to avoid us having to speculate?

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