Thursday, 16 June 2022

Covidiot News - How Antivaxxer Trumpanzee Covidiots Continue to Harm Their Gullible Supporters

Factors causing low COVID-19 vaccination have spilled over to lower flu vaccination rates | UCLA Health

A new study from UCLA researchers indicates a previously undocumented impact of widespread Covid-19 vaccine promotion on other public health behaviours. Adult flu vaccination rates have declined in states with low rates of Covid-19 vaccination, which the authors say may be a harbinger of declining trust in public health, suggesting that Covid-19 vaccination behaviour has spilled over to flu vaccination behaviour. The finding is published in The New England Journal of Medicine as a letter to the editor.

States with a low COVID-19 take-up are, of course, mostly red states where a majority of voters think Trump was a good president, so have been easy victims for the right-wing frauds who spread antivaxx disinformation and claim the pandemic was a conspiracy and the measure to combat it were unnecessary and an attack on their freedoms. These are also the fools who believed the right-wing political rhetoric of the pro-Trump evangelical white Christian churches who said it was all a plot to close the churches and to prevent Christians from practicing their faith.

It is alarming that controversy surrounding Covid-19 vaccination may be undermining separate public health efforts that save thousands of lives each year. Many Americans who never before declined a routine, potentially life-saving vaccine have started to do so. This supports what I have seen in my clinical practice and suggests that information and policies specific to Covid-19 vaccines may be eroding more general faith in medicine and our government’s role in public health.

Much as someone’s decision to wear or forgo a mask in public during the early pandemic was linked with their more general beliefs through the idea of ‘belief signaling’, we propose that ‘belief generalization’ may account for Covid-19 vaccine-specific opinions being generalized to other vaccines. People who feel compelled to oppose or support Covid-19 vaccines may feel that they should in turn oppose or support other vaccines.

Dr Richard Leuchter, MD, lead author
A resident physician at UCLA Health
And the David Geffen School of Medicine.
The letter to the editor of The New England Journal of Medicine points out how these fools have been victimised twice - one over the COVID-19 vaccine and again over the trustworthiness of medical science and in particular the flu vaccines which have done so much to prevent a serious flu pandemic by giving annual flu jabs to combat the latest, or most likely new flu variants.

According to the UCLA Health press release:
The authors used publicly available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected through January 2022 to evaluate how flu vaccination rates changed during the pandemic based on state-wide rates of Covid-19 vaccination.

Flu vaccination rates for the first flu season of the pandemic (2020-2021), which pre-dated the widespread availability of Covid-19 vaccines, remained relatively stable across all states. However, in the second flu season of the pandemic (2021-2022), which was after widespread promotion of Covid-19 vaccines, flu vaccination rates dropped 4.5 percentage points (from 43.7% to 39.2%) in states with below-average rates of Covid-19 vaccination. Conversely, states with the highest uptake of Covid-19 vaccines saw increases in average flu vaccination rates of 3.8 percentage points (from 49.0% to 52.8%).

The authors say these findings taken together suggest that Covid-19 vaccination behaviors have spilled over to other public health behaviors, in this case flu vaccination. They explain that this relationship works in both directions: factors causing low Covid-19 vaccination rates (e.g., mistrust of Covid-19 vaccines, concerns about side effects, lack of trust in government) are linked to declines in flu vaccination compared to pre-pandemic times, whereas factors causing high rates of Covid-19 vaccination are spilling over to increase flu vaccination rates.

The authors propose that both of these trends may be explained by something called belief generalization.
It takes a special kind of stupid to think that, even if COVID-19 vaccinations are unnecessary and/or don't work or are part of some nefarious Satanic plot (which admittedly takes a high level of credulous gullibility in the first place) that this means flu jabs should be avoided too. But then we are still talking about people who think Trump was a good president, so for whom evidence is of no consequence and what they're taught to think from the pulpit is definitive truth.

The press release continues:

This is compelling evidence that the vaccination behaviors for flu and Covid-19 vaccines are inextricably linked.

Dr Richard Leuchter, MD
Rates of full vaccination against Covid-19 (i.e., both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine) varied from 50% (Alabama) to 81% (Rhode Island) through January 2022. Flu vaccination rates through January of the 2021-2022 flu season were also highly variable, ranging from 31% (Mississippi) to 59% (Connecticut). The study authors found that 60% of the variation in a state’s flu vaccination rate could be explained solely by that state’s average Covid-19 vaccination rate.

The authors note that these findings apply only to the general adult population. Flu vaccination rates among children fell uniformly and precipitously across both the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 flu seasons, regardless of when Covid-19 vaccines were introduced or state-wide rates of Covid-19 vaccination. The authors point out that previous studies have reported similar dramatic national declines in rates of childhood vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). Leuchter says that while belief generalization in the negative direction may partially explain why parents are opting out of routine vaccines for their children, the fact that childhood flu vaccination declined even among states with high rates of Covid-19 vaccination suggests that belief generalization from Covid-19 vaccines does not fully account for this trend. Reassuringly, flu vaccination rates among adults over 65 years of age remained relatively stable during these two flu seasons compared to the 2019-2020 season, albeit persistently underutilized in this population.

This study had some limitations. For instance, it did not directly measure individuals’ beliefs or reasons for forgoing vaccination. As an observational study, it does not prove that lack of trust of the vaccines or government caused the new decline in flu vaccination rates. In addition, the CDC reports flu vaccination rates based on self-report surveys and has not made county-level data for the 2021-2022 flu season available, so only state-wide data were used.

Despite these limitations, the researchers state that these findings should raise alarm and prompt rigorous study of the causes of decreases in non-Covid-19 vaccination rates to inform urgent action and corrective policies.


Sadly the letter in The New England Journal of Medicine is protected by copyright so can't be reproduced here. However, in their open paragraph, the authors make it clear that they place responsibility for this situation on the polarization of opinion over COVID-19:
The polarizing nature of vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) within the United States threatens public health and has contributed to variable statewide vaccine uptake that ranged from 50 to 80% as of January 2022.1 Given the divided national landscape and anecdotal evidence from our own patients, we hypothesized that low Covid-19 vaccination rates would be associated with decreases in influenza vaccination rates.
This polarization was a deliberate attempt by the Trump administration and his allies on the extreme right to politicise the pandemic, believing they would make political capital from such polarization. As things turned out, all they achieved was fooling their own supporters into risking serious illness and death from COVID-19, and now, as this article shows, from a seasonal flue epidemic.

The American Republican Pary is probably the first political party in history to promote policies that make their own supporters sick and take part in what some commentators have likened to a self-inflicted genocide of right-wing covidiot Trumpanzees, and Trumpanzee cultists are probably the first political faction who think policies which seem designed to harm them, are good things to vote for.

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