Regarding risks, anumerisms and thrombi

By 10/04/2021 portal-3

A propósito de riesgos, anumerismos y trombos

We have been wondering for a few days about the risks of suffering a blood clot when receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. However, to take this risk into account and in perspective, we must broaden the focus and remember two things: that we are anumeric by nature (we are not good at calculating risks using mathematics) and that media scaremongering stimulates our amygdala, which hinders our reasoning.

Death is not the only problem

To get a general idea of the risk we face, let's use the following example. If we take a figure of 10 million imaginary people, we could expect to see 40 of these thromboses, and about 10 thromboses would have fatal consequences. Ten deaths out of every 10 million vaccinated people is a one in a million chance. If we delay vaccinations for our 10 million people by a week, around 16,000 could get coronavirus, based on current virus levels.

If they were all older adults, say 60 years old, maybe 1,000 would end up in the hospital and 300 of them would be expected to die, much more than the 10 deaths from clots after vaccination we mentioned above. But for younger people, the risks of hospitalization or death are considerably lower.

Given the same number of infected 40-year-olds, 16 could be expected to die. And the number of expected deaths would be even lower for people in their 20s and 30s. Therefore, for younger age groups, the choice about whether to receive the AZ vaccine is not so clear, especially when there are so many uncertainties in all these figures.

But death is not the only problem. About a quarter of people who end up in intensive care with Covid have some type of clot resulting from the virus.

And for a long time, Covid is more likely to affect people in their 30s than those in their 70s. On average, just over 2,000 in our group would still be dealing with Covid symptoms three months later, and more than half of They would be limited in their daily activities due to these symptoms.

And if a person does not get vaccinated, What is the average risk of suffering a thrombosis? Approximately 40 men and 100 women in our imaginary group of 10 million could suffer a thrombosis, that is, approximately 12 per month.

The European medicines regulator has said that by mid-March they could have expected to see between 1 and 2 cases of blood clots in people under 50 who received the vaccine, but they had seen 12, about nine times more than expected.

That which, we must take risks when we take medication. Either with a vaccine, or with heparin (which produces more blood clots): More than 300 drugs can cause thrombosis, many of them more likely than AstraZeneca.

It is the first time that we have vaccinated so many millions of people (we must expect more adverse cases) and that we follow, minute by minute, all the details through the media and social networks. Until recently, people got vaccinated for yellow fever before going on safari in Africa and did not ask about the side effects (which there are also) or the brand of the vaccine. Let's keep this in mind the next time our amygdala tries to prevent us from reasoning coldly and statistically..

Let's use mathematics to conceptualize rare events as they deserve, How should we do to relativize the fact that we have premonitory dreams?:

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Regarding risks, anumerisms and thrombi

was originally published in

Xataka Science

Sergio Parra