A new study published this month in The American Journal of Medicine claimed that people not vaccinated from the COVID-19 virus were more likely to suffer road accidents, prompting outrage on Twitter. The study authors suggested that insurance companies make changes to the policies of unvaccinated people.
‘The observed risks could also justify changes to driver’s insurance policies in the future,’ the Canadian researchers advised.
The study’s principal investigator, Dr Donald Redelmeier of the Sunnybrook Research Institute, said his research ‘showed that trafficking risks were 50%-70% more frequent for adults who had not been vaccinated than for those who had not been vaccinated. they had.”
“This does not mean that vaccination against COVID-19 directly prevents traffic accidents. On the contrary, it suggests that even adults who do not follow public health advice can neglect the rules of the road,” he concluded.
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As the report went viral on Tuesday, medical professionals and scientists weighed in on the controversial study.
“Here’s a joke from a study that says the unvaccinated are involved in more car crashes. There’s a lot wrong with that,” wrote Dr. Clare Craig, a British diagnostic pathologist in a Twitter thread.
She argued that the main problem with the study was that it was morally misleading, but she also accused the researchers of misusing their data.
Craig argued that the study was flawed for a variety of reasons, including the inclusion of unvaccinated pedestrians injured in crashes.
“These claims are based on incidents that resulted in hospitalization. Every injured person is referred to in the paper as an ‘accident’, even when the injured person was a pedestrian!” she wrote.
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The “fundamental flaw,” he said, was that the study relied on the government database of vaccinated people. He pointed out that you could still have an accident and not go to the hospital, and therefore would not have been included in the study.
Linking to a table from the study, he wrote: “No matter how you cut the data, the risk has apparently increased by about the same amount.”
He argued that the study’s data could be used to make all sorts of claims about the unvaccinated, from having a higher rate of “donation to charity” to “recycling,” simply because the “denominator [was] artificially small.”
Other medical professionals derided the study as absurd.
Dr. Vinay Prasad, a hematologist-oncologist and healthcare researcher, laughed at her findings. “This also repeats the silly idea that GPs should specially advise unvaccinated people about driving,” he tweeted with laughing emojis.
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Substack engineer and author “Polimath” also derided the study as unintentional satire.
“I’m awfully tired of saying ‘these vaccination studies don’t tell you useful things, they misattribute confounding variables.’ So it’s nice that these researchers presented my argument for me in this satirical form,” the user wrote.
The Twitter user argued that the ultimate goal of such studies is to treat some members of society as outcasts. “The ultimate goal of these studies is to say ‘those people are the outgroup and they deserve every bad thing that happens to them. We should purposely make their lives worse,'” she added.
Some conservative media outlets agreed the study had nefarious intentions, using science to argue that insurance companies punish the unvaccinated.
Radio host Jason Rantz tweeted, “This is exactly the kind of nonsensical study that sets the stage for auto insurance companies charging the unvaccinated more for coverage. It’s transparent.”
Podcast host Dave Rubin criticized the studio in a tweet: “This one deserves the rare combination of banana clown emoji.”
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The study looked at 6,682 traffic crashes in Ontario, Canada, during the summer of 2021 and found that the unvaccinated accounted for 1,682 crashes or 25 percent of them, which the researchers said was “equal to a 72 percent increased relative risk.” % compared to those vaccinated.”
The researchers proposed that there may be a correlation between “distrust of government, belief in liberty, misconceptions about everyday hazards, belief in nature conservation, dislike of regulation, chronic poverty, misinformation, exposure to disinformation, insufficient resources, and other personal beliefs”. to the increased risk of road accidents.