Model Misspecification and Grossly Inflated Estimates of Lives Saved

Spiro Pantazatos

In a recent study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Watson et al. apply mathematical modeling to estimate that mass COVID-19 vaccinations saved between 14-20 million lives worldwide during the first year of the COVID-19 vaccination program.

Previous Brownstone articles by Horst and Raman have already pointed out several erroneous assumptions in the study regarding infection- vs. vaccine-derived immunity duration as well as the fact it did not account for vaccine adverse events and all-cause mortality risk.

Here, I summarize the mechanics of how the authors arrived at their estimates of deaths averted due to mass vaccinations. I then elaborate on how flawed assumptions in the model can lead to grossly inflated estimates of averted deaths, which may explain the study’s lack of face validity and internal consistency.

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