What Big Pharma’s Manufacturers of Fast-tracked Covid-19 Vaccines Don’t Want Doctors or Their Patients to Understand


Gary G. Kohls, MD | Duty to Warn – TRANSCEND Media Service

7 Mar 2021 – The Actual/Absolute Risk Reduction [AAR] and the Number Needed to Vaccinate [NNV]: Truth-telling Statistics That Most Physicians Are Tragically Not Taught in Med School

It has been over a decade since I came to the realization that the entire profession of medicine had been bamboozled by the endless propaganda coming from Big Pharma’s drug and vaccine makers like Merck & Company. The turning point for me came when Merck kept proclaiming that its so-called “fracture-preventive” drug Fosamax was “50% effective” in preventing fractures in osteopenic/osteoporotic women.

I had always been suspicious of pharmaceutical sales reps and the corporations that they worked for, so I eventually found the time to check out where Merck got the 50% “effectiveness” figure that convinced so many of us physicians to order the expensive bone densitometry tests and then prescribe the expensive drug to the many post-menopausal women that had also been so effectively propagandized that they demanded that Fosamax be prescribed for them.

I read the clinical study information that was in the product insert for Fosamax and was. (It is helpful to note that all drug and vaccine makers are required by the FDA to publish their pre-clinical trial information about their drugs and vaccines and then include the information for both patients and physicians to be able to consult, ideally so that patients can be fully informed about adverse effects before consenting to the prescription.)

Of course, it is the rare, over-worked physician that has the time, energy or inclination to read the drug or vaccine information in the product inserts. And it is likewise the rare patient that is able to even superficially understand the scientific verbiage.

Lying buried among the Fosamax statistics were printed the numbers that revealed that the 50% efficacy rate for patients who took Fosamax continuously for the 4-year studies was a passing reference to the deceptive Relative Risk Reduction (RRR) figure that ALWAYS is used by drug companies to deceptively over-state the effectiveness of their products.

By doing a little math I understood that the patients who were conditioned by propaganda to be irrationally afraid of fractures had to take Fosamax for 4 years – and only after 4 years would they actually only have a miniscule 1-2% Actual/Absolute Risk Reduction (AAR) in the incidence of fractures, which is a much more realistic figure than what Merck, being the amoral, sociopathic entity that it and all Big Pharma/Big Vaccine corporations are, chose to advertise to us gullible physicians.

It is a fact that being truthful in the drug or vaccine industry is an impediment to selling product because they would be admitting they were selling a lousy, fraudulent, relatively ineffective or dangerous drug or vaccine. Of course, the radiology departments at clinics and hospitals benefitted financially from the deceptive Fosamax campaigns.

The Fosamax/Bisphosphonate Fraud

Incidentally, Merck – and some of the other Big Pharma corporations marketing me-too Fosamax-type drugs – are being sued by thousands of patients that have been damaged by the drug and, true to the amoral natures of all multinational pharmaceutical corporations, Merck continues to use delaying tactics in settling the over 4,000 lawsuits against it from patients who suffered drug-induced femoral fractures as well as drug-induced osteonecrosis and chronic osteomyelitis following dental extractions.

So it has come as no shock to me to discover that every Big Pharma vaccine maker (including the scores of pharmaceutical corporations that are currently – and unethically – fast-tracking Covid-19 vaccines) has been using the same deceptive Relative Risk Reduction (instead of the more meaningful Actual Risk Reduction) statistics for their vaccines that Merck was using back when Fosamax was the darling money-maker for the drug and bone-imaging industries.

To better understand the Fosamax Fraud, go to my 2017 Duty to Warn column on the subject at: http://vaccineimpact.com/2017/retired-medical-doctor-exposes-deceptive-statistics-used-to-justify-billion-dollar-flu-vaccine-and-drug-market/

Fosamax and Many Other So-called Osteoporosis Drugs Prospered Because of Statistical Trickery – Until Merck Started Getting Sued

Fosamax had been shown to increase bone density in some patients, but the assumption that increased bone density meant increased bone “strength” was fallacious and it is likely that every patient that took the drug long-term suffered adverse effects. GlaxoSmithKline, which marketed Boniva, has also been inundated with lawsuits.

The infamous propaganda statement that “Fosamax reduces hip fractures by 50%” was based on the misleading “relative” hip fracture Relative Risk Reduction calculation that came from the original 4-year clinical trials. What was intentionally not mentioned in Merck’s deceptive marketing campaign was that the Actual Risk Reduction for Fosamax was only 1% (not 50%), which is a minuscule figure unlikely to benefit the elderly women who took the drug continuously for years or decades or until they experienced the serious adverse effects.

The Fosamax hip fracture study was conducted on a group of post-menopausal women who were regarded as being at high risk for future fractures. In the Fosamax-treated patients, an average of 1 out of every 100 patients suffered hip fractures after 4 years – an incidence of 1% – whereas an average of 2 out of every 100 placebo (non-drugged) patients suffered hip fractures, an incidence of 2%. Of course, none of the placebo group suffered osteonecrosis of the jaw!

To come up with the misleading RRR calculation of 50%, Merck’s epidemiologists and statisticians divided 1% by 2% and came up with the intentionally deceptive 50% reduction – relatively speaking.  This statistical trickery is exactly how vaccine corporations like Pfizer and Moderna are claiming 90% efficacy – an  intentionally-deceptive “relative risk reduction figure.

It is a sobering reality to have to state that every career bureaucrat – scientist or not – that is employed at the NIH, the CDC, the NIAID and Food and Drug Administration doesn’t seem to have any awareness of the boondoggle it is perpetrating on the unaware politicians, the mainstream media, the public and us physicians.

But, in order to deceive us physicians of the value of pre1%) scribing such a worthless and dangerous drug, the miniscule actual risk reduction figure of 1% (2% minus 1% = had to be kept well-hidden.

The Merck, et al deceptive statistics also meant that 98% of non-drug treated patients did not get a hip fracture after 4 years of Fosamax, and 99% of Fosamax-treated patients likewise did not get a hip fracture, thus the Fosamax group received virtually no benefit from taking the toxic and costly drug.

The same reality is happening with the dozens of fast-tracked Covid-19 vaccines.

 “There were 44,000 people in the two arms of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine trial. Below are the raw statistics of the placebo group vs. the vaccine group: (Note that the primary endpoints in each group were cough, fever, headache, muscle pain and chills [plus a positive PCR test, which commonly causes false positive results].)

 “The Pfizer placebo group: 162/22,000 (= 0.736%) were diagnosed with Covid.

 “The Pfizer vaccine group: 8/22,000 (= 0.036%) were diagnosed with Covid.

 “In calculating the ARR, one subtracts 0.036% from 0.736%, which represents a miniscule percentage difference of only 0.7%, which is far below the heavily advertised, deceptive RRR of 95%, which is calculated by dividing 8 by 162 = 0.049 = 4.9%, which is subtracted from 100% to arrive at the unscientific 95% RRR figure. 

 An important reality to note is that pharmaceutical and psychiatric industries use the RRR deception routinely, whether they are marketing vaccines, drugs, surgical procedures, medical devices, psychiatric diagnostic assessments or even non-drug psychotherapeutic treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, etc.

Fool Me Once, Shame on You; Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me

In other words, the multinational Big Pharma/Big Vaccine corporations are still bamboozling us doctors and the public (not to mention the terminally-co-opted institutions of the AMA, AAP, APA, AAFP, etc) as well as average politicians that take corporate campaign “donations”.

I devote the remainder of this article reporting examples of studies from courageous researchers who actually published some very important statistics that should be revealed whenever a drug or vaccine is being marketed.

One of the most important taboo figures is the NNV (the Number Needed to Vaccinate), which tells prospective vaccinees how many patients will have to be vaccinated in order for one of them to receive a benefit. As will be explained below, in order to arrive at the NNV figure, the more legitimate Absolute Risk Reduction statistic must be calculated – and revealed – which never happens in the mainstream medical journals that publish Big Pharma’s clinical vaccine studies. NNVs never seem to be calculated or mentioned in medical journals or in vaccine product inserts.


What is Relative Risk?

The relative risk of an adverse event from a drug or vaccine compares the risk between two comparative groups, one of which received a drug and one group that received an inactive placebo. Relative Risk is usually reported as a percentage (like Fosamax allegedly reducing the risk of bone fracture by 50%). Although Relative Risk does provide some information about risk, it doesn’t say anything about the actual odds of something happening, whereas Absolute Risk does.

Relative Risk Reduction (RRR)

The RRR is a statistic indicating how much a risk is reduced in an experimental group compared to a control/placebo group. It is always a gross over-exaggeration of the actual efficacy of an experimental treatment and is therefore favored by drug and vaccine corporations as well as clinics and physicians who want to promote a product. The AAR statistic is, in contrast, rarely calculated because it is too truthful.

Note: the RVE (Relative Vaccine Effectiveness) for vaccine efficacy is equivalent to the RRR for drugs.

What is Absolute Risk Reduction (AAR)?

ARR is the absolute difference in outcomes between a group receiving treatment and a control/placebo group. The percentage reveals much more meaningfully how much the risk of something happening decreases if a certain treatment intervention occurs.

 What is the Number Needed to Treat (NNT)?

 One can see how using the RRR to exaggerate benefits of a drug (or vaccine) has become standard operating procedure for for-profit corporations and also for most clinics and hospitals. This is where the ARR-derived NNT becomes most valuable to patients when they are trying to make the often rushed decision as to whether or not to consent to a prescribed, potentially dangerous or costly drug treatment (or vaccination).

Knowing the NNT for any prescription drug makes total sense to patients who are often forced to make hasty decisions when accepting or rejecting a prescription.

Admittedly, the common use of the NNT statistic would make delivering healthcare more difficult (and time-consuming) for the prescriber, the clinic and the hospital.

The main value of the NNT is its straightforward communication of the true, unbiased science that can help both physician and patient understand the likelihood that a patient will be helped, harmed, or unaffected by a treatment. (for more information: https://www.thennt.com/thennt-explained/)

What is the Number Needed to Vaccinate (NNV?

The NNV is similar to the NNT, in that it says, in one phrase, how many patients will need to be vaccinated for one patient to benefit from the vaccine. The larger the number, the worse the efficacy of the vaccine. A few examples are listed below.

Assorted Numbers Needed to Vaccinate (NNV)

 Statistics such as these can be expected to vary according to location, age, chronic illnesses, nutritional status, etc. Googling Number Needed to Vaccinate is useful, although none of the CDC references should be trusted, because the close financial and collegial relationships between the CDC and Big Pharma create huge conflicts of interest.


The Number Needed to Vaccinate (NNTV) for Modern’s Vaccine is 176 to 1370

(That is, between 176 to 1370 people will have to be inoculated to achieve benefits)

Moderna’s Experimental mRNA Vaccine Has a Well-propagandized Relative Risk Reduction (RRR) of 95% and an Absolute Rise Reduction (ARR) of 0.8% , But its Number Needed to Vaccinate (NNTV) Calculates to 176 to 1370


“Moderna’s phase III trial has shown that, so far, the vaccine is 94.5% effective. (Mahase, BMJ 2020;371:m4471, November 17). As with the Pfizer vaccine news release, few numbers are provided, but we can approximate the Absolute Risk Reduction for a vaccinated individual and the Number Needed to Vaccinate (NNTV): There were 90 cases of Covid-19 illness in a placebo group of 15,000 (= 0.006) and 5 cases in a vaccine group of 15,000 (= 0.00033). This yields an Absolute Risk Reduction of 0.00567 and a NNTV = 176 (1/0.00567).

There were 11 severe illnesses, all in the placebo group, for an ARR of 0.00073 and a NNTV = 1370.

“So, to prevent one severe illness, 1370 individuals must be vaccinated. The other 1369 individuals will not be saved from a severe illness but are subject to (as yet unknown) adverse vaccine effects, whatever they may be and whenever we learn about them.” — Allen Cunningham, MD


NNV for Flu Vaccine to Prevent One Hospitalization (for children < 4 years of age) = 1852

“Quantifying Benefits and Risks of Vaccinating Australian Children Aged Six Months to Four Years with Trivalent Inactivated Seasonal Influenza Vaccine in 2010 “


The authors state that 1852 children (in a 2009 study) would have to be vaccinated to avoid one hospitalization due to any strain of circulating influenza.

The authors also estimated that, for every hospital admission due to influenza prevented, vaccinating with Fluvax or Fluvax Junior in 2010 may have actually caused two to three hospital admissions due to vaccine-induced febrile convulsions or epilepsy.


NNV for Infant Flu Vaccine to Prevent One Hospitalization = >4,255

“Childhood influenza: NNV to Prevent One Hospitalization or Outpatient Visit”

From the journal Pediatrics, 120 (3) (2007), pp. 467-472

Between 4255 to 6897 children ages 24–59 months of age would have to be vaccinated for influenza to prevent one hospitalization.

NNV for Shingles/Herpes Zoster vaccination for adults >70 years of age = 231

“Live Attenuated Varicella-Zoster Vaccine: Is It Worth It?”

From the UCLA Dept. of Med. 2007 Feb 20.


231 adults 70 years of age or older would have to be vaccinated to prevent 1 episode of Herpes Zoster (shingles). 175 adults over 60 years of age would have to be vaccinated to prevent 1 episode of Shingles.

NNV for Pneumococcal vaccine in Older Adults = 5,206

“The Impact and Effectiveness of (23 Valent) Pneumococcal Vaccination in Scotland for Those Aged 65 and Over During Winter 2003/2004”

From the journal BMC Infectious Diseases2008:53

The average NNV for adults >age 65 was 5206 (range: 4388 – 7122) per invasive pneumococcal infectious disease case prevented.

The calculated RVE (relative vaccine effectiveness) in this study was 61.7%, (!), thus exposing the lack of utility of the highly deceptive VE statistic.


NNV for Tuberculosis Vaccine (Ireland) = 646

“Neonatal BCG vaccination in Ireland: evidence of its efficacy in the prevention of childhood tuberculosis”

Reported in the journal Eur Respir J, 10 (3) (1997), pp. 619-623

646 children had to be vaccinated with Ireland’s neonatal Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine to prevent one case of tuberculosis in 1986


NNV for Gardasil in Sexually Inactive 12 Year-old Girls= 9,080

Estimating the Number Needed to Vaccinate to Prevent Diseases and Death Related to Human Papillomavirus Infection

CMAJ. 2007 Aug 28; 177(5): 464–468.

324 sexually-inactive 12 year-old girls would have to be vaccinated with Gardasil in order to prevent one case of cervical cancer if lifelong protection is obtained from the vaccine, there is an efficacy rate of 95% and no waning of immunity occurs (all three assumptions are absurd)

9,080 sexually inactive 12 year-old girls would have to be vaccinated with Gardasil in order to prevent one case of cervical cancer – if the efficacy rate is 95%, if lifelong protection from the vaccine is obtained and the immunologic protection wanes at only 3% per year (all three assumptions are still likely unobtainable)

Therefore, an NNV of 9,080 is likely to be an extremely over-optimistic estimate.

9,080 sexually inactive 12 year-old girls would have to be vaccinated with Gardasil in order to prevent one case of cervical cancer – and that would only be true if the efficacy rate is 95%, if lifelong protection from the vaccine is obtained and if the immunologic protection wanes at only 3% per year (all three assumptions are likely unobtainable

Therefore, an NNV of 9,080 is likely to be an extremely over-optimistic estimate.

NNV for Group B Meningococcal Vaccine = >33,000

“Epidemiology of serogroup B invasive meningococcal disease in Ontario, Canada, 2000 to 2010”

BMC Infect Dis, 12 (1) (2012), p. 202

Over 33,000 infants would need to be vaccinated in order to prevent one case of serogroup B invasive meningococcal disease – and that assumes that there is permanent efficacy – an unlikely possibility.

NNV to Prevent one Healthy Adult from Experiencing Influenza = 71

“Vaccines to Prevent Influenza in Healthy Adults”

Cochrane Review Feb 1, 2018

71 healthy adults needed to be vaccinated with the flu vaccine in order to prevent one of them from experiencing influenza (in 2017)

The following NNTs are for low-risk patients who took statins for 5 years (and whose only risk was an elevated lipid profile but with no documented coronary artery disease) compared to patients that did not take statins for 5 years

“Statins for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease”

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Jan 19;(1):CD004816


The NNT to prevent one heart attack after 5 years of statin use: – 104

The NNT to prevent one stroke: 154

The NNH (number needed to harm) for developing rhabdomyonecrosis (death of heart muscle tissue) and congestive heart failure = 10


104 patients would have had to take statins for 5 years for one case of heart attack to have been prevented

154 patients would have had to take statins for 5 years for one case of stroke to have been prevented

There was no difference in all-cause mortality between the two groups. In other words, there was no improvement in mortality statistics by taking statins.

However, for patients taking statins for 5 years 2 % of them (1 out of every 50) developed diabetes (significantly more that the no statin group).

For patients taking statins for 5 years, 10% of them (1 out of every 10) developed significant statin-induced rhabdomyolysis (more accurately-termed “rhabdomyonecrosis”), which means the death/necrosis of muscle tissue involving either heart muscle and/or peripheral muscle).

A Number Needed to Harm (NNH) figure of 10% is highly likely to be an underestimate because physicians who prescribe drugs and vaccines typically don’t make the diagnosis of iatrogenic illnesses (disorders caused by physicians, drugs, vaccines or surgical procedures).

For a list of the studies that back up the statin figures, go to: http://www.thennt.com/nnt/statins-for-heart-disease-prevention-without-prior-heart-disease-2/


Dr Gary G. Kohls is a retired rural family physician from Duluth, MN, USA and a member of the TRANSCEND Network. Since his retirement in 2008, Dr Kohls has written a weekly column for the Reader Weekly, Duluth’s alternative newsweekly magazine. His column, titled Duty to Warn, has been re-published and archived at websites around the world.  He practiced holistic mental health care in Duluth for the last decade of his family practice career, primarily helping psychiatric patients who had become addicted to their cocktails of dangerous, addictive psychiatric drugs to safely go through the complex withdrawal process. His Duty to Warn columns often deal with various unappreciated health issues, including those caused by Big Pharma’s over-drugging, Big Vaccine’s over-vaccinating, Big Medicine’s over-prescribing, over-screening, over-diagnosing and over-treating agendas and Big Food’s malnourishing and sickness-promoting food industry. Those four powerful, profit-seeking entities combine to seriously affect the physical, mental, spiritual and economic health of the recipients of the prescription drugs, medical treatments, toxic vaccines and the consumers of the tasty, ubiquitous and disease-producing “FrankenFoods” – particularly when they are consumed in combinations, doses and potencies that have never been tested for safety or long-term effectiveness. Dr Kohls’ Duty to Warn columns are archived at, among many other websites:
http://freepress.org/geographic-scope/national; and

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 8 Mar 2021.

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