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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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HomeCOVID-19‘Bright’ people head the queue for Covid jabs – oh yeah?

‘Bright’ people head the queue for Covid jabs – oh yeah?

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THERE is a scene near the end of Monty Python’s Life of Brian where the Christians are being led out for crucifixion or freedom as decided by Pontius Pilate. One prisoner is asked by a Roman guard ‘Crucifixion or freedom?’ to which he replies, ‘Freedom for me,’ and then, on the verge of being let go by the confused guard, adds: ‘No, I’m only pulling your leg, it’s crucifixion really.’ Clearly, a pretty stupid Christian.

Something similar is happening regarding the continued rollout of Covid jabs. Faced with the accumulating evidence for Covid vaccine harms which compounds their almost negligible effect at preventing catching or spreading Covid, and against a background of excess deaths among the vaccinated, you would think that any sensible person faced with the choice of ‘Covid jab (aka crucifixion) or freedom (aka no Covid jab)’ would choose the latter or, at least, be hesitant.

Not so. Moreover it is not ‘stupid’ people who are not only taking the vaccine but are rushing, lemming-like, to be head of the vaccine queue: it is intelligent people. Intelligent, maybe, but definitely not smart.

Evidence for the apparent stupidity of intelligent people comes from a study in the Journal of Health Economics which is helpfully, and somewhat gleefully, summarised in CIDRAP, the newsletter of the University of Minnesota. The study comes from Sweden and was carried out among over a quarter of a million men and women who had registered for military service in Sweden between 1979 to 1997. Data on the intelligence of these people were available in the Swedish Military Archives.

According to the summary: ‘A total of 80 per cent of the most intelligent people were vaccinated within 40 days of vaccine availability, while it took 180 days for those with the lowest cognitive ability to reach that level.’ The reason is that ‘the complexity of the vaccination decision may make it difficult for people with lower cognitive abilities to understand the benefits of vaccination’. So, not at all patronising to those who took longer to decide. In the light of evidence regarding Covid vaccines the only useful conclusion, surely, is that the intelligent people decided to harm themselves more quickly.

The original study is rigorous and meticulous and the results are not in doubt. However, it is written from a very positive perspective on the Covid vaccines and is designed to provide evidence for how to hasten people’s decision to take them. But the study included only those who accepted, however tardily, the offer of the Covid vaccine. With such a database at their disposal I hope the researchers do not miss the opportunity to answer the obvious question: ‘Is there a difference in intelligence between those who turned up for vaccination and those who did not?’

The Lothian Birth Cohort study, one of the largest and longest studies of intelligence in the world, provides ample evidence that intelligent people make better health decisions and, as a result, have better health and tend to live longer. One of those decisions may well be to accept vaccination, and it has to be conceded that some vaccines probably work. However, intelligent people should also be able to discern good vaccines from bad vaccines. In the case of the Covid vaccines it seems that they may need a little more time.

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Roger Watson
Roger Watson
Roger Watson is a Professor of Nursing.

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