352. Vaccines and Deep Vein Thrombosis

The administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine was halted last week in the EU as some cases of Deep Vein Thrombosis post vaccination were reported. This has resulted in a loss of confidence in the public, yet more proof if any were needed that the average citizen does not understand big numbers. When you are vaccinating, so quickly, such a large number of people, you are going to see all kinds of apparent after effects, just because things will happen with their normal frequency in a population and, given the large numbers vaccinated, some are bound to happen just after the vaccine. A number of just vaccinated people will crash their car, in line with current car accident prevalence, and a number will enter the menopause or lose their wallet. It is easy to draw causality when there is just coincidence and, when numbers are big, coincidence will happen. We should investigate to be sure, but not panic or develop conspiracy theories once causality is discarded, as will likely be the case

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