An Honest Conversation about Vaccines

This is not a place meant for dogma or ideology to show through, but a place to share real resources about underlying data about the vaccine.

With that being said, I definitely lean right and as a first year analyst, usually just see (biased) headlines without the time or desire to dig into articles yet.
Anyone with a decent amount of prudence would be a bit skeptical about the first round of a vaccine that was pumped out in 9 months. Before I look to take a vaccine, I want to look at the data myself or hear from someone more medically educated than a first year covering healthcare services.

Has anyone here actually looked into the data of the effects of the COVID-19 vaccines they wouldn't mind sharing? Real resources, no CNN or FOX or MSNBC or other biased outlet with a message to push. 

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Comments (72)

Feb 10, 2021 - 11:11am

If you don't want to read mainstream media, there is a ton of scientific research across the web. Johns Hopkins and the other institutes will link you to most of them.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Feb 10, 2021 - 11:24am

One important thing to note about vaccines is that most take their years on years not because of trials, but because of the time it takes to receive funding and recruit for trials. This vaccine had unlimited money flowing into it and hundreds of thousands of people volunteering to be part of the trials so the year+ it would take for an institute to apply and get approval for funding (which requires a whole step of proving efficacy in animals which these vaccines skipped because it isn't that crucial of a step), we were able to avoid which is why these were sped up. Most late stage vaccine trials only last a few months. The FDA wouldn't have approved vaccines that skipped safety steps. This is evident in the fact Astra hasn't been approved yet, they had some inconsistent data in their release (I believe the biggest issue is the lack of age diversity and they released different efficacy numbers) and the US wants to confirm it for themselves so they are waiting for the US trials to be complete. 

One other big anti-vaxxer thing going around is the release of liability for vaccine manufacturers and it's important to note that this is standard across vaccines and not new to this one. It is very difficult to trace issues back to a certain medicine/vaccine especially long term issues so the government says you cant sue because it's a waste of time and resources.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 10, 2021 - 11:52am

This is the type of insight I was looking for, well earned banana

Apr 27, 2021 - 10:52pm

I argued with a friend using similar points as yours. But what would your counter be to this: 

"You can't test humans for effects on pregnancy, fertility, long term damage such as organs & exposure to live virus intentionally. These are all unethical so we use animals to see if they can still reproduce, offspring is healthy, organs don't start failing & future exposure risks. These vaccines have been tested for months. There's no long term data. I mean, they tested them mostly on healthy ppl in the middle of life. Covid itself doesn't really hit a significant number of them hard. But ask a nursing home worker about our geriatric population reaction."

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 28, 2021 - 10:27am

Putting the animal testing argument aside (that is never a major factor in vaccine research but a much cheaper alternative to humans in early stages which is why it's used and was skipped this time)

Regarding the length of trials and participants, most vaccines are only studied for a few months. Trials aren't really ever years long for vaccines. Regarding participant selection, they chose a very diverse population (age, health, gender, race etc.) and it was a statistically accurate sample. These healthy people may not have died if they got covid but the vaccine stopped them from getting it which is the point of a vaccine and when people got it stopped them from hospitalization or dying with amazing accuracy. 

My friend works at a nursing home and those populations welcomed the vaccine and it was completely safe for them and now they can see their families again. Maybe your friend should do a bit more research on how a trial is done before just cherry-picking whatever they read on The Onion.

Your friend may have thought they did something but in reality they're just trying to justify putting everyone around them who can't (for medical reasons) get the vaccine at risk 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 10, 2021 - 11:53am

Dude everyone has biases and skepticism - the goal is to make sure that they're not illogical by looking at data. Exactly the purpose of this post.

Feb 10, 2021 - 10:40pm

Honestly respect to you for asking these questions. It might be weird saying, but lot of people have completely refused to look into this stuff and written off the vaccine as a whole, not to mention buying into some idiotic ideologies surrounding it. I wish more people, regardless of political affiliation, would just ASK like you did. Skepticism is not a bad thing and people have every right to want to know a bit more.

Dayman?
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Feb 10, 2021 - 9:59pm

If you want real data timely on side effects from the COVID vaccine, check the CDC VAERS database which is updated weekly. Tons and tons of data there. If it's too much just read some reports or articles with VAERS in it. You'll see a world of side effects you never knew existed for vaccines in general, like parosmia, crying, blepharospasm... but it's normal. Look at some of the other vaccines you've been given and their side effects as a reference point.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 11, 2021 - 12:11am

That's what I was thinking too. I've willingly taken 15-20+ vaccines over my life which have reported side effects, so whatever I find in the database mentioned in the above comment will have to be comped to how I've reacted previously.

Feb 11, 2021 - 12:27am

it's a synthetic mRNA vaccine. what's wrong with that? knowledgable people claims it's the next step in developing vaccines and can help with a bunch of existing diseases.

pharma is selling this vaccine close to the cost of manufacturing. and wtf is big science?

Feb 10, 2021 - 10:19pm

Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33301246/

The COVID-19 vaccine development landscape

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32273591/

COVID-19 Vaccine: A comprehensive status report

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32800805/

Phase I/II study of COVID-19 RNA vaccine BNT162b1 in adults

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32785213/

COVID-19 Vaccine: A comprehensive status report

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7423510/

Pfizer: The miracle vaccine for COVID-19?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7754880/

Vaccines for COVID-19

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32935331/

COVID-19 vaccine: A recent update in pipeline vaccines, their design and development strategies

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33245898/

COVID-19 Vaccine: Critical Questions with Complicated Answers

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7771841/

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Feb 11, 2021 - 12:17am

This comment is a lot more productive than your one below. 

obvs

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Feb 10, 2021 - 10:39pm

Analyst 1 in IB-M&A

Anyone with a decent amount of prudence would be a bit skeptical about the first round of a vaccine

Nope. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Feb 10, 2021 - 10:53pm

I think there's 2 things to consider. 1 is vaccine in itself and the other is vaccinating vs non-vaccinating.

On vaccine:

1) Vaccine efficacy of 90-95% across thousands of trial participants looks valid

2) The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are a new mRNA tech, which may be a little worrisome but I think the mRNA is harmless. The point of it is to induce our cells to produce a protein that the virus also has, so your body learns to identify and fight the protein. This sounds better than being injected with inoculated COVID virus, which is what influenza vaccines do.

3) Millions of healthcare professionals have taken it, including most of our political leadership. 

On non-vaccinating:

1) If you're young and healthy, take it or not when it's available for you, whatever. If you catch COVID, the odds are stacked that you'll be fine anyway. Even if you end up hospitalized, I think COVID treatment is getting better. That said, even young people often experience some mild symptoms, the most common being lost of taste/smell. Losing those sucks cause you're missing out on food pleasures and/or a important sense of your environment. The main point of taking a vaccine even if you're young is that it's socially responsibility; you should feel some sense of humanity to reduce your odds of catching COVID, spreading it, and increasing the odds (even if infinitesimal) that someone vulnerable might get COVID. 

2) If you're old or have health problems, it's a no-brainer. The vaccine doesn't guarantee you won't catch COVID, but it has thus far had a near 100% efficacy rate on preventing hospitalization if you catch COVID. The alternative is to run a higher chance of catching COVID at which point you have bad odds on outcome.

Feb 11, 2021 - 4:19am

If you're healthy and get in a car accident and survive, there is still a chance you have long lasting side effects / complications. I'm sick of people fear mongering about long term effects. Yes, they can happen, but at this point we don't even know how many people have actually had the virus. With claims being that 10x the positive results is the true case number, it feels like the constant need to talk about long covid is far overblown and solely based on anecdotes and not statistically significant data. Throw all the MS you want, I don't care.

Feb 11, 2021 - 4:06pm

This is definitely something to think about.  We have risks and unknowns whether you take the vaccine or catch an asymptomatic/mild case of the virus.  My hunch is that there is a low risk of any long term harm from either of the aforementioned scenario, but the risk of long term harm from the virus is orders of magnitude greater than that of the vaccine.

Feb 11, 2021 - 5:42am

There´s no conversation bro, and I say that as a conservative guy myself.

Yes, vaccines can be dangerous to the weakest (newborns/AIDS/etc) and if not tested properly can cause some side effects - guess what, that describes every single fucking treatment in the history of treatments. The all-in-one vaccination against polio, smallpox, tetanus and all that they had up until the 80s? It inflamed the skin so bad, it gave children scars, my gf still has hers (2nd world country). But still, it was worth it, because spoiler alert, polio, smallpox, all those viral diseases? Are fucking deadly.

So nut up, shut up, take the shot and even if you get inflamed skin or a bit of tummy aches, try to be a bloody man, for pityssake.

Feb 11, 2021 - 10:38am

PrivatePyle

Comparing polio and small pox to Covid-19 is laughable. Wow. And shaming people into doing something they don't feel comfortable with is an awful precedent to set. Shame on you.

There are 2 realities. The first reality is that people under 25 don't need the vaccine. The second reality is that the Democratic party, in its insatiable lust for power, will never relinquish its totalitarian control of the cities and states it runs until a significant portion of the nation is vaccinated, such that that will require young people to get the vaccine. So if you want to get your life back as soon as possible, then get the vaccine, even if you don't need it. It's an unfortunate reality, but people do not give up power easily.

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Feb 11, 2021 - 3:02pm

PrivatePyle

Comparing polio and small pox to Covid-19 is laughable. Wow. And shaming people into doing something they don't feel comfortable with is an awful precedent to set. Shame on you.

>shaming people into doing something they don't feel comfortable with

That is called civilisation, my friend. Freedom is an illusion and your comfort would have been already sacrificed happily in literally any other period of human existence. Feel glad that in the Western world you at least have the privilege to voice your opinion lol. I come from city that has been bombed to literal ashes. Our house was built out of rubble, and I´d wager one or two bones of former inhabitants. You don´t know how good you have it.

Feb 11, 2021 - 8:24am

A bunch of scientists at Harvard and MIT made a vaccine for themselves last summers and took it completely untested. 

https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/07/29/1005720/george-church-diy-c…

There is not some spooky thing with vaccines man. It just primes your immune system against a certain infection. If you think this is odd then know that you get exposed to hundreds of pathogens throughout your life that you have no control over which also elicit an immune response. 

Array
Feb 11, 2021 - 8:30am
  1. These vaccines aren't untested, but based on a massive amount of research in the past few years. Part of the reason the vaccines were made so quickly was because scientists were already in the process of making a general vaccine to fight coronaviruses. Check Oxford's video for more detail.

  2. Part of the reason clinical trials take so long is that each stage is done consecutively. For these vaccines, many of the stages were done simultaneously, dramatically shortening the time needed for trials.

Feb 11, 2021 - 8:52am

Analyst 1 in IB-M&A

 I definitely lean right

as a first year analyst

Checks out

you didn't make good choices; you had good choices

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  • Intern in HF - Other
Feb 11, 2021 - 11:01am

Spoke with a biotech investor recently who was in a prominent role at a big pharma company (think Merck/Eli Lilly/Pfizer) for 30 years before becoming an investor. 

He said that the vaccine data that came out from Pfizer and Moderna is some of the best he's ever seen. He also said that the data was better than a fair amount of drugs that were approved by the FDA that were developed for 4/5 years. 

Feb 16, 2021 - 3:17pm

The Pfizer trial had a total of 10 (9 in the placebo group, 1 in the vaccine group) serious covid cases and 6 (4 in the placebo group, 2 in the vaccine group) covid deaths. I am not in biotech and have not read tons of trial data before; but I do know statistics well enough to question the claim that this was "some of the best" results ever seen. The trial also only enrolled 5 people aged 85 or older. It is very unclear how effective this vaccine is based on the trial data (for the broader population). And any claims regarding the efficacy for the 85+ group are simply guesses. 5 trial participants is just not remotely close to a large enough sample to make any conclusions.

Feb 16, 2021 - 4:35pm

poordad

The Pfizer trial had a total of 10 (9 in the placebo group, 1 in the vaccine group) serious covid cases and 6 (4 in the placebo group, 2 in the vaccine group) covid deaths. I am not in biotech and have not read tons of trial data before; but I do know statistics well enough to question the claim that this was "some of the best" results ever seen. The trial also only enrolled 5 people aged 85 or older. It is very unclear how effective this vaccine is based on the trial data (for the broader population). And any claims regarding the efficacy for the 85+ group are simply guesses. 5 trial participants is just not remotely close to a large enough sample to make any conclusions.

Where are you getting your numbers from? There is no chance the FDA approves the vaccine based on such a small sample size.

Array

Feb 11, 2021 - 1:13pm

Some of the wealthy people I know are holding off from getting the vaccine because there's some concern about autoimmune or neurological side effects from the vaccine that *could* manifest themselves later. They aren't frontline workers and they can afford to wait it out in their second homes in wine country working from home. (Note they're educated and not anti-vax). This makes me want to wait as well or at least wait until I have a choice of which vaccine to get.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 11, 2021 - 1:28pm

This is more where I land... I don't care about and understand the aches and pains one has after getting any vaccine. It's more about the more extreme, hidden, "black swan" effects mentioned...

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Feb 11, 2021 - 2:39pm

Is there any sort of evidence that these are issues that people are having these issues? There's no evidence that these are impacts of the vaccine, nor are they issues that have come up with vaccines in the past. There's 1,000 potential issues with something but without evidence it's just spreading fear to look more woke than everyone else. The same "wealthy people" you know probably also have world class medical care and party amongst themselves anyways so who cares about the 4k people dying daily right? Some people medically can't get vaccines. Don't deter others from doing so and endanger those who can't do anything about it just to say shit.

Feb 11, 2021 - 3:00pm

So far we're at 156 million doses given worldwide. I haven't heard any evidence yet of these black swan event reactions. But maybe that would require years of follow-up. The issue with that is that how could you even prove the connection of a black swan health event and a vaccine given to you from, say, 5 years prior?

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Feb 11, 2021 - 3:11pm

You read too much into my comment and my intent. Data thus far suggests the vaccine is safe and I don't discourage people from getting it, I simply want to know more with an open discussion.

A few people in a 30k person Moderna trial developed Bell's Palsy (3 w/vaccine and 1 in control). Who knows if the vaccine was a cause or it was a coincidence. In 1998 the Wyeth vaccine for the rotavirus was approved (80-100% effective) and no significant adverse side effects in clinical trials only to find out it increased risk of bowel obstruction and was subsequently withdrawn. All this is being monitored as is the normal in the course of vaccine development.

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Feb 11, 2021 - 2:52pm

Analyst 1 in IB-M&A

Anyone with a decent amount of prudence would be a bit skeptical about the first round of a vaccine that was pumped out in 9 months. Before I look to take a vaccine, I want to look at the data myself or hear from someone more medically educated than a first year covering healthcare services.

Worth noting that many vaccines are produced in this amount of time.  The flu vaccine is made anew basically every year because of new strains, and they produce those quite quickly as well.  It's why it's recommended to get it every year, it accounts for genetic drift in the virus itself.  Also, coronaviruses themselves are not new.  In some ways, this is just a new and far more virulent version.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Feb 11, 2021 - 4:13pm

Yeah a lot of people overlook that we have a good understanding of coronaviruses and have even started vaccine development for them prior to this (SARS for example) and these vaccines used that research and whatever trials were done in those vaccines (which never came to fruition because those viruses ultimately died off)

Feb 11, 2021 - 3:43pm

My issue is most of the people questioning the vaccine do not have the knowledge to actually ask the right questions and when they get answers from people with the qualifications to answer them, they ignore it. Question all you want, but understand that you are not a scientist or doctor. 

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Ind
Feb 11, 2021 - 5:18pm

Read through some of this guy's posts, and the stories he links or posts pictures of (felt it better to link the Twitter instead of individual cases).

https://mobile.twitter.com/AlexBerenson

Not liking the side effects I'm reading about. 

Here's a specific instance of a sub-50 year old dying post-vaccination. He mentions there are some details missing regarding the case from the story. 

https://mobile.twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1359880199983271940

Would very much prefer relaxed policies surrounding the vaccine. I am afraid of being forced into taking it for the sake of keeping the job or being able to work. 

Feb 11, 2021 - 9:15pm

Berenson is saying the Israeli data is worse than is being reported. 91% of people over 60 have been vaccinated in Israel and just today or yesterday was the first time that fewer people over 60 were in the hospital than people under 60. That's a pretty amazing stat that Berenson is ignoring. 

Also, you have to keep context: when 150 million people have been immunized, there are going to be outliers--hundreds of them in a sea of 150,000,000. Simply reporting a very bad side effect to a vaccine in an individual and failing to present the context is basically lying to people. I personally knew a 30-year-old very healthy man and in great shape--he dropped dead of a heart attack on his jog one morning. These things happen. Outliers exist. Every aspect of life is a calculated risk. There is no indication that there is a great risk from these vaccines, but there are risks.

Array

Feb 11, 2021 - 9:11pm

No-Nothing

Damn, I wish there was a nation-leading medical expert and scientist to guide us through these trying times of chaos and confusion. I guess I'll just have to resort to Google and my excel skills to help me understand what to do.

It's too bad all we have is the inveterate liar, Dr. Fauci, who has contradicted himself (or straight-up lied) over and over again going back to Jan 2020. 

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Feb 11, 2021 - 8:57pm

TRUST THE VACCINE DO NOT QUESTION THE VACCINE HOW DARE YOU

SCIENTISTS AND DOCTORS HAVE NEVER BEEN WRONG ABOUT ANYTHING YOU MUST TRUST THE VACCINE AND DO NOT QUESTION ANYTHING

Btw I MS'd you for daring to question the vaccine

Feb 14, 2021 - 2:44pm

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

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