Barry Norris, founder of Argonaut Capital, doesn’t consider himself an ‘anti-vaxxer’ nor is he aiming to spark political discourse with his latest blog ‘The vaccine swindle’. But his heavily-cited article doesn’t shy away from scepticism regarding vaccine development. Scientific evidence makes it hard to disagree that a coronavirus vaccine won’t be the game changer that politicians or investors are hoping for.
Vaccines work best when targeting illnesses that cause severe symptoms in otherwise healthy populations. Smallpox, for example (the only virus that mass vaccination has ever eradicated) caused multiple organ failures in 30 per cent of those infected, regardless of underlying health conditions. By contrast, SARS-CoV-2, the strain of coronavirus that causes Covid-19, delivers disproportionately debilitating symptoms in only “a small cohort of the population with impaired immune systems”.
Indeed, as Mr Norris’ article (backed up by data from the World Health Organisation) notes, the median age of death with Covid-19 is 82 years and more than 90 per cent of fatalities to date occurred in those with one or more additional health complaints. Thus “Covid-19 has always been uniquely unsuited to a vaccine solution”.