As the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) prepares to host the three-day, three-night Fifth International Public Conference on Vaccination that will be broadcast online October 16 through 18, 2020, the theme we have chosen is "Protecting Health and Autonomy in the 21st Century," because at no time in modern history has it been more important for all of us to take a stand and do just that.
This year, the orchestrated actions by governments around the world to restrict or eliminate civil liberties in response to the emergence of a new coronavirus has been unprecedented, and has had profound effects on the global economy and on the physical, mental and emotional health of billions of people.1
By mid-September 2020, there were about 29 million cases of the new Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) reported worldwide with about 925,000 associated deaths.
The United States, the third most populated country in the world at 330 million people, had recorded over 7 million cases and 198,000 deaths, with an estimated 598 deaths per million people, which is a higher death rate per million people than Sweden,2 where health officials have refused to order masking or lock down the country and allowed the population to acquire natural herd immunity to the virus.3,4
Overall COVID-19 Mortality Is Less Than 1%
According to the World Health Organization, the overall infection mortality rate for the new SARS coronavirus causing COVID-19 is about 0.6%,5 although some scientists say it is lower,6 while others estimate it can be as high as 1 to 2% in some parts of the world.7
Compared to Ebola with a 50% mortality rate8 or smallpox that killed 30%,9 or tuberculosis that still is a deadly disease killing 20% to 70%,10 or diphtheria at 5% to 10%,11 or the 1918 influenza pandemic with a 2.5% mortality rate,12 COVID-19 is near the bottom of the infectious diseases mortality scale with a less than 1% mortality rate in most countries.
Those at highest risk for complications and death include the elderly and those with one or more poor health conditions.13
The CDC recently reported that only 6% of COVID-19-related deaths were solely due to coronavirus infection and 94% of the people who died also had influenza or pneumonia; heart, lung or kidney disease; high blood pressure; diabetes, or another underlying poor health condition.14 Most studies suggest it is rare for children to suffer complications and die from COVID-19.15
But seven months after the World Health Organization (WHO)16 declared a coronavirus pandemic,17 and public health officials persuaded lawmakers to turn the world upside down, a lot of people are asking questions and so are doctors who disagree with each other about the facts. Questions like: