Episode 03: Vaccines, a complicated area. Some decrease total mortality, some increase it, and COVID-19 vaccines are overused

Episode 3


Professor Christine Stabel Benn, Southern University in Denmark, has published ground-breaking field studies about vaccines with her husband, Professor Peter Aaby.

In this episode, Peter C Gøtzsche discusses with Professor Christine Stabell Benn the research that has shown that live, attenuated vaccines reduce total mortality by much more than their specific effects would predict; that non-live vaccines increase total mortality; that the order in which the vaccines are given is important for mortality; what the harms are of the COVID-19 vaccines; and why they are overused.


Benn CS, Fisker AB, Rieckmann A, et al. Vaccinology: time to change the paradigm? Lancet Infect Dis 2020 Oct;20:e274-83.

Unspecific effects of vaccines on mortality (after 1m)

All live vaccines reduce mortality more than expected (after 5m20s)

Non-live vaccines increase mortality (after 8m25s)

The last vaccine should be a live one (17m40s)

Gøtzsche PC. Vaccines: truth, lies, and controversy. New York: Skyhorse; 2021.

The measles vaccine has saved millions of lives (after 3m25s)

The MMR vaccine does not cause autism (after 3m50s)

Polio outbreaks caused by the vaccine (after 6m20s)

The DTP vaccine increases mortality (after 10m15s, 11m30s)

Drug regulators claim that adjuvants are harmless (after 10m45s)

Dengue virus (15m30s)

Pfizer trial in New England Journal of Medicine not honest about severe adverse events (28m50s)

Influenza vaccines are poor (after 50m45s)

Mogensen SW, Aaby P, Smedman L, et al. Introduction of standard measles vaccination in an urban African community in 1979 and overall child survival: a reanalysis of data from a cohort study. BMJ Open 2016;6:e011317.

Mortality declined 70% after introduction of the measles vaccine (after 4m35s)

Aaby P, Ravn H, Fisker AB, et al. Is diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) associated with increased female mortality? A meta-analysis testing the hypotheses of sex-differential non-specific effects of DTP vaccine. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 2016;110:570-81.

The DTP vaccine increases mortality (after 10m15s)

Higgins JP, Soares-Weiser K, López-López JA, et al. Association of BCG, DTP, and measles containing vaccines with childhood mortality: systematic review. BMJ 2016;355:i5170.

The DTP vaccine increases mortality (after 14m25s)

Benn CS, Amenyogbe N, Björkman A, et al. Implications of non-specific effects for testing, approving, and regulating vaccines. Drug Safety 2023;46:439-48.

How vaccines should be tested (after 20m50s, 26m20s)

Benn CS, Schaltz-Buchholzer F, Nielsen S, et al. Randomized clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines: Do adenovirus-vector vaccines have beneficial non-specific effects? iScience 2023;26:106733.

Total mortality decreased with the vector COVID-19 vaccines but not with the mRNA vaccines (after 23m10s)

Knox R. Merck tries to move beyond Vioxx debacle. National Public Radio 2007; Nov 12 (after 28m15s).

Gøtzsche PC, Demai M. Serious harms of the COVID-19 vaccines: a systematic review Institute for Scientific Freedom 2023; March 22.

App for recording adverse events in placebo-controlled trials was inadequate (after 30m5s)

100% of hospital staff became severely harmed after the Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine (after 33m40s)

The Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine causes thromboses (after 35m30s)

Benn CS, Aaby P. Should COVID-19 be a vaccine disease or a childhood disease? BMJ 2021; July 18.

We should make COVID-19 a childhood disease (after 40m40s).

Gøtzsche PC. More on YouTube censorship of world class vaccine research. Institute for Scientific Freedom 2022; Oct 18.

YouTube would take down our interview immediately (after 42m38s)

Peter Aaby’s lecture removed by YouTube even though he just reported on his own research (after 43m15s)

Chumakov K, Benn CS, Aaby P et al. Can existing live vaccines prevent COVID-19? Science 2020;368:1187-8.

Aaby in Science (after 43m45s)

Gøtzsche PC. The Chinese virus: Killed millions and scientific freedom. Copenhagen: Institute for Scientific Freedom; 2022 (freely available).

The COVID-19 pandemic was highly likely caused by a lab leak of a manufactured virus (after 45m37s)

100% COVID-19 vaccine efficacy was fact checked but false (after 47m45s)

Sunday Times: The Chinese virus was likely manufactured in Wuhan as part of a secret bioweapons programme Copenhagen: Institute for Scientific Freedom 2023; June 12.

The COVID-19 pandemic was highly likely caused by a lab leak of a manufactured virus (after 45m50s)

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9 months ago

Isn’t there a difference between a single measles vaccin and the mmr vaccin? I understood that the first is much safer than the second..

Norma Johnson
Norma Johnson
3 months ago
Reply to  Kirsten

That is my question, too.in some countries ie Canada, it is only available as MMR, and on the pediatric schedule for 1 year olds and again at 4yrs old.

In fact, between 2mos and 12mos old, canadian babies get 10 injections of 24 vaccines. In what world do infants need 24 vaccines inside of 10 months!

Peter C. Gøtzsche, professor emeritus

It was the fraudster Andrew Wakefield who launched this idea, with no supporting evidence. They are both safe and we use MMR. See my vaccine book, https://www.scientificfreedom.dk/books/

18 days ago

There were 12 other researcher’s that originally supported Dr Andrew Wakefields study results that were NOT anti vax. When one watches the Film Vaxxed or Protocol 7; when only has more questions about the current methodologies.

8 months ago

Tak til jer begge!
Er i begge fortalere for influenzavaccine til børn?

Peter C Gøtzsche
8 months ago
Reply to  Gitte

Nej. Se min bog om vacciner, der har et langt kapitel om influenza.

The Bottom Line of Influenza Vaccination
What should we make out of all this conflicting information? This is not easy, and people will differ as to what they will conclude. What is clear is that we cannot trust the information provided by those whose job it is to care for us. Furthermore, there is no sound basis for the authoritative advice that we should all get vaccinated every year, not only from the cradle to the grave, but even from the womb to the grave.
The CDC admits that repeated influenza vaccination can weaken the immune response to subsequent influenza vaccination and adds that “these findings merit further investigation to understand the immune response to repeat vaccination.”95
There is convincing research that tells us that there is a price to pay for stimulating the immune system96 and that vaccines can interact negatively,97 even when directed against the same virus, as is the case for influenza.98 Given this knowledge, it seems irresponsible to advise people to get a flu shot every year for their entire life. This is a gigantic, uncontrolled experiment with human beings…
It is difficult to reduce the risk of a child getting high fever because other viruses than influenza can cause it, and because vaccination does not have an impressive effect. Lived attenuated vaccine reduced the risk of influenza-like illness from 17% to 12%, and inactivated vaccines from 28% to 20%,102 and the vaccine can give symptoms of illness that might potentially outweigh these small benefits.

8 months ago

Why are we not hearing more about this at such a vital time, when we are approaching round 4 of Covid vaccine boosters?

8 months ago

I wonder what do you think of FLCCC [1] and their publications on COVID vaccine injuries and their treatment with ivermectin. Has your stance on ivermectin for treatment of COVID changed since the tweets from 2021? Have you heard about Piere Kory’s book “The War on Ivermectin” (2023) where he references “The Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime”?

It would be also interesting to hear your stance on doctors scrambling to cure COVID with cheap unpatented interventions (in general), like recommending to higher Vitamin D level in the midst of pandemic? If the new pandemic illness arrives, should the doctors wait for a scientifically proven intervention or just iterate daily and try repurposing old drugs, hoping that the “intervention du jour”, even if it doesn’t work, brings little harm? When the new pandemic arrives, is doing nothing until good peer-reviewed research arrives the only scientifically reasonable thing to do?

What do you think about React19 [2] initiative for treatment of COVID Vaccine injuries?

Thank you for your work,

[1] https://covid19criticalcare.com/
[2] https://react19.org/

Peter C. Gøtzsche, professor emeritus
Reply to  Ivan

All drugs have harms. It would therefore be wrong not to study if they work before we use them for a new disorder. Ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and a lot else do not work against covid and should not be used.


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3 months ago

Sorry for the stupid question, but the result about Astra-zeneca shot and cardiovascular mortality reduction looks like a typical selection bias.
At the time when the study was conducted, Astra-zeneca was suspected to cause blood clots and not administered (at least in some countries) to people with underlying cardiovascular conditions. So, if not corrected for that, the result is obvious.
Note that Astra-zeneca is now withdrawn in many countries, including the UK, which suggests real and serious problems.

The faith that Covid vaccinations saved many lives is more unsupported than it seems. In 2020/2021 I played with seroprevalence and mortality data in various age groups in many countries. The data from England showed no signal about Covid-related (whatever it means) mortality reduction in vaccinated age groups. On contrary, proportions between the number of deaths in the late 2020 wave (before vaccinations) and the early 2021 wave (when elderly people were mostly vaccinated) indicate relatively bigger mortality in the older age group during the second wave, despite the vaccination.
What is interesting, the difference pattern between age groups reflects the historical seasonality – so, I suspect, that the vaccines are ineffective rather than counterproductive. But certainly not effective, at least for the elderly people in the UK in early 2021.

Kasper Søndergaard
Kasper Søndergaard
3 months ago

Have you followed the research regarding IgG4? Merogenomics is covering the topic quite well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fI56k5j82z8