Journal Rejects Request to Retract Study Suggesting Negative COVID Vaccine Effectiveness

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A scientific journal is standing by a controversial study that suggests COVID-19 boosters may lead to higher infection rates.

This study, based on data from California’s prison system, claims individuals who received a specific type of booster had a greater likelihood of infection than the unvaccinated. The journal, Cureus, confirms the corresponding author’s request for retraction but deems it unwarranted.

Luke Ko, the study’s corresponding author and a 17-year-old high school student, asserts sole authorship and acknowledges using ChatGPT for data analysis. He points to significant errors in the study, though specifics remain undisclosed. Ko’s co-authors, initially enlisted as mentors, allegedly did not review or validate the data before submission.

Amidst growing scrutiny, an investigation is underway by the California Correctional Healthcare Services, where some co-authors work. Attempts to reach the co-authors have yielded limited results.

The study assessed COVID-19 infection rates among inmates, categorizing them based on vaccination status, revealing higher rates among those who received a specific booster. The study contends that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination, particularly in high-density settings, are evident, but this conclusion is contested by Dr. Ray Andrews, a retired physician.

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The study’s findings add to ongoing debates regarding vaccine efficacy, prompting further discussion about the need for robust research and clinical trial data. This controversy arises in the context of evolving FDA guidance on vaccine efficacy and potential risks associated with different vaccination approaches.

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