The latest European COVID figures contain a cautionary message for our government.
Yesterday’s media reported that Gibraltar, with 100% of its population vaccinated (plus booster shots), is currently experiencing a COVID wave that promises to cancel Christmas. Is that just a statistical outlier? We analysed the latest UK covid statistics and reached some unexpected conclusions.
An article in The Conversation says that scientific research shows that if you are unvaccinated the risk of catching COVID is ten times greater for the unvaccinated making you 20 times more likely to pass it on to the vaccinated.
The UK population is 60 million. 45 million are fully vaccinated. Ratio of vaccinated to unvaccinated 3 : 1. If the unvaccinated are ten times more likely to catch COVID, you would expect to see the ratio of cases to be 3:10 (3 vaccinated breakthrough cases for every 10 unvaccinated cases).
The latest official UKHSA data from their Vaccine Surveillance Report for Week 44, covering weeks 41 to 43 of 2021 (second half of October) records 491,078 COVID cases among the vaccinated and 413,112 cases among the unvaccinated (see Table 2 page 16).
Taking account of the ratio of vaccinated to unvaccinated (3:1) in the whole population, this shows that the unvaccinated are 2.5 times more likely to catch COVID, not 10 times as suggested by the authors in The Conversation piece. Well, you might say, even though the protection offered by the vaccine is 4 times less than that suggested by The Conversation, it still seems well worth getting vaccinated.
However breaking the UKHSA figures down by age group (which is suggested by UKHSA as the best option to extract useful conclusions) gives a completely different answer to this question.
Among under 18 year olds, there were 336,893 unvaccinated cases and just 36,813 vaccinated cases, showing that in this age group the protection offered by vaccination is significant—there are 9 times more cases among the unvaccinated. Why is that? This age group is the most recently vaccinated. The large effect is likely to be because of two reasons: (1) Pfizer advises that two weeks after vaccination protection is very high, of the order of 90% (yes, the figures support this) and (2) it is known that, in general, young people have a strong immune system response to all vaccinations. However we must add that this age group is least at risk from serious COVID and therefore will benefit from vaccination the least, and importantly they are the most vulnerable to serious adverse reactions such as myocarditis (heart inflammation) and its complications.
Now look at the remaining cohort—ages 19 and up. There were 454,265 cases among the vaccinated and 76,219 among the unvaccinated. Even taking account of the ratio of vaccinated to unvaccinated (3:1) in the population as above, this shows that vaccinated people over 18 years old are twice as likely to catch COVID than the unvaccinated. This is very puzzling and completely at odds with the narrative reported in The Conversation.
The obvious unanswered question is why are the vaccinated in this age group two times more vulnerable to catching COVID? We know that the vaccine will offer significant protection against severe symptoms and hospitalisation, but we also know that the protection conferred by the vaccine wears off rapidly. These latest official UK government figures released by UKHSA suggest that not only does the protection wear off, but eventually leaves individuals more vulnerable to catching covid than before. This raises big questions concerning how the pandemic will evolve among the vaccinated. It suggests that personal immunity from COVID rapidly enters negative territory after vaccination protection wanes.
Conclusion: Not only is vaccination not a stand alone solution, but since it only has emergency approval (after short testing times), the extent of its potential downstream risks are as yet unknown. These risks are becoming clearer as time goes on and new data can be analysed. The Skegg report indicated that their recommendations should be re-examined in November. That time has now arrived and should be made an urgent priority. Good data is everything in this situation, political positions will be worthless without it.
Footnote: The authors of the article in The Conversation are employed by the Australian government. Last year the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave $6,664,271 to ‘The Conversation’ media group to encourage science reporting.
You can purchase a copy of Guy’s book ‘Your DNA Diet: Leveraging the Power of Consciousness To Heal Ourselves and Our World. An Ayurvedic Blueprint For Health and Wellness’ from Amazon.com.