This fact was spread across social media, spurring the debate about the ineffectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. However, upon closer examination, this statistic is not surprising at all; in fact, it makes perfect sense. Here’s why, as we explain in this article.
According to a government report, between January 31 and June 29, 2021, there were more deaths from COVID-19 in England among vaccinated people who tested positive for the delta variant than among unvaccinated people. Of the 257 deaths, 45 had received one dose, 118 had received two doses, and 92 had not received the shot. From these statistics, we can conclude that vaccines are either ineffective or dangerous.
Age very important
However, we need to question these numbers here. Vaccinated or unvaccinated, it was still mainly the elderly who died, with 90% of deaths occurring in people over the age of 50. A 70-year-old is 32 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than a 35-year-old,” says Christian Yates, a researcher at the University of Bath, UK. However, no vaccine is 100% effective. This means that a vaccinated 70-year-old is still much more likely to die from Covid-19 than an unvaccinated 35-year-old. This is relatively straightforward: “Assume that everyone is fully vaccinated. Despite the excellent efficacy of the vaccine, some people will die,” Christian Yates explains. Under this assumption it would mean that 100 percent of those who died were vaccinated. However, that does not mean that vaccines are not effective.
Vaccines: 87% reduction in risk of hospitalization
According to the WHO, the vaccines reduce the risk of severe Covid-19 disease by 87% in people over the age of 75. However, it turns out that this reduction does not compensate for the 32-fold increase in the risk of death due to aging. In addition, the effectiveness of the vaccine against the risk of hospitalization declines slightly with age, from 91% for those aged 75-84 to 81% for those aged 85 and older.” Assuming that the risk of infection in the elderly is the same as in younger people, therefore, patients over 70 years of age who have received two doses of vaccine can be expected to die from Covid-19 disease more often than unvaccinated 35-year-old patients.” Christian Yates concludes.
More at-risk groups should be vaccinated first
What does this mean? First, prioritizing the elderly was the right strategy, without which the mortality rate would have been even higher. Second, it is even more important to increase vaccination rates among the most vulnerable in society. Even younger people should not assume that they are naturally protected; while the risk of death from Covid-19 is lower than in the elderly, the risk of infection is much higher (especially because of social interactions), and Covid-19 can have very debilitating long-term effects.