As of August 15, 2021, 68% of COVID patients admitted to hospital in the UK who were over the age of 50 had received one or two doses of COVID injections. As of mid-August, 59% of severe cases in Israel were also among those who had received two COVID injections, reflecting UK data.
Pandemic of the Unvaccinated?
Only in the 50 years or younger category were the majority, 74%, of UK COVID patients unvaccinated. Those who claim that we are in a pandemic of the unvaccinated do not differentiate between age groups.
The same is true of COVID deaths in the UK. The unvaccinated make up the majority of deaths only in the under 50 age group. In the over 50 age group, the clear majority, 70%, are partially or fully “vaccinated”.
We cannot rely on the U.S. data to get a clear picture of how well the COVID vaccines are working, as the CDC has chosen to track only those cases of rupture resulting in hospitalization and/or death.
Reanalysis of data from the Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen COVID trials using the appropriate endpoint shows that vaccines are harming population health, and if mass vaccination continues we face “a looming vaccine-induced public health catastrophe.”
A new study shows that vaccinated individuals are up to 13 times more likely to be infected with the new Delta variant than unvaccinated individuals who have had a natural COVID infection
The oft-repeated refrain right now is that we are in a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” meaning that those who have not received the COVID vaccine make up the majority of people hospitalized and dying from the Delta variant. For example, on August 20, 2021, Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, tweeted:
“Four weeks working on a COVID ward highlights the reality that most of our hospitalized COVID patients are not vaccinated and regret delaying it. Some are very sick, including young adults. Please don’t delay vaccination.”
Interestingly, if you take the time to actually look at the data, you will find that this blanket statement is quite misleading. Here is a graph published in the Evening Standard, sourced from Public Health England:
As you can see, as of August 15, 2021, 58% of COVID patients admitted to the hospital who were over the age of 50 had actually received two doses of COVID injections and 10% had received one dose. Thus, partially or fully “vaccinated” individuals constituted 68% of hospitalizations.
Only in the 50 years or younger category was there a majority, 74%, of hospitalizations among the unvaccinated. However, Whitty completely neglected to differentiate age groups. The same is true for deaths. The unvaccinated only make up the majority of COVID deaths in the under-50 age group. In the over 50 age group, the clear majority, 70%, are partially or fully “vaccinated”.
It is also unclear whether hospitals in the UK (and elsewhere) still designate as a “COVID patient” anyone who is admitted and tests positive on a PCR test. If so, people with broken bones or other health problems who do not have any COVID-19 symptoms could be unfairly lumped into the total of “unvaccinated COVID patients.”
Israeli data show COVID vaccine is failing those over 50 years of age
In Israel, where vaccine uptake has been very high due to restrictions on freedom for those who do not comply, data show that those who have received the COVID vaccine are 6.72 times more likely to be infected than those with natural immunity.
The fully “vaccinated” also made up the bulk of severe cases and COVID-related deaths in July 2021, as illustrated in the graphs below. Red corresponds to the unvaccinated, yellow to the partially “vaccinated” and green to the fully “vaccinated” with two doses. As of mid-August, 59% of the severe cases were in people who had received two COVID injections, reflecting data from the UK.
In an August 16, 2021 Science article, Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz is quoted as saying that the nation has entered a “critical moment” in the race against the pandemic. Horowitz reportedly received a third booster vaccine on August 13, 2021, the day they began offering a third dose to those over 50.
From the Public Health England data, it seems clear that COVID injections are not protecting people over 50 in the UK as well, so it is likely only a matter of time before booster vaccines are rolled out there as well. And, as long as COVID injections are the same regardless of country, there is every reason to assume that the same trends will emerge in other countries, including the United States.
This is precisely what Ran Balicer, chief innovation officer at Clalit Health Services, Israel’s largest health maintenance organization (HMO), told Science: “If it can happen here, it can probably happen everywhere.”
Israeli data are considered the best
The data from Israel are considered by many to be the best we have, and can give us an idea of what to expect elsewhere. As Science magazine explains:
“Israel is being watched closely because it was one of the first countries to vaccinate in December 2020 and quickly achieved a degree of population coverage that was the envy of other nations – for a time.
This nation of 9.3 million people also has a robust public health infrastructure and a population fully enrolled in health organizations that tracks them closely, allowing it to produce high-quality, real-world data on vaccine effectiveness.
‘I watch [Israeli data] very, very closely because it’s some of the best data you get anywhere in the world,’ says David O’Connor, a viral sequencing expert at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
‘Israel is the model,’ agrees Eric Topol, a physician-scientist at Scripps Research. ‘These are pure mRNA vaccines. It has come out very early. It has a very high population level [of acceptance]. It’s a working experimental lab that we can learn from.’
Israeli health organizations…track demographics, comorbidities, and a wealth of data on coronavirus infections, illnesses, and deaths. We have a wealth of individual-level data that allows us to provide real-world evidence in near-real time, Balicer says….
Now, the effects of waning immunity may be starting to show up in Israelis vaccinated early in the winter; a preprint study published last month … found that protection against COVID-19 infection during June and July declined in proportion to the time since an individual’s vaccination.People vaccinated in January had a 2.26 times greater risk of infection than those vaccinated in April.”
Where will it end?
According to the journal Science, breakthrough cases are multiplying at breakneck speed. “There are so many breakthrough infections dominating, and most hospitalized patients are vaccinated,” Uri Shalit, a bioinformatician at the Israel Institute of Technology, told Science.
Nearly one million Israelis over the age of 50 have already received a third booster of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine. Time will tell whether this will worsen the rate of rupture cases or control it.
Dvir Aran, a biomedical data scientist at the Israel Institute of Technology, doesn’t sound too hopeful, as he told Science that the increase is already so steep that “even if you get two-thirds of those 60 or so [boosters], it will only give us another week, maybe two, until our hospitals are flooded” again.
The obvious question is: what then? Will the answer be a fourth injection before the end of the year? Will there be quarterly injections? Monthly injections? Twice a week? Weekly? Where and when will it end? It is fairly easy to predict that this can only end very badly.
The U.S. only records a fraction of the cases of infection with the virus
Unfortunately, we can’t rely on U.S. data to get a clear picture of how the COVID vaccines are working, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has decided not to track all breakthrough cases. As reported by ProPublica, on May 1, 2021, the CDC stopped tracking and reporting all breakthrough cases, opting to record only those that result in hospitalization and/or death.
As noted in the article, this irrational decision has “left the nation with a confused understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on vaccinees.” It also prevents us from understanding how the variants are spreading and whether those who have received the vaccine may continue to develop the so-called “long-lasting syndrome.”
Individual states are also establishing their own criteria for collecting data on breakthrough cases, and this patchwork further muddies the waters. Despite these limitations, the few data we do have are beginning to reflect those from Israel and the United Kingdom.
On August 18, 2021, the CDC released three reports, showing that the protection offered by the COVID vaccine is declining rapidly.
“Among nursing home residents, one of the studies showed that vaccine efficacy dropped from 74.7% in the spring to just 53.1% by mid-summer,” ProPublica writes. “Similarly, another report found that overall effectiveness among vaccinated New York adults fell from 91.7% to just under 80% between May and July.”
The new findings prompted the Biden administration to announce Wednesday that people who were vaccinated with Moderna or Pfizer will be offered a booster shot eight months after their second dose. The program is scheduled to begin the week of Sept. 20, but needs approval from the Food and Drug Administration and a CDC advisory committee.
This latest development is seen by some as another example of the shifting public health messaging and pushback that has accompanied each phase of the pandemic for 19 months through two administrations. A little over a month ago, the CDC and FDA released a joint statement saying that those who were fully vaccinated “do not need a booster vaccine at this time….”
The CDC tracked all breakthrough cases until the end of April, and then abruptly stopped doing so without making a formal announcement. In May, a reference to the policy change appeared on the agency’s website, halfway down the home page.
I was shocked,” said Dr. Leana Wen, a physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at George Washington University. I have yet to hear a coherent explanation as to why they stopped tracking this information….”
Sen. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, became alarmed after the Provincetown outbreak and wrote to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on July 22, questioning the decision to limit the investigation of breakout cases. He asked what kind of data was being collected and how it would be shared publicly…Markey asked the agency to respond by Aug. 12. So far the senator has received no response …”