RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The majority of the U.K.’s vaccinated population suffers from much higher infection rates than the unvaccinated population, and the situation is getting worse every day.
The U.K. Department of Health released detailed Covid statistics broken down by age group and vaccination status over the past seven weeks. This means essential questions can now be answered.
The agency says most of those vaccinated have much higher infection rates, and its latest graph provides a snapshot:
All vaccinated people over 30 in the U.K. now have much higher infection rates than their unvaccinated peers. However, this says nothing about how this has happened or how it will develop. Here we present the agency’s data in a time series to better understand the trends and impact.
The United Kingdom has primarily vaccinated its population in the order of age, from oldest to youngest, and has only recently begun vaccinating those under 18. As the most recently vaccinated people in the U.K., they have a very high level of resistance to Covid infection:
This newly vaccinated cohort benefits from a 90% improvement in their infection rates, meaning their case frequency is ten times better than their unvaccinated peers. This is impressive and raises the question of how long this high level of protection can last.
The last British age group to be vaccinated was 18- to 29-year-olds, half of whom were fully vaccinated about nine weeks ago. Although they are still doing better than the unvaccinated age group, they have lost most of their relative resistance to infection. If they continue their development, this advantage will be gone entirely by week 12.
The age group that was vaccinated earliest was the 30-39 age cohort. Half were fully immunized by about week 27 and had lost their increased resistance to infection by week 39 (again, about 12 weeks later). At least in these two cohorts, vaccine-induced immunity appears to have been reduced to zero in less than three months.
Unfortunately, it does not stop there, as the data show that those vaccinated slipped into negative territory, raising the question of how all previously vaccinated cohorts are doing now.
As for susceptibility to infection, the answer is not so good:
The entire cohort of 40- to 79-year-olds who have been vaccinated is trending strongly negative, now below minus 50%, meaning that the infection rate among them is more than double that of their unvaccinated peers, with no end in sight; given the persistent and strongly negative trend among all adult cohorts, it is impossible to guess where or when the bottom might be reached.
Unvaccinated adults have significantly lower infection rates, but among the vaccinated, things are going in the other direction:
This raises the question: Why do the vaccinated suffer from rising infection rates, while the case rates of the unvaccinated have declined and are lower? Surely we should expect the vaccinated to be doing better, not worse.
However, for all but one cohort of adults, the opposite is accurate, and even for them, it does not appear to be permanent:
It has been suggested that the infection of the unvaccinated has produced a solid natural immunity, leading to their herd immunity. This may be a factor, but as we have seen, the vaccinated have also become infected, and to a much greater extent, at least in the 40-79 age group. Why shouldn’t the vaccinated also benefit?
Is it to be understood that infection after vaccination cannot produce similarly broad immunity?
Vaccination is intended to alter the immune response after infection, which is, of course, the goal; it is conceivable that this altered response could dampen the development of broad and long-lasting immunity that otherwise typically results from natural infection.
This could contribute to the vaccinated being at higher risk of re-infection and could explain these results. But this remains speculation; we do not know today.
What we do know from the U.K. data that anyone vaccinated more than a few months ago is at a much higher risk of covid infection and, therefore, much more likely to be infected than their unvaccinated counterparts.
Much has been said and written to show that the vaccinated are equally capable of transmitting Covid. However, because their symptoms tend to be milder, they are also more likely to be out and about; add to this is the increased infection rates. No doubt, vaccinated now pose the most significant risk for Covid transmission.
Against this background, vaccination cards are not only clearly pointless; they are nothing more than an invitation to infection for which there can be no justification.
Data source: U.K. Health Safety Agency COVID-19 Vaccine Surveillance Reports weeks 36-42. Read the UKHSA report here.
Infection rate data for the above:
Relative infection rates derived from UK Health Safety Agency data:
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