Friday, 16 July 2021

Re plummeting vaccination rates - maybe it does make sense

I had been puzzled/disappointed by the rapid decline in daily vaccinations, from peak 600,000 down to less than 200,000 now.

Actually it does sort of make sense - if you overlay the charts for first and second jabs, offset by three months you get a good match.

In other words, at the end of March/early April they had run out over-50s to vaccinate, so they then shifted focus to second jabs, so we'd expect the number of second jabs (by definition, for the over-50s) to decline at the end June/early July. It's a shame they are not pressing on with younger age groups, but hey, they are less affected so less likely to bother getting a jab:


Frances Morris said...

It's a shame they are not pressing on with younger age groups, but hey, they are less affected so less likely to bother getting a jab:

I guess you are thrilled with the 10,000 deaths in the VAERS reports (1% reported) and the very serious "adverse reactions" in the hundreds of thousands. Oh, and am I forgetting the myocarditis reports, heart attacks and strokes happening in young people you want jabbed??

I hope you have received your "vaccine" and please DO hurry up and get your booster. If you have children, make sure they get as many injections as possible!!!

Andrew Carey said...

I'm guessing that you Frances are an advocate of zero-Covid or something similar a la NZ or TW.

Piotr Wasik said...

@FM - 10,000 deaths from vaccines? globally? versus how many doses administered? being 1% of what? where are these numbers coming from? AZ causes dangerous blood clots in maybe 1 in 50,000 cases, and not all of them are lethal. BNT/Pfizer causes heart inflammation, but mostly mild, not sure how often; given the choice which I was not given, I would have gone for Pfizer

Vaccination is vastly safer than the alternative - the cherished "natural" herd immunity by infection. The tacit assumption with the herd immunity by infection is that almost everybody would have to catch covid that initially was showing 2% death rate (now it is about 0.1%, but I don't dare untangle the vaccine effect, younger people being infected and different covid variant). Equally important is the long covid with its chronic organ damage, "brain fog" and fatigue, affecting ~15% of the infected people.

Also, immunity wanes. So, what do we do next? Another round of vaccines or another round of "natural" herd immunity by infection? For the UK population 68 million, assuming 80% people will have to get it to achieve herd immunity, we have 8 million people seriously disabled by long covid in each round of the "let's infect everybody" policy.

And yes, I am getting the second jab on Monday and I am angry that the plans for the 3rd dose do not include me (I am below 50 years of age); if you want to skip yours I will gladly take it :) unfortunately it does not work like this.

@AC - I would support "zero covid" policy indeed; it actually requires minimal restrictions, mostly border quarantine and track-and-test system that works. If anybody catches covid, just quarantine all the recent contacts. Yes, international travel would be seriously affected, but better that than affecting the whole society with yo-yo lockdowns.

Mark Wadsworth said...

FM, that's all a bit off topic. In the real world, we have to assume that the vaccines 'work' reasonably well.

AC and PW, do you think that the NZ approach of trying to delay the inevitable is a good idea? Without vaccinations, it is ultimately doomed to fail.

PW, I don't think Long Covid numbers are that high. I looked it up, so far 2 million cases in the UK, defined as still having some symptoms after 12 weeks.

Many of those will clear up eventually, only a few of those will be debilitating.

Seeing as most people have either had Covid or had the jab by now, I don't think can be more than 1 million cases among the 'not yet vaccinated and somehow managed not to get infected' group.

Piotr Wasik said...

Long Covid, I quoted 15% from memory. 2 million cases of Long Covid (12 weeks or longer) is a whopping 38% of 5,332,371 cases in the UK so far, I am assuming it includes people that had symptoms for 12 weeks and then fully recovered, but this number is mind boggling for me. says 376,000 had it for at least a year, which is 7% of all cases. They also wrote ONS estimated 1 million people were experiencing the Long Covid now; so your 2 million figure of patients "have or had" long covid looks plausibly in line with this article. So these patients within 7%, I am not sure how many of them will actually fully recover, a year of symptoms is a long time.

There was also a study of ~800 people who happened to have had a brain scan for various reasons before pandemic and agreed to be rescanned now, roughly 50/50 split between covid survivors and control: All of the covid survivors had brain tissue damage to varying degrees. I understand that people got brain scars from many reasons, like frequent blow to the head in sports, and it does not immediately or inevitably imply cognitive impairment, but I would rather expose as few people as possible to this.

New Zealand - so far they have outperformed us on every indicator, remaining mostly open all the time within their borders. Their only constant limitation is international travel. Compare to our yo-yo lockdown and never ending restrictions, massive number of deaths and long covid cases.

Sure, a year ago nobody knew if the vaccines could be made, so it was plausible that they were just delaying the inevitable, but they gave themselves time. If vaccines had proven impossible, why assume that "natural" immunity would occur, as opposed than never ending waves waning natural immunity, new infections and serious illness? I really think it was better to wait and see. So 18 months ago it was a good decision, now they can vaccinate the population like everybody else and see what is next. Maintaining the zero covid policy in a vaccinated society is even cheaper than before.

Stephen Mundane said...

On the question of vaccine saftey, this study was published recently in a respected journal then swiftly ‘disappeared’ by apparently anonymous critics who complained to the editorial board.

The study concludes that among low Covid-vulnerable demographics, ‘for three deaths prevented by vaccination, we have to accept two inflicted by vaccination.’

It also suggested that – given evidence of massively under-reported problems and systemic discouragement of bad news in both the UK and the US – it is highly likely that vaccines injected into ‘young people’ kill more of them than “Covid19” does!

Make of all that what you will...

Piotr Wasik said...

@SM - if it is true that below certain age number of deaths prevented by vaccines equals number of deaths caused by vaccines (personally I don't think it is, based on many reports), one should still consider 3 things: (1) incidence long covid among children, (2) the fact that we probably cannot achieve herd immunity by vaccination alone if we leave out children to get infected, and (3) of course infected children infect others, while vaccinated children do not pass on adverse reaction to vaccine to others.

Going back I had thought of the percentage of really long covid (>= 12 months) again; I should not compare it to total number of cases now being more than 5 million, but total number of cases up to 12 months ago, for what I would need to sum up all the daily numbers up to 18th of July last year, which makes incidence higher than 8% of cases.

I also thought again how to consisely express that I think "zero covid" is a viable policy: if we agree that we want any restrictions that are introduced if the number of cases goes above our comfort level (in the UK it has been "when hospitals get overwhelmed"), then we can very well stick to comfort level of cases being zero. it is really cheaper; with very low number of cases restrictions can be local to the people who had contact with the newly infected, something that no longer works when the number of cases in the population is large, and we have to resort to country wide or at least region wide lockdown.

Mark Wadsworth said...

PW, long covid is an issue, but it's not clear how bad.

SM, the Israelis realised that a tiny number of younger people got heart problems from AZ (or the combination of AZ plus exercise) so they switched to Pfizer.

The UK learned from this and gives younger people Pfizer.

The EU really hammed this up and said "These vaccines made in the UK are shit."

All of this is public knowledge.

What was downplayed was that while Pfizer is clearly better, AZ wasn't that bad and Pfizer isn't that much better.

Andrew Carey said...

My main problem with the zero-Covid countries (effective quarantine if you like) is that they haven't made any effort to develop vaccines. If every reasonably advanced country had taken their prescription there would not even be one by now, let alone three major choices which have covered around 90%+ of older ages in the countries that developed them.
The zero covid countries can't even get their zero covid strategy right in the absence of a vaccine - this would be to wait for the virus to mutate to a more infectious but significantly less deadly form and then let it in while protecting your care homes and telling the most vulnerable to stay out of Dodge, and employ the best anti-virals and treatments that the rest of the world has trialled.

Mark Wadsworth said...

AC, good summary, I have come to the same conclusion, they are just deferring the problem.

Derek said...

Here in Nova Scotia (and the other maritime Canadian provinces) we've combined the zero-covid strategy with the vaccinate-everybody-over-the-age-of-12 strategy. The aim being to defer the problem until (almost) everyone has been vaccinated.

Current new daily cases are close to zero and the fully-vaccinated rate is just under 50% of the entire population plus just over 73% partially vaccinated. So we should achieve herd immunity without the deaths of too many unfortunates. We're not quite there yet but getting close.

Mark Wadsworth said...

D, in out of the way places, that makes sense.