UK: death protection downward slide accelerates
Plus a bonus section debunking "fact checkers"
A couple of my UK readers appreciate my weekly articles on UKHSA vaccine effectiveness reports. The first one, “UK's Vaccine Hell gets worse every week”, somehow went around social networks and garnered 18k views. The subsequent weekly reports provided some updates as the UK situation continued to deteriorate, especially with regards to “death protection”.
This report will be a little special because I want to devote a page specifically debunking fact checkers. Big Pharma paid fact checkers hate UKHSA reports and wriggle funnily, trying to find fault with the best numbers of any national health agency in the world, and calling them “misleading”.
There is also going to be talk about “boosters”.
I wanted to be clear: the United Kingdom is a great country and my negative comments on its vaccine failure are in no way are intended to denigrate UK’s amazing and vibrant society. In fact, UK is better than other countries because it has honest health agency UKHSA, that bravely puts out valuable reports despite tremendous pressure. The vaccine failure in the UK is in no way unique and is reproduced in the rest of Europe. What IS unique in the UK is that we know the details of this failure and can look at separate age groups.
Vaxed cases and Boosters
To repeat, I do not include under-18s in my reports for the following reasons: Covid is not a threat to kids, they were vaccinated recently, and they are grossly over-tested, leading to “testdemic”. This is not a population that is consequential, so I exclude them from my numbers.
Fully vaccinated Britons were “responsible” for 81.83% of all Covid cases. Again, vaccines are now “worse than ineffective” and invite disease. The “negative effectiveness”, shown in red, means that the vaccinated are more likely to catch Covid than the unvaccinated.
To further re-explain, effectiveness of a vaccine is defined as 1-Relative Risk, where Relative Risk is vaccinated infection rate, divided by unvaccinated infection rate. It used to be, in the first few months after vaccination, that the vaccinated were getting less covid than the unvaxed. For example, if Covid case rate per 100,000 is 10 in vaxxed, and 20 in unvaxxed, effectiveness would be E = 1-10/20 = 50%. A nice number that would show real world protection.
Just as an example, the number -126.26% in the right column for 40-49 year olds below, means that vaccinated 40-49 year olds are 2.26 TIMES more likely to get Covid than their unvaxxed counterparts.
Unfortunately, as of a few weeks ago, infection rates changed dramatically to favor the unvaccinated and DISfavor the vaccinated. Thus, the effectiveness numbers turned NEGATIVE. Mind you, this change is due to changing infection rates (numerators), not large changed in vaccinated counts (denominators), as the vaccination campaign obviously is stalling. We will talk more about it in the section where I debunk fact checkers.
There is an interesting development: while already negative protection from illness is further deteriorating in 18-69 year olds, it showed marked improvement in 70+ year olds. Those older people become less likely to get sick now, although they are still MORE likely to get sick than their unvaccinated counterparts, but less so than before.
This may be because older people are prioritized for booster shots. There is little doubt that booster shots will give a short term “boost” to the recipients’ immunity, just as a cocaine boost provides a short term happiness jolt. The long term effects of endless boosters are not yet known and are left to your imagination.
How can we explain “negative protection”?
Obviously, the idea that vaccinated people can get sick MORE OFTEN than the unvaccinated, is counterintuitive. How is it possible? Isn’t it crazy?
It is not crazy and it is possible. First of all, although Covid survivors are present in both vaccinated and unvaccinated cohorts, it is possible that there are more Covid survivors among the unvaccinated. The unvaccinated Covid survivors have ironclad natural immunity and the pandemic is really behind them. Thus, their presence decreases infection rate among the unvaccinated. In the US and UK, vaccinators lump covid-naive and covid-survivors into one “unvaccinated” category (because they want to jab Covid survivors) and I have no interest untangling this confusion for the benefit of the vaccinators.
Unfortunately, the vaccinated may not develop ironclad immunity after breakthrough infections and it is possible, though not certain, that their immunity following breakthrough Covid infections will be as temporary as their vaccine antibodies. The mechanism for this is called Original Antigenic Sin (OAS) and has been known since 1960s. Read the linked article for details. That article actually refers back to UKHSA.
In the long run, whether the vaccinated can acquire natural immunity, or will get Covid endlessly, will be the largest deciding factor in the course of the pandemic.
Another possible explanation of negative protection is vaccine induced destruction of the innate immune system. Not all people catch Covid even when exposed to it. For example, my coworker spent a whole day in a vehicle with me on the day when I fell ill with Covid. And he did not catch it! He is still unvaxed and goes maskless everywhere and Covid just does not stick to him. Guess what, an experimental mRNA treatment developed to trick immune systems and disable them to preserve the nanoparticle payload, just might destroy those first lines of protection. So then, vaccinated people have those first lines of defense destroyed.
The less exciting explanations are also the most ridiculous. For example, some claim that the vaccinated are “less careful” and are “more exposed”. Are you kidding me? is my answer. Where I am, the unvaxed do not care about covid and the vaxed are all scared and “masked up”.
Another not-so-stupid explanation is that the vaccinated are less healthy. Really? So four months ago when the vaccine was working, they were healthy, and now they are “not healthy”? What happened? Well, if that is the case, I know why they are clogging UK, US and AU hospitals. This explanation is actually the worst condemnation of vaccination, which appears to make people less healthy over time.
On the deaths front, things are going from bad to worse. 82.49% of all deaths are in double vaccinated.
Protection from deaths continues dropping and seems to be going faster, although it is uneven. The red colored numbers are the changes in vaccine effectiveness for death protection. Vaccines still do have some protective effect when it comes to deaths.
Although protection is dropping every week, I actually expect this to reverse if boosters are given to enough people. This booster effect will be delayed for many reasons. I am also not sure how UKHSA will account for boosted people and whether they will introduce a separate boosted category.
Debunking fact checkers
Fact checkers are a unique phenomenon of the late post-truth world.
Paid by Big Pharma and nameless billionaire sponsored nonprofits, fact checking companies make money by hiring inexpensive journalism majors and other low budget persons to debunk esteemed scientists or organizations like the UKHSA. They pretend to be impartial, but of course they are partial to whoever pays their salary.
Because UKHSA data leads to such explosive conclusions, fact checkers hate this data and are paid to debunk it and those (like me) who make simple conclusions from it.
The typical example is here.
How the UK Health Security Agency’s misleading data fuelled a global vaccine myth
The trouble with PHE’s numbers was that, while they weren’t wrong exactly, they were seriously misleading—a problem we often encounter as fact checkers.
Essentially, in order to know how often vaccinated or unvaccinated people test positive for Covid, you need to know how many in each group test positive and how many there are in each group in total. We know how many people have been vaccinated, because we count them as the vaccinations happen. But we don’t know exactly how many unvaccinated people remain, because that depends on knowing what the whole population was to start with, which has to be estimated.
The article goes on and on, but it says that the data is “misleading”. The word misleading merits further explanation. In the fact checker universe, misleading means something that is true but that can “lead” someone to undesirable (for the sponsor of fact checkers) conclusions. For example, the fact that 82% of deaths are among the vaccinated, who are 68% of the UK population, may “mislead” someone into questioning whether vaccines are as effective as we were promised. So they call it misleading.
Going back to the substance of the debunking, it rests on the “bad denominator” argument. It essentially alleges that UKHSA incorrectly estimates the number of unvaccinated people in the country. While no count of millions of people can be perfectly accurate, the debunking is total bunk.
UKHSA uses NIMS data, which has a list of named individuals who are eligible for vaccination.
The fact checker falsely claims that “we don’t know exactly how many unvaccinated people remain, because that depends on knowing what the whole population was to start with, which has to be estimated”. Um, no my friend, NIMS data provides the list of not-yet-vaccinated persons. UKHSA did not subtract the vaccinated from total population. The quoted sentence is an outright lie.
UKHSA says: UKHSA uses NIMS throughout its COVID-19 surveillance reports including in the calculation rates of COVID-19 infection, hospitalisation and deaths by vaccination status because it is a dynamic database of named individuals, where the numerator and the denominator come from the same source and there is a record of each individual’s vaccination status. Additionally, NIMS contains key sociodemographic variables for those who are targeted and then receive the vaccine, providing a rich and consistently coded data source for evaluation of the vaccine programme.
Vaccination rates have flatlined in the last few months. They are not changing much, as there are not as many people any more who believe vaccinators, so few people become vaccinated. (see page 14 of the UKHSA report).
What happened recently is that infections shot sky high due to vaccines not working, while the counts of vaccinated and unvaccinated barely changed. It is the change in infection and death rates, that led to the disastrous results of vaccination in the UK.
When vaccines were working well, no one was complaining about denominators and incorrect counts of vaccinated people.
Sorry for being so verbose, but the fact checkers deserved some attention, in my opinion.
What they can't censor, they "fact check," right? You hit the nail on the head here: "When vaccines were working well, no one was complaining about denominators and incorrect counts of vaccinated people."
Keep your eyes on the fact checkers. I recognize their language: it is the imperious, overly confident tone of the person who has never taken an advanced math or hard science course but has spent some time (perhaps in a "studies"-type major) writing papers that use selective evidence to prove the point they want to prove. Their propaganda would be a lot better if these people were more intelligent and less clever.
Not too verbose. Another fine article Igor. The potential confound that jumps out at me is the Simpson's paradox everyone knows about by now, but if you see the effect hold up when you stratify by age, that is totally off the table as far as I can see.