“Our vaccines are working exceptionally well,” Walensky told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “They continue to work well for Delta, with regard to severe illness and death — they prevent it. But what they can’t do anymore is prevent transmission.” https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/05/health/us-coronavirus-thursday/index.html
Thus spoke Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director, in an August 5, 2021 interview with CNN’s Wof Blitzer. She may have believed the vaccines prevented severe illness and death then, but she cannot possibly believe that now.
That was 8 months ago. The vaccines had barely been rolled out 8 months earlier. Now we have nearly 16 months of observation and what have we found? What has Rochelle’s CDC revealed that contradicts her glib patter?
While there are thousands of articles discussing COVID vacccines, I have come to agree with Professor Tom Jefferson that in order to arrive at TRUTH, all we need to look at are epidemiological data of very high quality.
- We want raw, offical data, before it has been subjected to adjustments or algorithms that “smooth” the data.
- We want large populations.
- We want the most solid endpoints, such as hospitalizations or deaths.
Over the past few days I have identified and analyzed such studies on my blog (here and here) and Substack. The data are from official sources, published by the US CDC and the UK’s Office of National Statistics.
Information on 30 million adults in California and New York, 3/4 of whom were vaccinated, were used to compare COVID hospitalization and case rates in those who were vaccinated and had no prior COVID illness, with adults who were never vaccinated but had recovered from COVID, and presumably had natural immunity. The data were collected from June to November 2021, before the Omicron wave appeared.
- Vaccinated Californians and New Yorkers were three times more likely to develop COVID than those who had prior immunity and were unvaccinated.
- Vaccinated Californians had a higher rate of hospitalizations (severe illness) than those who were unvaccinated but had prior immunity. (New York did not provide hospitalization data.)
- The vaccine failures in this huge study cannot be blamed on Omicron, because the data were collected during Delta.
The UK data from its Office of National Statistics, published March 16, 2022, extend from January 1, 2021 through January 31, 2022, and include both the Delta and Omicron waves. The data have been age-standardized. The database includes 86% of all deaths in England (which has a population of 56 million) during the 13 months described.
The graphs reveal that being doubly vaccinated protected the English against death for most of 2021. However, over last December and January (corresponding to the Omicron wave) COVID death rates in the doubly vaccinated but unboosted were higher than in those who had never been vaccinated. This was true for the population as a whole.
If you break down the deaths by age group, the vast majority of COVID deaths occurred in the over-70 population. While deaths from COVID in younger people were trending up as the time since vaccination increased, by January 31, 2022 they had not exceeded COVID deaths in the unvaccinated. Boosters did appear to “top up” COVID immunity for a time in all age groups, reducing death rates. But one wonders how long it will take before this effect wears off.
What is the bottom line?
High quality, official data obtained on over 30 million American adults and 48 million residents of England incontrovertibly reveal that:
1. Natural immunity was 3 times better at preventing cases than vaccination alone, even before Omicron.
2. Natural immunity was somewhat better at preventing serious illness, measured as hospitalizations, than vaccination alone, even before Omicron.
3. Boosters (a 3d shot) reduced the death rate in England of the vaccinated from Omicron, but the benefit was starting to drop off by January 2022.
4. Natural immunity provided 3 times more protection against infection (and therefore against transmission) than did double vaccination, during the Delta wave. After Omicron arrived, vaccine efficacy was even worse.
5. Overall, England’s unvaccinated population had a lower COVID death rate during the Omicron wave than the COVID death rate in its doubly vaccinated population.
6. The vast majority of COVID deaths occur in those over 70. In this age group, the doubly vaccinated died from COVID at higher rates during Omicron than the unvaccinated.