Empirical Evidence on Covid and Vaccines Now Coming In

Empirical Evidence on Covid and Vaccines Now Coming In. By Ethan Ennals. The British have vaccinated more than almost anyone. Here are what their scientists are finding.

Scientists believe between five and ten per cent of fully vaccinated people — those who have had two doses — could still end up in hospital with the virus. This is because many people have weakened immune systems, whether due to old age or illness, which means that even with the vaccine their bodies cannot mount a strong defence. …

Prior to the arrival of the vaccines in December, there were roughly as many Covid cases in the over-60s as there were in the under-20s. Now there are ten times as many cases in the under-20s. …

If the vaccines are stopping much of this [older] group from catching Covid, then it reduces the already slim possibility that someone fully vaccinated could end up in hospital with the virus. However, the risk is not zero — for every 100 people who have been vaccinated, between five and ten will still catch Covid and become unwell, according to studies. If those people are already vulnerable, due to pre-existing illnesses or weakened immune systems, they’re more likely to be hospitalised. …

This is certainly the picture reported by medics working on Covid wards right now.

One insider said: ‘Half of our Covid patients are unvaccinated people under 30, and half are vaccinated vulnerable.

‘The vulnerable people tend to have several comorbidities [more than one serious illness]. …

‘We’re also seeing frail patients who are close to death and, to be blunt, for whom Covid was what happened to kill them. It could have just as easily been pneumonia.

‘Worryingly, though, we are also seeing several younger patients with serious symptoms. Last week on our ward an unvaccinated man in his 30s died of Covid. But younger patients typically come in for oxygen and leave within a day or two.’ …

Symptoms are changing:

When the pandemic began, Government scientists told the public that the three main signs of Covid were a temperature, persistent cough and change in taste and smell. Now, according to a survey by the Office for National Statistics, the most commonly reported symptoms are a cough, headache and fatigue.

Scientists claim the change has occurred not because the disease has become milder but because it is infecting healthier people.

Alex Crozier, a Covid-19 research scientist, says: ‘Covid is now spreading predominantly through the younger age groups, who have strong immune systems. This means the virus is unlikely to affect them severely. So their bodies are reacting to it differently and we’re seeing fewer severe symptoms now.’

Crozier says it is important to highlight these new symptoms in an effort to control the rapid spread of the virus. He adds: ‘It’s possible many people believe they have a cold or hay fever but are walking around with Covid, potentially putting others at risk of infection.’ …

With the current generation of vaccines, children will have to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity:

Immunity can be gained either through vaccination or infection, but how many people need to attain immunity for the herd threshold to be reached is still up for debate.

Initial estimates were that roughly 70 per cent of Britons needed to be immune, but the arrival of the Delta variant has changed things, given that it is far more infectious than previous variants. This means more people need immunity to stop it spreading. Scientists now believe that 85 per cent of the population needs immunity – and therein, some say, lies the problem.

Professor Martin Hibberd, an infectious disease expert at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says: ‘You can vaccinate the entire adult population and you still would not reach 85 per cent coverage. To get there you need to vaccinate at least some of the under-18s.’ …

Long covid:

Scientists believe roughly one in ten people who catch Covid will suffer from prolonged symptoms, known as long Covid.

According to the Office for National Statistics, more than one million Britons are currently experiencing long Covid. Of those, two-thirds say their symptoms — which include shortness of breath, muscle ache and brain fog — are impacting their ability to carry out day-to-day activities.

Early studies suggest that vaccines cut the risk of long Covid by as much as 50 per cent. …

Dr David Strain, senior clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter, says: ‘If one in ten people under the age of 30 are off work because they are unwell for months, that will have a massive impact on business.’

Employment data from the US shows a sharp, large upturn in those who cannot work due to disability (2.7 million in the last six months). How much of that is long covid?

Mass event spread covid big-time:

Last week Public Health Scotland said that nearly 2,000 Covid cases in Scotland were linked to people watching Euro 2020 football matches in large groups. Two thirds of these were people who travelled to London for Scotland’s game against England on June 18. This also included 387 fans who were in Wembley Stadium for the match.

While public health officials said it was impossible to know whether people contracted the virus while watching the match, scientists argue it is clear evidence that mass events have a heightened risk of exposure.

Australia’s border closures have kept Australia relatively healthy and, most importantly, bought us time. We can learn from how the world learns to cope with what China has unleashed.

  • The case fatality rate in Britain in the first four months was 14%, but with better knowledge of how to treat it this has been brought down to under 2%. The first countries to get this were hit hard.
  • Now we are seeing how well the current generation of vaccines works: 5 – 10% of vaccinated people could end up in hospital, and vaccination might or might not be enough to stop covid spreading. Not so great.
  • Vaccines are killing and sickening a significant number of people, but data from governments is very sketchy. Why won’t they say? They must have reasonable figures by now. So obviously we have reason to be alarmed.
  • Long covid is serious and knocking millions out of the workforce — for how long?

How long before vaccines improve?