By: Ilma Hasan
October 19 2021
Vaccinate does not raise the risk of catching COVID-19. The study quoted by Daily Sceptic has been misrepresented.
Vaccinate does not raise the risk of catching COVID-19. The study quoted by Daily Sceptic has been misrepresented. An article by Daily Sceptic is falsely making the claim that data from a Public Health England (PHE) report shows that COVID-19 vaccines have “negative effectiveness” in those aged 40 and above. The article claims those that are vaccinated are more likely to catch Coronavirus. However, PHE's study fails to clarify how data that could be used to assess vaccine effectiveness is incomplete. The gaps in data are being used to spread false claims even though a note of the report states: "In individuals aged 40 to 79, the rate of a positive COVID-19 test is higher in vaccinated individuals compared to unvaccinated. This is likely to be due to a variety of reasons, including differences in the population of vaccinated and unvaccinated people as well as differences in testing patterns.” The reason it is difficult to compare risk of contracting COVID-19 is since because it is easier to track and collect data of vaccinated persons than those that are unvaccinated. And since vaccinated rates are 90 percent or higher higher in these age groups, infection rates based on inaccurate numbers can be extremely skewed. "This problem might well affect the PHE report, which uses population numbers drawn from the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS), using GP registrations, rather than estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In the latest figures for England, for example, up to 16 September 2021, 24,210,838 people aged 40-79 had received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. If we subtract this from the NIMS estimate for the population in this age group, it leaves about 3.52 million people entirely unvaccinated. Whereas, if we subtract it from the ONS 2020 population estimate, it leaves about 1.35 million entirely unvaccinated," a Fullfact analysis found. Additionally, the same PHE report says that estimates of vaccine effectiveness range from around 55 percent to 70 percent after one dose, with two doses indicating effectiveness of around 65 percent to 90 percent. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies' (SAGE) study has also stated “for the Delta variant, protection is assessed to be 45 percent after one dose of AstraZeneca and 55 percent for Pfizer. After a second dose, this increases to 70 percent for AstraZeneca and 85 percent for Pfizer." Imperial's REACT-1 study, a major Coronavirus monitoring programme also found that double vaccinated people were three times less likely than unvaccinated people to test positive for the Coronavirus.