Yesterday I wrote about the new data from Public Health England that allows us to make a (rough) calculation of vaccine efficacy during the Delta surge. Using data from technical briefings 17 and 20 I calculated that vaccine efficacy against infection with the Delta variant in the over-50s was a disappointing 17%. Vaccine efficacy against mortality was a better (if lower than expected) 77%.
The Daily Expose also published a piece looking at the new PHE data and argued that it showed vaccination was actually increasing the risk of hospitalisation and death. Their analysis did not break the results down by age, however, and so did not take into account that most of the infections are in the young, who are less vaccinated, and most of the deaths are in the old, who are much more vaccinated. That’s why my analysis focused on the over-50s, and when you do that you find the vaccines reduced mortality during the Delta surge in that age group by around 77%.
The Daily Expose article helpfully drew attention to the fact that in a recently published document, the Government advisers on SAGE themselves appear to admit that the vaccines do not prevent infection and transmission. In paragraph eight, they write:
While we feel that current vaccines are excellent for reducing the risk of hospital admission and disease, we propose that research be focused on vaccines that also induce high and durable levels of mucosal immunity in order to reduce infection of and transmission from vaccinated individuals. This could also reduce the possibility of variant selection in vaccinated individuals.
This being the case, why is SAGE not advising the Government to cease all aspects of the vaccination programme based on the idea of reducing transmission and protecting others (vaccine passports, the coercion of young people, vaccination of children and so on) as its members clearly don’t believe that these things are backed up by sound scientific evidence?