By C. ben-David
The recent comment from Dr. Wayne Murray, a local physician, titled “More advice to the death counters raises the important issue of the relationship between COVID-19 death rates and vaccination rates.
Unfortunately, his skewed observations downplay the role of vaccines in preventing COVID-19 deaths when he opines that, “A vaccinated person develops some degree of protection to lessen the burden of COVID-19 infection …”
“Some degree of protection” is a gross understatement.
Yes, a few vaccinated persons die after contracting COVID-19 but this is simply because no vaccine, whether for this or other viruses, offers 100% protection against being infected or dying after being infected. People suffering from comorbidities like gross obesity, a largely self-inflicted disease many of our people suffer from, are particularly susceptible to dying after contracting this and other viruses. No reputable epidemiologist would ever succumb to the “linear reasoning” Dr. Murray refers to: “that even with vaccinations as primary protection some of the persons might have died still” because they were already afflicted with life threatening preconditions.
Dr. Murray also fails to note that many countries with more vaccinated than unvaccinated persons – countries with well over 50% of their population vaccinated — still see a much higher infection rate among those who are unvaccinated regardless of whether they have known comorbidities or not. It is, therefore, false for him to say that “When both groups [vaccinated and unvaccinated] are near even (50/50) we would possibly see a number of vaccinated persons die of COVID-19 and it is at this point that using death as selling point could backfire.”
There is no “backfire” here, only logical and epidemiological errors from a member of our medical community, as shown by data from our colonial motherland, England, among many other countries.
In the United Kingdom, 80% of people aged 16 and over have had two doses and nearly 90% have had one dose, well above Dr. Murray’s 50/50 division between vaccinated and unvaccinated persons.
A recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) government report has shown that fully vaccinated people in England are much less likely to die with COVID-19 than those who aren’t vaccinated, or have had only one dose.
Out of more than 51,000 COVID deaths in England between January and July 2021, only 256 occurred after two doses. As Dr. Murray suggests, they were mostly people at very high risk from illness from COVID-19.
Unlike Dr. Murray’s false assertion of only “some degree of protection”, the English figures show the very high degree of protection from the vaccines against COVID-19 illness and death, the ONS said.
Some deaths after vaccination were always expected because vaccines are not 100% effective, the study says, and because it takes a couple of weeks after your second dose to build the fullest protection.
Of the 51,281 deaths involving COVID registered in England between Jan. 2 and July 2, 2021: 640 (1.2%) were people who had received both vaccine doses (This total includes people who had been infected before they were vaccinated); some 458 deaths (0.8%) were people who died at least 21 days after their second dose; just 256 deaths (0.5%) were people who were both fully vaccinated and who had their first positive PCR test at least 14 days after their second dose.
“Breakthrough” deaths — occurring at least two weeks after the second jab along with a first positive PCR COVID test — tend to happen in the most vulnerable, men and those with weakened immune systems, with the average age being 84. But in total these numbers were very small accounting for only 0.5% of all deaths from COVID-19 over the first six months of the year.
Of course, as more and more people are vaccinated, the numbers of fully vaccinated people infected with COVID-19 who then die from it will also grow but this obvious assertion does not support Dr. Murray’s specious reasoning.
The most important observations are those that have been made for months now by leading medical experts around the world : (1) COVID-19 vaccinations have saved millions of lives and (2) COVID-19 deaths are much lower now than they were before people were vaccinated.
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].