There’s been a lot of talk on social media regarding the 17th technical briefing on alleged variants of concern in the United Kingdom. According to the UK government’s own figures on the Delta (formerly known as the ‘Indian’) variant, up to 21st June, these were the data for cases, hospitalisations and deaths attributable to said VOC:
Summary of the information:
/ There were a total of 53,822 ‘cases’ (positive tests) in unvaccinated individuals, virtually all of them in the under 50s.
/ There were 13,715 ‘cases’ in those >21 days post vax dose 1, just over two thirds of them in under 50s age bracket.
/ There were 7235 ‘cases’ in those fully ‘vaccinated’, roughly divided equally between those over 50 and those under 50.
/ All of the deaths in the double vaccinated were in those over 50; none occurred in the under 50s. 50 fatalities out of 3546.
/ 6 deaths occurred in those under 50 in the unvaccinated group. 6 fatalities out of 52846.
/ 38 deaths occurred in those over 50 in the unvaccinated; 38 deaths out of 976.
/ For the fully vaccinated, the ‘case’ fatality rate is 50/3546=1.41% in the over 50s.
/ For the unvaccinated, the ‘case’ fatality rate is 38/976=3.89% in the over 50s.
/ In the unvaccinated, the ‘case’ fatality rate for those under 50 was 6/52846=0.011%
/ No data is available for the ‘case’ fatality rate in those under 50 who are fully vaccinated.
So, from this, if we are to take the government’s figures at face value – and I’m still not sure how they are identifying Delta cases re. ‘genotyping’ as opposed to ‘sequencing’, or the relative proportions of those two methods which make up the total – we get a somewhat confusing picture. It would appear that in the fully vaxxed over 50s, the chance of dying if you’re infected with the delta variant is about a third of the chance of dying if you are unvaxxed. But the vast majority of delta ‘cases’ are in the unvaxxed under 50s (52,846), yet only 6 of those people died. Only 976 ‘cases’ occurred in the unvaxxed over 50s – which may reflect the relative lack of over 50s who have not been jabbed. Conversely, 3546 ‘cases’ occurred in the fully jabbed over 50s, which may reflect just how many fully jabbed over 50s there are. The take home message appears to be: if you are over 50, it might be worth getting jabbed to reduce your risk of dying from Covid, but if you’re under 50, the chance of dying even if you’re infected with the delta variant is very small.
The risk calculation above of course does not take into account the risk of dying or being seriously injured as a consequence of getting jabbed, which is significant for all age groups, as we have seen. So even though, if you are over 50, you might theoretically have lowered your risk of death from Covid by getting jabbed, you will also have raised your risk of death (by what is looking like to be a comparable amount) by getting jabbed, plus there are also unforeseen future risks. If you’re under 50, the jab is probably more of a risk to life and health than Covid, especially if you’re under 30, in which case you’d have to be nuts to get jabbed – or bullied mercilessly into it (which is happening).