Authority of interpretation (Translation in progress)
Posted On 22/07/2022
The incidence rate among the vaccinated has been higher than that of the unvaccinated since calendar week 11 of this year. Three weeks after that, these values were no longer published in the weekly reports of the Ministry of Health. In two letters to the Minister of Health, Ms. Paulette Lenert, Expressis-Verbis inquired about the meaning of this changed communication. A reply letter dated 07/06/2022 was not very informative and did not address the questions raised.
In the last report of 4 July 2022 of the “Ad hoc Expert Group” on compulsory vaccination, this topic was now addressed in chapter 15 “Effectivité vaccinale et cordon sanitaire” in connection with the sectoral compulsory vaccination. Since it could therefore be seen in a certain sense as a response to our letters, we would like to take a closer look at it.
After first briefly explaining why a cordon sanitaire is necessary in the care sector, the requirement for vaccination is, in summary, that it should reduce infectivity.
One then switches to the incidence rates according to vaccination status and finds that these converge, indeed that those of the vaccinated are higher at last. The following graph is shown:
We will now disregard the fact that, firstly, the period shown (1 September 2021 to the beginning of April 2022) does not correspond to that in the description and, secondly, we are not dealing with incidences but with incidence rates (as otherwise a comparison would not make sense).
Although this report is published at the beginning of July, the period under consideration ends at the beginning of April, the date from which daily incidence rates by vaccination status were no longer published.
However, we can update this graph as the weekly case numbers by vaccination status since the 41st calendar week 2021 are currently still published. Together with the vaccination rate according to the ECDC, the incidence rates can thus be calculated according to vaccination status, and we obtain the following graph: the solid line was calculated according to the available values in the weekly reports, the dashed line from the case numbers according to vaccination status (also from the weekly reports).
The ratio (incidence rate vaccinated) / (incidence rate unvaccinated) is also called relative risk. It indicates the ratio of the probability of being infected as a vaccinated person compared to an unvaccinated person. The graph in the report ends at the beginning of April with a ratio of over 1.4, which continues to grow in the following weeks to values sometimes over 1.8. We are therefore currently in the order of magnitude where a vaccinated person has almost twice the risk of becoming infected.
In the report, an attempt is made to explain in 5 points how this state of affairs comes about.
Les personnes vaccinées ont tendance à modifier leur comportement pour adopter une nouvelle normalité avec un risque d’exposition au virus et un risque d’infection plus élevés. Cela augmente l’incidence chez les individus vaccinés.
Vaccinated people would therefore be more likely to become infected because they feel safer due to their status and therefore behave more carelessly. Apart from the fact that in our everyday experience we tend to make the opposite observation, we would have been pleased to see a source that provides scientific evidence for this claim.
Now to the unvaccinated:
En revanche, les individus non-vaccinés peuvent adopter l’un des deux comportements suivants : (i) ils refusent la vaccination, mais conscients de leur vulnérabilité, ils adaptent leur comportement pour éviter l’infection ;
We also see this behaviour rather less confirmed in everyday life, a scientific justification is then also missing here.
(ii) d’autres, qui ne « croient » pas à la COVID-19 en tant que maladie potentiellement grave ou à la vaccination, peuvent déjà être partiellement protégés par une infection antérieure. Ces deux comportements réduisent l’incidence chez les individus non-vaccinés. Ainsi, les différences de comportement tendent à augmenter l’incidence chez les vaccinés et à diminuer l’incidence chez les non-vaccinés.
The “non-believers” would therefore have been infected in a kamikaze-style at some point earlier and are now immune to the Omicron variant, which can really only mean that the immunity acquired through infection is, at least recently, far more effective against Omicron than that induced by the vaccine.
In essence, this only repeats what was already said in the first point: naturally acquired immunity works better against omicron than that induced by the vaccines:
Cette évolution s’accentue encore depuis l’émergence du variant Omicron hautement infectieux. Beaucoup de personnes qui comptent comme non-vaccinées se sont en fait infectées et ont développé une certaine immunité, même si elle n’est que de courte durée, contre ce variant. D’autre part, les vaccins n’offrent qu‘une protection relativement faible contre l’infection par ce variant.
This item is about the proportion of recovered persons by age group and vaccination status.
Si la majorité de la population luxembourgeoise est désormais vaccinée, il y a une forte prépondérance de vaccinés parmi les personnes âgées (l’âge moyen des vaccinés est de 45,1 ans, contre 26,3 ans pour les non-vaccinés). Notamment parmi les enfants et les jeunes adultes, beaucoup de personnes qui n’étaient pas encore vaccinées, se sont infectées et ensuite rétablies (graphique 15.2). Ces personnes comptent parmi les personnes non-vaccinées, mais elles ont acquis une certaine immunité en raison de l’infection.
We can only conclude that the same explanation is now being used for the third time: a large proportion of the unvaccinated are children and adolescents who were infected earlier and are therefore now immune.
In our opinion, it almost borders on cynicism to recycle the artificially inflated incidences caused by the test orgies at the schools as an argument for vaccine effectiveness. We remember: from April 2021 to 2022, almost all pupils of the Fondamental and Enseigenement secondaire were tested, sometimes up to three times a week. Graph 15.2 is therefore even more revealing, as it shows a plausibly incomprehensible higher proportion of recovered persons in an age group for which Covid-19 is not a major problem.
4. time intervals
Even though the vaccination was started with the oldest age group at the beginning of 2021, the first and second booster vaccinations mean that the majority of people over 60 years of age have not had their last injection more than 6 months ago.
Si beaucoup d’infections étaient plutôt récentes (en raison de l’infectiosité élevée d’Omicron), les personnes les plus âgées étaient parmi les premières à recevoir leurs premières doses et de voir leur immunité s’estomper.
This would then mean that the vaccination in this age group does not provide sufficient protection against infection or that the “boosters” would have to be given at even shorter intervals.
Did they want to list as many points as possible here, or how else can it be explained that more or less the arguments from “Omikron” and “Alter” are taken over here?
Beaucoup de jeunes se sont infectés par Omicron et ont développé une certaine protection, même de courte durée, contre ce variant, tandis que les vaccins actuels protègent moins bien contre l’infection par Omicron.
In summary, therefore, apart from the unproven statements about the behaviour of the vaccinated/unvaccinated, essentially the difference in incidence rates can be explained by a higher efficacy of naturally acquired versus vaccine-induced immunity.
Making use of their interpretative sovereignty, the comparison of incidence rates is finally qualified by the expert group as biased and thus declared irrelevant for now and in the future.
Ainsi, les incidences fournissent une vision biaisée de l’effet de la vaccination sur l’ infectiosité de l’ensemble de la population et ne peuvent servir d‘indicateur de l’infectiosité relative, entre vaccinés et non-vaccinés, ni aujourd‘hui ni pour la vague en automne.
It is striking that this bias does not seem to matter, as long as the comparison of incidence rates delivers the desired results. In October 2021, for example, the incidence rate of the unvaccinated was still worth a headline in “L’essentiel”.
The expert group, on the other hand, wants to rely on the “vaccine effectiveness against infection” and demands a value of at least 50% here.
C’est pourquoi la recommandation est basée sur l’effectivité vaccinale contre l‘infection. Nous proposons que celle-ci devrait être d’au moins 50% contre le variant dominant pour justifier une vaccination obligatoire en vue d’établir un cordon sanitaire pour les plus vulnérables.
From here on it becomes completely absurd: the “vaccine effectiveness against infection” is directly linked to the incidence (rate) of the vaccinated/unvaccinated, and it is simply impossible to calculate it otherwise. The Relative Risk (RR) and the Vaccine Effectiveness (VE) used in Figure 15.1 are related via the formula
If we calculate the vaccine effectiveness in this way, the result is a graph:
Note: a weekly updated version of this chart can be found here.
Vaccine effectiveness has therefore been negative for months, which is not surprising. Already at the beginning of the Omicron wave, in December 2021, a Danish study found a negative vaccine effectiveness for vaccinated people with basic immunization for both the Biontech and the Moderna vaccines. The bars in green (Omicron variant) are clearly in the negative range for the period “3 to 5 months since full vaccination protection”.
A recently published study from Great Britain can only find a negative vaccine efficacy for Omikron even for the third dose:
The vaccine effectiveness (VE) for the third dose was in negative since December 20, 2021, with a significantly increased proportion of SARS-CoV2 cases hospitalizations and deaths among the vaccinated; and a decreased proportion of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths among the unvaccinated.
A graph of the study shows vaccine efficacy by vaccine dose for the period from September 2021 to March 2022.
The Covid-19 vaccines not only fail to prevent infection, they actually promote it. This is not only the result of scientific studies, it is also an experience that can be made in everyday life. The explanations for this phenomenon presented in the last report of the Ad Hoc Expert Group are not convincing. At the end of the day, however acquired, natural immunity seems to have a clear advantage over that induced by vaccines.
Scientific research into this phenomenon is therefore of the utmost urgency, and possible answers such as antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) are already being considered.
A vaccine which cannot produce sterile immunity, but on the contrary even favours infections, thus tends to prevent the production of herd immunity and cannot contribute to foreign protection either.
Consequently, compulsory vaccination and thus all 2G/3G rules would be off the table. But it is apparently not that simple.