More Vaccinated People Are Dying of COVID in England Than Unvaccinated – Here’s Why

COVID Vaccine Success

According to a new report, more vaccinated people are dying of COVID than unvaccinated people. However, it is important to put those numbers in context to see how the COVID-19 vaccines are still effective at reducing death.

More vaccinated people are dying of COVID than unvaccinated people, according to a recent report from Public Health England (PHE). The report shows that 163 of the 257 people (63.4%) who died within 28 days of a positive COVID test between February 1 and June 21, had received at least one dose of the vaccine. At first glance, this may seem alarming, but it is exactly as would be expected.

Here’s a simple thought experiment: imagine everyone is now fully vaccinated with COVID vaccines – which are excellent but can’t save all lives. Some people who get infected with COVID will still die. All of these people will be fully vaccinated – 100%. That doesn’t mean vaccines aren’t effective at reducing death.

The risk of dying from COVID doubles roughly every seven years older a patient is. The 35-year difference between a 35-year-old and a 70-year-old means the risk of death between the two patients has doubled five times – equivalently it has increased by a factor of 32. An unvaccinated 70-year-old might be 32 times more likely to die of COVID than an unvaccinated 35-year-old. This dramatic variation of the risk profile with age means that even excellent vaccines don’t reduce the risk of death for older people to below the risk for some younger demographics.

PHE data suggests that being double vaccinated reduces the risk of being hospitalized with the now-dominant delta variant by around 96%. Even conservatively assuming the vaccines are no more effective at preventing death than hospitalization (actually they are likely to be more effective at preventing death) this means the risk of death for double vaccinated people has been cut to less than one-twentieth of the value for unvaccinated people with the same underlying risk profile.

COVID infections are currently highest in young people.

However, the 20-fold decrease in risk afforded by the vaccine isn’t enough to offset the 32-fold increase in underlying risk of death of an 70-year-old over a 35-year-old. Given the same risk of infection, we would still expect to see more double-vaccinated 70-year-olds die from COVID than unvaccinated 35-year-olds. There are caveats to that simple calculation. The risk of infection is not the same for all age groups. Currently, infections are highest in the youngest and lower in older age groups.

Think of it as ball-bearing rain

One way to imagine the risk is as a rain of differently sized ball bearings falling from the sky, where the ball bearings are the people that get infected with COVID. For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume there are roughly equal numbers of ball bearings in each age group. In each age category, there is also a variation in the size of the balls. The balls representing the older groups are smaller, representing a higher risk of death.

Now imagine there’s a sieve that catches many of the balls. Most people who get COVID will not die (most balls get caught in the sieve). But some of the smaller balls fall through. The older you are, the more likely you are to fall through the holes. The balls that make it through the first sieve are hugely skewed towards older age ranges, represented by the smaller ball bearings. Before COVID vaccines came along, the people that fell through the holes represented the people who would die of COVID. The risk was massively skewed towards older people.

Vaccination provides a second sieve underneath the first, to prevent people from dying. This time, because we haven’t vaccinated everyone, it’s the holes in the sieve that are of different sizes. For older people who’ve had both doses, the holes are smaller, so many ball-bearings are stopped. The vaccines will save many of those who would previously have died.

For younger people the holes in the vaccine sieve are currently bigger as they are less likely to have received both doses and so more likely to fall through the sieve.

If all the filtering were just done by the second sieve (with no skew in risk of death by age, represented by the first sieve), then we might expect younger unvaccinated people to account for a larger proportion of the deaths. But it isn’t. The first sieve is so hugely biased towards older people that even with vaccination, more of them slip through the second sieve than the younger unvaccinated people. Given the UK’s vaccination strategy (vaccinate older, more vulnerable people first), you would expect high proportions of the people who die from COVID to have been vaccinated. And that is exactly what we see in the data.

The fact that more vaccinated people are dying than unvaccinated people does nothing to undermine vaccine safety or effectiveness. In fact, it’s exactly what we’d expect from the excellent vaccines, which have already saved tens of thousands of lives.

Written by Christian Yates, Senior Lecturer in Mathematical Biology, University of Bath.

Adapted from an article originally published on The Conversation.


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  • BALL BEARINGS... REAL Science this AIN'T.
    I QUOTE:
    "More vaccinated people are dying of COVID than unvaccinated people..."

    I QUOTE: "At first glance, this may seem alarming, but it is exactly as would be expected."

    What follows on the heels of this REVELATION is STATISTICAL MUMBO-JUMBO. People are A LOT like BALL BEARINGS!?
    I SMELL an ELEPHANT in the room. It doesn't require ONE or even TWELVE BLINDED VIZIERS; like this ILLOGICAL bombast🐧; to characterise what we SMELL, SEE and HEAR as A VERY LARGE MOUSE, with floppy ears, a trunk and a PENCHANT for SQUASHING BALL BEARINGS. Which is to say (The nefarious WITS END):
    PEOPLE. Smelly OLD PEOPLE; Sweet and innocent YOUNGER PEOPLE...

    HYPE. In the SERVICES one used to call this brand of HOOPTIE-DO "Sh*tting the Troops".

    It is UNIFORM. I'll give it that much:18 months-worth of MANDATED Confinement, foisted upon WE THE PEEPS by unqualified (as in:ELECTED) self-appointed COMMAND... filtering DOWN like a "RAIN OF BALL BEARINGS". SIEVE is the WORD-UP; as in: MIND like a SIEVE. 🤯
    But now it's OVER. And with its END, the CHAIN OF COMMAND DISSIPATES, like a fart on a freshening breeze...

    But... It ain't OVER until it's over... Not before the FAT LADY SINGS: An ARIA of deception.

    • It is obvious that you don't like the analogy intended for laymen like yourself. However, that doesn't mean that the claim is wrong.

      Can you make a case that the calculations are wrong, or that the logic behind the thinking is flawed?

      • For your argument to be valid there would need to be twice (roughly) as many vaccinated people in the population than unvaccinated. That may be the case in England but you didn't cite it either.

        • Exactly. Knowing the base rate (% vax, % unvax) is key. Also, understanding whether these groups are comparable is key (age, morbidities, etc.). How you can write this article without trying to make sense of these two Qs is beyond me. I also thought the ballbearing rain didn't work as a simplification strategy.

      • Also, compare this to the typical US news story where they claim 20-35x or so lower probability of dying of covid if you are vaccinated. The numbers are inconsistent and the story keeps changing. This makes it hard to believe the "newest scientific" arguments. In a week or two the story will change, the numbers will be selected in a different way, and all will be inconsistent with what we hear today. Maybe that is why CDC is afraid to publish more statistics.

    • Calm down. And try not to be so needlessly wordy. It doesn't make you sound any smarter, but rather the opposite.

  • Sars-Cov2 has a 99.9998% to 99.9997% survival ratio absent hospitalization and prescription antibiotics. Delta variation are same.


    Furthermore this hypothesis or future infection is as bad as the lies within the piece. Herd immunity is 67% of a population and this virus has circulated for 18 months. Yes. Calculate the human to human daily transmittance and X that daily for 18 months. "Pre-Exposure" and herd immunity are already consummated.


    • This is not remotely true. There is a 2-4% risk of death with Covid. That number has fluctuated with time and region but has not fluctuated outside this range. 99.9998 is compared to the entire population of the country. If you had cancer and died, you would be compared to other people with the same cancer, not against everyone in the world. So if a cancer has a 10% mortality it is against other cases of the same cancer.

      • You just made that up LOL! 2-4%? You are high off your rocker. Case mortality rate is 0.15%, meaning you survive 99.85%. And guess what? This is the ENTIRE population. This isn't controlling for age, health, etc.. 70% of hospitalizations of COVID are for Obese people. Older folks or pre-conditions account for the rest.

        For someone under 40, with a good diet? Basically 0% chance they die.

      • 2-4% death rates? This is nonsense. CDC estimates 28% of the population in US had Covid. 2% death rate would thus mean we have 1.85 million deaths, which we certainly don't. 28% is also probably an underestimate, because many cases are asymptomatic and there are practically no sampled tests available that would provide better estimates. The numbers presented by media most of the time make no sense at all and they often contradict themselves. Not so hard to notice inconsistencies.

    • Sadly, there were some who felt the same as you about Covid, but realized only on their deathbeds that they were mistaken. :(

      I agree that eating well certainly benefits the immune system. But don't forget that an organic diet and vigorous daily exercise didn't help the native peoples of North America much when they met with diseases previously unknown to them.

      • talking to you about facts is a waste of time. you will only see and believe what you want to see and believe, or rather, what you are told to see and believe. good luck to you with that.

      • Sadly more and more vaxxed are also dying after taking the experimental chemical brew. None of them have been available for comment if they too, may have regretted getting jabbed. You do you, but leave those who wish to remain fully human alone.

    • I have to agree with you. The CDC published its March 2020 to March 2021 Covid mortality rate and those numbers agree with you too. The number one group of people in the US who died of Covid were the obese, and there is a LOT of scientific evidence to support this, and why they are such a vulnerable group. Suffice it to say that the science is pointing toward the obese having a much reduced immune system.

      The number 2 group of people who died of Covid during that same period (and this surprised me the most) was listed as those with severe anxiety. This one surprised me because it pretty well demonstrates quite clearly what stress and cortisol does to one's immune system too. However, the cure for this is also quite simple...either stop watching TV and stop buying into the government's (and big pharma's) narrative...or pressure the governments to have the media just stop spewing all of that gobbledygook about Covid on the TV 24/7.

      If we could get the obese to eat better and start exercising, and stop the media from broadcasting to much misinformation about Covid, the so-called mortality due to Covid in the US could have been reduced by at least 600,000 people.

      Vaccines certainly are not the answer either because they really don't work. Respiratory vaccines have never worked...because the mutation rate for these viruses are so rapid; hence, by the time one is vaccinated they are only protected against a virus that barely even exists anymore. If respiratory vaccines worked like big pharma pretends that they do we would have eradicated both influenza and the common cold decades ago.

  • Try the to get the mainstream narrative torn to bits and see the yellowcard stats in a format that makes sense. what is going on has a name... DEMOCIDE

  • Sadly some people don't understand this simple phenomenon, nor many of those people will understand it because this information will not get to them or they won't trust anyone else but those who confirm their bias, this is true on both sides of the spectrum, "believers" and "deniers". The propaganda machine brainwashes both ways.

    Apart from that, I have to point out that the article does an ok job at explaining the concept but wrongly portrays it as something good.
    "The fact that more vaccinated people are dying than unvaccinated people does nothing to undermine vaccine safety or effectiveness. In fact, it’s exactly what we’d expect from the excellent vaccines, which have already saved tens of thousands of lives."
    This fenomenon is simply what is expected in any kind vaccine, assuming it isn't extremely deadly of course, it has nothing to do with "this excellent vaccines" which in reality are arguably much less excellent most vaccines. This is not evidence that vaccines are safe, in order to say that you need to compare death rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated and not in absolute numbers.
    I highlighted this paragraph but the whole article has this "vaccines are safe and effective" biased tone. If this kind of articles are intended to reach and inform "deniers" they won't succeed because these people can easily recognize the subtle "safe and effective" tone and will almost unconsciously deny any kind of information with this bias.

  • So many things make perfect sense in 2021, it's scary. Ask me, I will also tell you that eh...uh...., ............. C'mon man, it makes prefct sense

  • This article clearly articulates why at risk groups need to take precautions but full society lockdowns were never warranted.

  • This is the dumbest article ever. Zero logic!

    "The fact that more vaccinated people are dying than unvaccinated people does nothing to undermine vaccine safety or effectiveness."

    Are you joking? The single fact that more vaccinated people are dying is an indication that either you don't need them or that they are harmful!

Christian Yates, University of Bath

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