Sunday, January 09, 2022

Vaccine efficacy in NSW

The stuff that floats around the internet, the endless links people send to me, the conflicting reports, well, it overwhelms me. I read Paula Penfold's well-written piece today and settled on this statement:

The science is clear: the vaccines work.

So a very simple exercise for me today. I looked at data from New South Wales as southern hemisphere is a better match for New Zealand.

Yes, the fully-vaccinated can still end up in hospital. In fact there are more vaccinated than unvaccinated people in hopsital.  But the important numbers are shown in the rates.

The unvaccinated are 6.93 times more likely to be hospitalised and 17.5 times more likely to be admitted to ICU.

Of course it doesn't stop there. Efficacy against illness severity is only one aspect. Next vaccine safety, vaccine effect on virus transmissibility, vaccine efficacy versus other treatments, etc etc. need consideration.

But my post stops here.

Except to say I am double-vaccinated and respect the right of others not to be. In that I differ philosophically from Penfold.


Jim Rose said...

Pretty clear that the vaccine stops you falling rather real from the virus. Great self protection.

As for getting infected or not infecting others, that is faded and with that the case for mandatory vaccines. If you don't vaccinate, you could fall more ill and seriously ill if you have other complications. But whether an unvaccinated person is more of a threat than a vaccinated person in terms of infection is a question that appears to be less clear now. With Wellington having a 97% vaccination rate, I don't see much point hunting down the last 3% and turning them into the social outcasts.

If the vaccination rate was 70%, there will be more of a case for regulatory intervention because of the burden on the health system because of unvaccinated people becoming very ill in large numbers

Lucia Maria said...

Something to keep in mind with regards to the covid stats in Australia & worldwide - there is currently a recognition that many people are being counted as covid patients but are not admitted to hospital because of covid. This way of counting was seen to be trivial (or advantageous) but now is causing a massive problem determining how widespread covid hospitalisation really is. However, the trend is that actual hospitalisations due to covid have been massively over-counted. Likely the stats in NSW will eventually change to reflect this. For instance, New York has admitted that half their covid hospitalisations are not there for covid.

oneblokesview said...

Interesting your comment
from New South Wales as southern hemisphere is a better match for New Zealand

Why is southern hemisphere better and why NSW?
Why not Queensland or Westerns Australia


Lindsay Mitchell said...

Climate. Lifestyle. NSW had good recent data. It's just a simple exersise not intended for submission to the BMJ:)

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Lindsay

For a wider perspective I recommend this article:

We have been fed a one sided narrative that does not easily align with the data, when considering vaccine safety and effectiveness.

alloy said...

Given out high level of vaccination, and the characteristics of Omicron, I don't believe the Great "Unvaxed" are likely to pose a serious threat to our healthcare system.

Dr John Campbell (an educator) on youtube has been monitoring the Omnicron data as it started becoming available in late November early December.

Two useful graphs stand out:

First one is the number of infections
Second is the number of hospitalizations

The first one was a sharply spiking graph representing exponential infection rates

The second could be said to be saunter upwards in respect of hospitalizations.

Even in hospital, Omicron patients required 10-20% of the resources Delta patients had earlier in the year.

I think it's time to let Delta in and focus on off the shelf treatments as we do with flu every year. Hospitalizing on the most serious cases.

Lucia Maria said...

Here's the NSW specific story on the covid stats in hospital from 3 January 2022, finally came across it again:

‘Up to half’ of NSW Covid hospital patients went in for something totally different and were positive in routine testing

The point being that it is very difficult to assume protection from the vaccine. It may be that many people likely to be hospitalised for various illnesses have not been vaccinated. And when such people end up in hospital for various other reasons and are tested and found to be covid positive, the assumption is that they wouldn't have been in hospital if they had been vaccinated. Without further analysis of each case as to why they were vaccinated or not and why they were in hospital or not the statistics as they stand are insufficient in terms of the assumed conclusion.

Zoe Black said...

One major problem with the data collected is that you are officially recorded as "unvaccinated" in the period immediately after the first shot (from memory 14 days), and again once you get to around six months after your double vaccination if you don't take a booster. The same confusing flip occurs after the booster expires.

Tom Hunter said...

The unvaccinated are 6.93 times more likely to be hospitalised and 17.5 times more likely to be admitted to ICU.

No doubt, and if the actual rate for unvaccinated covid deaths is 0.02% of cases (CFR) and the CFR for vaccinated people is 0.005% then you could say that unvaccinated are 4 times more likely to die. But in both cases the chances of death are slim to start with, which should have been the real point all along.

From the CDC for the Delta variant of the last few months - but the 2020 Alpha data showed the same thing.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

"But in both cases the chances of death are slim to start with, which should have been the real point all along."

No argument from me there.