F Rosa Rubicondior: Anti-Covid Vaccines Working!

Sunday 13 June 2021

Anti-Covid Vaccines Working!

Perhaps better than anything, this graphic from the UK Government Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the effects of the anti-coronavirus vaccination program.

Starting just before Christmas 2020, the NHS has had a massive drive to get the adult population vaccinated, starting with the most vulnerable then working down through the younger age groups. The most recent age group to be invited to get a vaccine is the 25 year-olds and over.

The UK is currently experiencing a surge in case numbers due to the greater infectivity of the Δ-variant but the number of hospitalisations and deaths remain at substantially lower levels than during the earlier waves. The reason for this is almost certainly the protection against being made seriously ill being given by the vaccines.

The following graphic shows the percentage vaccinated with the first and second dose, together with with the probable anti-body levels over time of different aga groups:

As can be seen, those aged 65 and above are now maximally protected with very high levels of antibodies and those in the 6-65 agegroup are rapidly building their anti-body levesl as the second dose takes effect. The least well-protected so far are the younger age groups who have either not had a second dose so far or are still to have their first. This group during th first wave proved to be more able to tolerate the virus without being made seriously ill by it, although they were still vulnerable to suffer 'long-covid' complications after recovery. This appear to be the groups currently becoming infected, hence the rise in cases without the corresponding strain on the health services seen earlier.

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  1. Yes the vaccine program is working but the statistics remain unconvincing since we are getting better at identifying covid-19 cases and also getting better at treating the disease, preventing death. Add to that the fact that many of the most vulnerable have already fallen prey to it.
    We still have a long way to go though and the most worrying thing is that the 'long covid' that many experience has almost exactly the same symptoms as 'getting old.' Covid, like other corona viruses such as the common cold, causes an increase in senescent cells - the ones that make you old. As such it's a killer even if you appear unaffected. It simply takes a long time to kill you through aging. That explains why it has such a devastating effect on the elderly who can't tolerate an additional burden of senescent cells.
    Will people recover from 'long covid'? Perhaps if a treatment is found it could also help the elderly?

    1. I agree we are getting better at treating Covid-19 but that could only account in part for the reduced death figures, not the reduced hospitalisation figures, because patients need to be admitted to benefit from improved treatments. I would like to see the changes in age profile of new cases over time as I suspect most of the new cases with the delta-variant are probably younger than they were a year ago and over winter, although I don't have figures to support that.

      I agree that long-Covid is still a problem even when the initial illness is mild, which is why I avoided saying we can relax our guard. This thing is not over yet, by a long chalk.


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