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Misleading
misleading

CLAIM ID

a7534bfa

Fatality rates among the fully vaccinated are higher than the unvaccinated in the U.K.

COVID-19 vaccines work. According to the UKHSA, death and hospitalization rates are lower in fully vaccinated across all age groups.

The Expose, a U.K.-based conspiracy website, has regularly made highly misleading claims about the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

In a recent article, the website uses raw numbers from a recent COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report, which was published by the U.K. Health Security Agency (UKHSA) on December 8, 2021. In this article, it claims that the death rates for the fully vaccinated population are "frighteningly higher" than the unvaccinated. It further states since more fully vaccinated individuals are in the hospital, the vaccines are "increasing the risk of death due to the virus "rather than reducing it."

It is important to point out that the article misinterprets data and conceals critical points mentioned in the report that prove vaccines work. For instance, the article fails to state that the UKHSA's report explicitly says that "this raw data should not be used to estimate vaccine effectiveness."

The UKHSA's blog, which is also mentioned in the Expose article, explains the impact of vaccination in the population. It cautions that the raw COVID-19 case rates in the vaccinated and unvaccinated "should not be used to assess" vaccine effectiveness.

The report clarifies that to interpret the data, one should consider the vaccinations rates in the population. Firstly, as older people are more at risk from a severe COVID-19 outcome, they were prioritized in the vaccination campaign. As the UKHSA explains, such risk groups are more likely to be hospitalized for non-COVID reasons. Therefore they may die "with COVID-19 rather than from COVID-19." Secondly, when a high proportion of the population is vaccinated, it is expected that more hospitalizations and deaths can occur in vaccinated individuals as no vaccine is 100 percent effective.

The UKHSA report concludes that while infection levels are higher in vaccinated individuals above 30, the deaths and hospitalizations are not. Within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, the rate of hospitalization is "substantially greater" in the unvaccinated than vaccinated individuals. Similarly, the death rate within 28 days or 60 days of a positive COVID-19 test is higher in unvaccinated individuals than fully vaccinated individuals.

The unvaccinated have a higher risk of catching and dying from COVID-19 than the vaccinated. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the age-adjusted risk of deaths involving COVID-19 was 32 times greater in unvaccinated individuals than double-vaccinated people between January and September 2021. The ONS accounted for differences in population size and age groups by calculating the age-standardized mortality rates for deaths involving COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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