07 September 2021
Last Saturday the Higher Institute of Health published its updated bulletin on Covid infections, hospitalizations, intensive care admissions and deaths in the last 30 days. These are the only known data that are divided by age group and between unvaccinated, half vaccinated (only one of the two planned doses) and full cycle vaccinated. From those numbers it turns out that among the over 80s, the vast majority of infections (71.6%) were recorded among those who had already received the two doses of the vaccine for some time. Same prevalence, albeit with a lower percentage (50.9%) in the 60-79 age group: vaccinated people are infected more than unvaccinated. For the over 80s, the same prevalence among vaccinated (58.7%) is found in hospitalizations, and something similar is starting to be seen in intensive care admissions (46% versus 50.6% of unvaccinated) and unfortunately for deaths (44.7% had two doses of the vaccine and 51.1% not even one).
These data will be heralded and ideologically used by the supporters of the two fronts pro vax and no vax. And they replicate what has largely already occurred in Israel and is occurring in the United States. Our Higher Institute of Health comments on these new data as follows: “The so-called paradox effect occurs whereby the absolute number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths can be similar between vaccinated and unvaccinated”. Israel also called it the “paradox effect”.
It will be correct, but so you don’t understand a dry fig. Of course it would be a paradox to have more infections, more hospitalizations, more intensive care admissions and even more deaths among those who received the vaccine doses than those who refused to do so. But there is no paradox or mystery: it’s just math. I’ll explain it to you with a few figures. And it is good to say it now because probably in two or three months the infected patients, hospitalized, the serious ones in intensive care and unfortunately also those who will not make it and will be added to the terrible list of Covid deaths will be overwhelmingly Italians who will have received two doses of the vaccine. So it is simply stupid to discuss today whether or not to charge no vax for treatment, because most of the treatment and hospital expenses will be for Italians who have been vaccinated with first and second doses.
Here is the simple explanation. Today the contagion is dominated by the Delta variant, which has brought down the protection of AstraZeneca a lot and a little less that of Pfizer and Moderna. There are many studies that offer different rates on the protection of these vaccines. But we use Pfizer and take the company’s percentages for granted. Today the protection against the Delta is 88% from contagion and 93% from the most serious consequences (intensive care and death). I use the latest published data: 4,415,898 Italians had the two doses of vaccine in the most at-risk group, that of the over eighty-year-olds. And another 300,892 have not yet been vaccinated. Since the protection from contagion is 88%, it means that on 12% of the vaccinated there is no protection (the vaccine is not effective and therefore it is equal to the non-vaccinated): it is about 497,507 Italians, many more than those without vaccine. It is therefore mathematical that the contagion is higher among these 497,000 who received two vaccines that did not work rather than among the 300,000 who are in the same condition not having done so. If 93% of the vaccinated are protected from serious consequences, this means that it does not exist in 7% of them. This percentage in the Italian over eighty age bracket translates into 290,212 vaccinated which in reality it is as if they were not. An absolute number almost identical to those who have never seen a syringe near them. It is therefore normal that the numbers of ICU patients and deaths are similar between vaccinated and unvaccinated.
It will happen in every age group if the vaccinates are around 80-90%. And it cannot become a controversial topic, because the numbers are exactly those predicted by vaccine studies. It cannot be a weapon against the vaccine, but it is certain that it will be wielded and will frighten all Italians who will rightly be restless in the face of these “paradoxes”.
The task of those who guide health policies from the central or local government is not to threaten in various useless and foolish ways or even worse by dividing Italians between those who have ethical superiority and those who are morally inferior. There is no saying “we will not pay for treatment to those who end up in hospital unvaccinated”, because then the same meter should be used with many children of these censors who regularly end up in the emergency room especially in the summer for largely avoidable ethyl coma. And we should make drug addicts pay for treatment with this philosophy, those who take sexually transmitted diseases and so on. We are not in an ethical state (fortunately), and the threat has no reason to exist in a democracy, however it is disguised. The task of the Mario Draghi, the Roberto Speranza, the CTS, the government, the regional governments is not to threaten closures or corporal punishment which are then not feasible. But to be serious, to convince reasons, to explain the facts with simplicity, to abandon useless and stinging slogans, to review decisions when they prove to be insufficient or wrong. Be authoritative in facts and ways, not in autobiographies. In the end we all find ourselves overwhelmed by a plague that we did not know how to deal with and which tears apart everyone’s life and way of life.
Groping we found weapons to fight, because we were with bare hands. They are the only weapons we know at the moment and maybe more will be found. But today there are these: isn’t it reasonable to use them rather than give up without fighting and losing for sure?