Countries with highest vaccination rates have highest infection rates
A series of graphs compiled by Twitter user @holmenkollin (Corona Realism) document that "the most-vaccinated countries in the world are experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, while the least-vaccinated countries are not."
Iceland, Gibraltar, Malta, and Cyprus, for example, have vaccination rates of 90–98% and are experiencing surging virus cases. European countries with high vaccination rates are experiencing increasing infection rates, while those graphs show minimal infection rates among the countries with the lowest vaccination rates.
In Israel, where COVID cases are spiking despite a vaccination rate of 80%, the government is launching a campaign to inoculate its population with a third jab. The vaccines' effectiveness may very well be wearing off after a few months, but doubling down on booster shots may prove counterproductive if something else is at work.
Some doctors have been warning that vaccine-induced antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) may contribute to long-term adverse effects that would begin to manifest themselves 3–12 months after vaccination. That prediction is based upon animal studies over recent years from SARS-CoV vaccine trials, where the vaccinated animals became extremely sick after being exposed to coronaviruses later, in the wild. ADE is based upon the idea that the antibodies generated from the vaccines are "suboptimal" compared to those produced from natural immunity and that ADE subsequently enhances viral infection and replication in the body's host cells. Various government-funded studies relating to ADE document the historical difficulties of developing vaccines and therapies for COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. It remains an open question whether or not the mRNA vaccines will react, or are starting to react, in a similar fashion on humans.
Natural immunity is given short shrift by the CDC; we have no idea how many Americans carry antibodies from previous infections, either symptomatic or not. A Wall Street Journal article titled "Maybe With Delta the CDC Will Learn to Count" reports that "92% of Brits now show evidence of antibodies."
Britain has seen its Delta surge wane rather quickly. And unlike the U.S., it is not flopping around in the half-dark about what's going on. Thanks to biweekly blood-sample surveys, the U.K. government knows how many people have antibodies from vaccination and/or infection. Thanks to surveys and modeling it also has a good idea how many are currently infected, invariably a multiple of those who get a positive test.
Joe Biden says that "in all probability," we can look forward to more guidelines and restrictions. Unless the government and the CDC start treating the American people with more honesty and transparency, they may discover that the reservoir of goodwill the country displayed during last year's lockdowns has been greatly depleted.
Image: Our World in Data.
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