On Thursday, the government published its 44th vaccine surveillance report and in a table on page 18 it noted 2,032 deaths of double-vaccinated individuals over 70. More than 3,000 from the same double-jabbed cohort were hospitalised.
The deaths are notable because some – perhaps most of them – could have been prevented with a booster shot.
A few may have had a third jab but the data covers a four-week window in October and for the vast majority, a booster, if it arrived at all, would have come too late. If, like in Israel, our booster campaign had started in late July it could have been a very different story.
John Roberts, a member of the Covid-19 Actuaries Response Group, who has been tracking the UK booster campaign since its launch on September 16, prefers not to dwell on what might have been. He is focused instead on the six “crucial weeks” in the run-up to the intergenerational mixing fest that is Christmas.
“If the booster programme is as effective as we expect it to be in terms of saving lives, then the faster we do it the more lives we will save”, he said. “I don’t think there can be any ambiguity about that”.
Covid case numbers have been falling across the UK for the last two weeks and most modelling suggests the decline should continue unless we suddenly see a rapid return to pre-pandemic levels of mixing. At the moment, many people continue to work from home, keeping reported contact rates for adults at about half the pre-pandemic norm.
Read more: The lies just keep on coming -‘Boosters need injection of urgency after deaths of double-jabbed over-70s’. So the first two were useless and you need a third just as useless to kill those we haven’t got yet