Professor Devi Sridhar, Chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, has claimed that the only thing preventing the pandemic being over is the fact that some adults have not been vaccinated. The anthropologist told the Telegraph:
Governments are frustrated. If all adults were vaccinated who were offered it, [the] pandemic would be over. ICUs are full of people who chose not to get vaccinated, then regret it later. Is that fair to doctors and nurses? And to those who need care for heart attacks and other life-threatening conditions?
Her comments appear in a Telegraph article by the newspaper’s Gates-funded Global Health Security team highlighting how governments are “wielding increasingly bigger sticks in an effort to push vaccination rates skyward – from the threat of prison time to withholding free Covid healthcare and the rise of ‘no jab, no job’ policies”.
In what sense, though, would the pandemic be over if the last 18.7% of over-18s in England were vaccinated? According to Government data, infection rates in over-18s are currently higher in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated, and 73% of total infections in the month ending January 9th were in the vaccinated, so it certainly wouldn’t end transmission or infection. The latest data also shows that 63% of hospitalisations and 70% of deaths with Covid in the month ending January 9th were in the vaccinated (one or more doses). So vaccinating everyone wouldn’t even halve the number of hospital admissions and deaths, let alone eliminate them. While the latest data for ICUs does show a majority of Covid ICU patients in December were unvaccinated, it needs to be borne in mind that the situation is reversed for deaths, and also that ICU occupancy is relatively low and declining at present, meaning there is no pressure on ICUs to blame on the unvaccinated.