At time of writing, the UK is again under lockdowns and the Delta (Indian) variant of COVID-19 within the UK appears to be on the rise.
On June 18, 2021, the UK government released a briefing called SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation. In that report, they review the Delta cases since February 1, 2021 in the UK.
On page 14 of the document, there is a table showing the number of cases between the variants in the UK.
The most interesting aspect zooming into the Delta variant, there are around 60,000 cases since February 2021.
Vaccinated Case Fatality Rate, Delta Variant
What becomes interesting, is when you compare the case fatality rate between the unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals. It appears the case fatality rate (as well as the raw number of fatalities) is higher than the unvaccinated individuals.
- > 14 days, dose 2 – 0.64%
- > 21 days, dose 1 – 0.11%
- < 21 days, dose 1 – 0.02%
- No vaccine at all – 0.09%
Unfortunately, to-date there have not been enough cases to break it out by age. However, the most interesting aspect to all this is comparing the case fatality rate of other illnesses?
- Seasonal Influenza – 0.1%
- Malaria – 0.3%
- Spanish Flu – 2.5%
Essentially, the Delta variant appears to be less deadly than the seasonal flu for the unvaccinated.
That being said, there are a few items of note:
- We don’t have enough information on age yet. Potentially those with higher doses are older.
- We don’t know the number of infections that were prevented by the vaccine (if any)
Additional Items of Note
This appears those with the Pfizer vaccine have 5x-6x lower amount of neutralizing antibodies.
“We’ve found that recipients of the Pfizer vaccine have 5x-6x LOWER amounts of neutralizing antibodies…these are the gold standard antibodies of your immune system.” pic.twitter.com/Jy1WpGYJKN
— Chris Buskirk (@thechrisbuskirk) June 24, 2021
There was also a warning provided by an Irish Immunologist regarding possible cytokine storms following a subsequent encounter with the virus, after vaccination.
That being said, it’s important to note she has been widely criticized. I personally am not advocating what she is saying. However, she brings up a good point and a paper I’m familiar with: Immunization with SARS coronavirus vaccines leads to pulmonary immunopathology on challenge with the SARS virus.
What this Immunologist states has been immunology for decades.
A 2006 paper on a vaccine-enhanced disease titled: The TLR4 agonist, monophosphoryl lipid A, attenuates the cytokine storm associated with respiratory syncytial virus vaccine-enhanced disease discusses this topic related to RSV. Effectively, infants vaccinated with a formalin-inactivated (FI) RSV became sicker or died when RSV was subsequently contracted. This was due to a “cytokine storm” and increased inflammation.
If a similar case presented here (for the COVID-19 vaccines), we would expect to see a higher case fatality rate in the vaccinated — exactly what we are seeing. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough data yet indicate a definitive problem. We will have to wait and see.