Delta Variant Less Dangerous Than Flu

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.

What’s more interesting, is that the vaccine does not appear to reduce the death rate.

Delta Variant

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.

What that means in terms of case fatality rates:

  • > 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[1]?

  • 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:

  1. We don’t have enough information on age yet. Potentially those with higher doses are older.
  2. 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.

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.

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6 thoughts on “Delta Variant Less Dangerous Than Flu

  1. If you take that table 4 and adjust for population sizes for each group and exposure time you get some alarming results as follows.

    All cases:
    Unvaccinated: 0.7 cases per million per day (c/m/d)
    21 days post dose 1: 8.1 c/m/d (assuming 20 days average in this group) (11.17x higher)
    >14 days post dose 2: 0.25 c/m/d = 4x lower =75% vaccine effectiveness.

    Unvaccinated: 0.007 cases per million per day (c/m/d)
    21 days post dose 1: 0.087 c/m/d (assuming 20 days average time in this group) (12x higher)
    >14 days post dose 2: 0.012 c/m/d = 1.64x higher (there is 75% less chance of being infected but case fatality is 6.4x higher)

    1. Couldn’t this just be all sub 70 years old vaccinated don’t even register having the infections, so the remaining people who are infected are 80+ years with extremely weak immune defence attributes, where consequently the vaccine can’t do much. They vaccinated die at higher levels due to these being concentrated at the most vulnerable groups?

  2. To moderator: Sorry, that came out without carriage returns.
    email me if you want the spreadsheet I used to calc this

  3. Great analysis, but the title? Are people still arguing that the flu is more dangerous? Do you simply define ‘dangerous’ as in number of deaths? What if you die more quickly in the future because of damage to multiple systems and organs? Honestly, I would prefer in contracting any flu over any variant of covid, I suspect most would agree with me. I also think the low death rates is really due to two things:
    1- undercounting (deaths at home or death with comorbidity not consistent) and 2- expert treatment with steroids, fluvoxamine, and especially ivermectin.

    1. From SARS-CoV-2-variants-of-concern-and-variants-under-investigation.pdf linked at the top of the article:

      “¥ Cases without specimen dates and unlinked sequences (sequenced samples that could not be matched to individuals) are excluded from this table.”

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