A new study of Covid hospital patients has found once again a spike in infections post-vaccination – what the authors call “an abundance of patients admitted to hospital within seven days of vaccination”.
The ISARIC4C consortium’s COVID-19 Clinical Information Network (CO-CIN) enrolled 52,280 Covid patients who were admitted to hospital between December 8th and April 10th. Of these, 3,842 had received at least their first vaccine dose, which is 7.3% or one in 14.
The researchers found that the median time between receiving a first jab and the onset of Covid symptoms was nine days. Since the median time from infection to symptom onset is five days, this suggests the majority contracted the disease in the days after vaccination.
The graph above shows how many of the vaccinated Covid patients experienced symptom onset on each day since vaccination. Note the massive spike on the day of vaccination and the three days afterwards. Although the authors do not say it in so many words, clearly the vaccines here are bringing on the symptoms. Why else would the frequency of symptom onset increase by 400% from the day before vaccination to the day of vaccination and in the following days?
The authors offer a few potential explanations. They suggest elderly and vulnerable people who had been shielding may have become infected through the exposure involved in the vaccination programme. Or perhaps they stopped shielding or being careful as soon as they got vaccinated, wrongly assuming they were immune.
The authors also raise the possibility that recent asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 could be triggered by vaccination into “symptoms likened to COVID-19 symptoms including fever”.
The study’s co-lead Dr Calum Semple, Professor in Child Health and Outbreak Medicine at the University of Liverpool, was clear where he stood on this, saying that the spike indicated “people are letting their guard down because they’ve been vaccinated. There is evidence here that people are unfortunately assuming that they’re protected very quickly after vaccination and that’s not the case.”
Such behavioural change was likewise blamed by Michael Day writing in the BMJ in March. Dr Clare Craig wrote a thorough riposte in the same journal, pointing to ONS data showing that the vaccinated did not increase their social contact and asking how it would explain similar spikes in care homes. She suggested other explanations were more likely, such as a drop in white blood cells in the days after vaccination as observed in the Pfizer trial, which may temporarily suppress immunity.
The spike in symptomatic Covid from day zero plainly cannot be explained by behaviour change, and as the authors suggest looks very much like the vaccine somehow re-triggering an old or existing Covid infection.
The good news from the study is that the vaccinated did not make up a large proportion of those hospitalised with Covid during December and January, though by late February and March (when all the over-65s were vaccinated) they made up a sizeable chunk of a much reduced total.
The authors note that the first dose of the vaccine doesn’t appear to reduce death among the high-risk hospitalised, saying “mortality appears to remain high for people in high-risk vaccination tiers who are admitted to hospital with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) despite vaccination 21 days or more previously”. It is not clear if this is a temporary effect owing to adverse effects of the vaccine or a permanent gap in the protection it offers.
How much longer can governments and scientists ignore the evidence of the post-vaccine spike in infections, found in study after study? When will they stop lazily blaming people for getting themselves infected and commit to investigate it properly?