Their findings are nothing short of shocking to those of us who are hearing the continuing urgency for vaccination. “Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States”. The article goes on to draw some [interesting] conclusions:
The sole reliance on vaccination as a primary strategy to mitigate COVID-19 and its adverse consequences needs to be re-examined
Just two points:
(1) anyone who has followed the science knows that correlation is not causation, and that one paper does not prove anything - you need the whole picture with context.
(2) The writer here conflates COVID-19 (infection?) with adverse consequences of COVID-19
It is true that vaccines do not prevent high COVID-19 infection rates. In fact they allow them - without intolerable stress on Western health systems - by reducing disease severity.
I know there are people who say vaccination is a tool to reduce COVID rates. It could be that - with a vaccine adapted to the variant - but delta and omicron are so infectious I think that is a tall order -certainly current vaccines do not get R below 1 without some other help. I guess if you had everyone double or more jabbed with last jab within two months they would do a lot better, but that is not practical. Countries like the Uk are still only 77% vaccinated.
I think arguments like this TSN letter are juts poor. Not sure if the writer does not understand - or is just wanting to make political points.
1. Vaccines can dampen otherwise catastrophic surges in infection
2. Much more importantly, they allow countries like the UK to run at a high infection rate with not too many people dying. Vaccines change COVID from a disastrous infection to something close to bad seasonal Flu.
(for those who are alert - those 23% unvaccinated in the UK include very very few of the high risk people. Even so they are mostly the ones that die, but things would be much much worse otherwise. 23% unvaccinated is not as bad as it sound in terms of overall disease burden).