Is the COVID19 vaccine reducing the number of cases in Greece? And is the COVID19 vaccine reducing the number of deaths?
How can we work that out?
In Greece, the COVID19 vaccine has been rolled out by age group. The over 60s started getting vaccinated on the February 15.
On May 17, vaccine rolled out for the over 40s.
Logically speaking, from Feb 15 to May 17, we would expect that the proportion of people getting COVID19 in the over 65 age group would decline, and the proportion of people dying from COVID19 would also decrease in the over-65 age group.
To get the specific numbers for each of those periods we simply subtract the old figures from the new figures (if that makes sense?) ie to get the case and deaths numbers for Nov 15th to Jan 1st, we subtract the Nov 15 numbers from the Jan 1st number to see the difference in cases and deaths, by age group, between the two dates.
So what do the numbers say?
For the over 65s,
|% of all cases||% of all deaths|
|Up to Nov 15||12||84|
|Nov 15 – Jan 1||21||85|
|Jan 1 – Feb 14||17||83|
|Feb 14 – Apr 1||16||85|
|Apr 1 – May 14||15||82|
|May 14 – June 11||9||81|
15% to 9%. A drop of 40%
From the numbers in the table above, we can say that the number of people over 65 contracting COVID19 in Greece is decreasing as a proportion of all the people contracting COVID19 in Greece.
There could be some other contributing factors to this, such as children under going mass testing, but lets assume the numbers are sound.
The COVID19 vaccines appear to reduce the number of people contracting COVID19.
What about the deaths?
83% to 81%. A drop of 2.5%
A lot less clear and arguably no correlation between deaths and the number of people vaccinated. Before the vaccines were rolled out around 83% of all deaths were in the over 65 age group, now it is around 81%.
Considering over 60% of the over 65s are vaccinated, I think it reasonable to expect that the number of deaths in this age group, as a percentage of all deaths would have dropped a similar amount to the drop in the number of cases.
Unfortunately we do not see that.
Of course I do not know why but I can speculate.
Perhaps the people who were vulnerable to COVID19, ie the people who already have a serious pre-existing condition, do not reap or cannot reap the benefits of the vaccine because of their already weakened condition.
In short, perhaps those that would die of COVID19 before the vaccine, will still die after the vaccine, even if the COVID19 itself is not as serious.
Given that the vast majority of people (80%+) dying from COVID19 are in the over 65 age group, the fact that the vaccine seems to have a negligible effect on the number of deaths in this age group could mean that the current COVID19 vaccines will not effect the number of deaths from COVID19 in a substantial way.
Again, in Greece we have 60% of the over 65s vaccinated yet the difference in the proportion of deaths in this age group has only fallen by 2.5%.
Summary – COVID19 Vaccine Greece
As things stand at the moment, I find it very hard to say if vaccines are saving people’s lives in Greece.
Sure they appear to be reducing the chance of someone getting COVID19 but this only appears to be the case for people who would not have died from COVID19 anyway.
It seems the people who would die from COVID19 are still contracting COVID19 and they are still dying from COVID19.
Greece has been vaccinating the over 60s for over almost four months now and the proportion of people dying who are over 65 is more or less than same as before the vaccine. If the vaccine were going to be effective for those most at risk I think it is reasonable to expect so obvious evidence of this by now. Unfortunately we do not see anything conclusive.