In an article published in The Guardian, English statisticians David Spiegelhalter and Anthony Masters recently attempted to argue that the vaccines are supposedly working even though many vaccinated people in the U.K. are dying from COVID-19. (Related: Coronavirus cases in surge across the UK, even though 8 in 10 adults have received the "vaccine.")
Spiegelhalter and Masters cited recent reports that showed a large percentage of recent COVID-19 deaths in the U.K. were vaccinated individuals. Public Health England's (PHE) technical briefing on June 25 showed that 43 percent of recent deaths in the country were fully vaccinated persons. Sixty percent of the people who died received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
"It could sound worrying that the majority of people dying in England with the now-dominant Delta (B.1.617.2) variant have been vaccinated," they wrote. "Does this mean the vaccines are ineffective? Far from it, it's what we would expect from an effective but imperfect vaccine, a risk profile that varies hugely by age and the way the vaccines have been rolled out."
The two statisticians further argue that the PHE's data shows the risk of dying from COVID-19 – even when fully vaccinated – is dependent on a person's age. But they still recognize that fully vaccinated individuals still have a chance of dying from the virus.
"This means that someone aged 80 who is fully vaccinated essentially takes on the risk of an unvaccinated person of around 50 – much lower, but still not nothing, and so we can expect some deaths," they wrote.
"People cannot feel safe just because they had the two doses. They still need to protect themselves," said Dr. Mariangela Simao, assistant director general for access to medicines and health products at the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO added that even fully vaccinated individuals should continue following public health measures supposedly put in place to curb the spread of the virus. This includes obeying mask mandates and social distancing protocols.
At the end of their article, Spiegelhalter and Masters dismissed the concerns of many people regarding the vaccinated people who died from COVID-19. "It is better to look at cool analysis by analysts, rather than hot takes on social and other media," they wrote derisively.
Another way the British government is attempting to justify the continued use of vaccines is with theoretical arguments on how these could have prevented deaths and hospitalizations.
Undersecretary of State for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Nadhim Zahawi said the U.K.'s vaccination rollout could have saved more than 14,000 lives and prevented 44,500 hospital admissions in England alone, including over 2,500 hospitalizations in the middle of June.
Zahawi made this theoretical prediction during a press conference regarding the coronavirus held on June 23. Despite the vaccinated deaths, he argued that the nation's mass vaccination program is working and making the country "a little bit safer every day."
"The vaccines are our way out of the pandemic," said Zahawi. "When you look into the makeup of hospital admissions, you can clearly see our vaccination program is working."
Zahawi made this statement as around 82 percent of British adults have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The National Health Service (NHS) is also preparing to mount a last-ditch mass vaccination campaign to get more people in the country vaccinated.
Dr. Nikki Kanani, medical director of primary care for NHS England, said the latest campaign will focus on getting the vaccines to England's ethnic minority communities. These communities include British Africans and British Pakistanis.
Zahawi said what the U.K. needs right now is to keep going "at pace" to vaccinate "as many adults as we can to make sure that by [July 19th] – and I am confident of this – that we will have 66 percent of the adult population with the protection of two jabs by that date the prime minister has set us."
Learn more about how governments justify the continued administration of coronavirus vaccines at Vaccines.news.