Let’s look at some selected countries in a bit more detail. Iceland is currently 75% fully vaccinated. Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason says vaccination has not led to the herd immunity that experts hoped for. In recent weeks, as the Delta variant outstripped all others in Iceland, it became clear that vaccinated people can easily contract it as well as spread it to others. He said in a briefing on 3 August: ‘the Covid-19 pandemic is not close to being over and will not be over until it’s over everywhere’. On 8 August, he conceded the goal cannot be to eradicate the virus from the community. Instead, he now believes it is necessary to try to achieve herd immunity by allowing the virus to spread throughout the community, but to try to prevent serious illness by protecting vulnerable groups (Google translation). Looking at Iceland (75% vaccinated) and Australia (18% vaccinated) together (Figure 4), why would we think vaccination is our golden key out of the Covid nightmare?
The waning efficacy of vaccines is also seen in Israel, including some who have been thrice-jabbed. In a locality in Jerusalem where only 42.9% of the population has been fully vaccinated, 85-90% of all hospitalised patients were fully vaccinated. According to a report in Arutz Sheva on 13 July citing health ministry data, only 72 of the 835,792 (0.0086%) Covid-recovered Israelis had been reinfected, compared to over 3,000 of the 5,193,499 vaccinated Israelis (0.0578%). Referencing these statistics, Martin Kulldorff from Harvard Medical School tweeted: ‘Vaccinated people were 6.72 times more likely to get infected than those with natural immunity from prior’ Covid disease. And Dr Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins University declared: ‘The pandemic of the unvaccinated is a misnomer. It’s a pandemic of the non-immune’.
For perspective, let’s add Sweden to the mix with 44% fully vaccinated, 64 cases per million and 0.03 deaths per million people. In other words, with a significantly lower vaccination rate, and without lockdowns and mask mandates, Sweden’s mortality toll from Covid is hugely lower than the other four in Figure 3. Let’s not forget either that compared to Sweden, Australia has the great advantages of being an isolated island country that can close off its international borders efficiently, as well as enviable advantages of climate.