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David Seymour: Vaccination Making Little Difference To Case Numbers

Vaccination rates are making little difference to infection rates under Omicron, which means it’s time to ask if the benefits of vaccine rules are still worth the costs to individuals, and social cohesion overall. Based on new evidence, it may be time to move on from Government vaccine mandates.


Taking the infection numbers of the past week by vaccination status, there is now little difference in the likelihood of a fully, partially, or unvaccinated person testing positive with Omicron. This data does not mean that vaccination is not useful or effective.


Vaccination is still your best bet for staying out of hospital, but even strongly pro-vaccine people like me have to confront what new evidence says about infection rates.


In the eight days from Friday 11-Friday 18, when Omicron cases really took off, there were 347 new unvaccinated cases, 140 new partially vaccinated cases, and 7,085 new fully vaccinated cases. These figures are not reported transparently, and have to be derived from the Ministry of Health Website.


Chart courtesy of Rodney Hide depicts updated MOH data to Feb 21, 2022


Of course, there are far more vaccinated than unvaccinated people, so the raw numbers do not tell the full story. For every 100,000 unvaccinated persons, 225 tested positive. For every 100,000 partially vaccinated persons, 204 tested positive, and for every 100,000 fully vaccinated 178 persons tested positive.


There are a number of possible explanations for why numbers between infection rates for vaccinated and unvaccinated people should appear so similar. For example, vaccinated people might be more trusting of or able to access the healthcare system, and therefore be more likely to take a test than unvaccinated people.


None of the explanations can really explain the similarity without accepting that vaccination makes a weak difference at best to whether a person tests positive for Omicron, however.


These new figures show how Omicron is changing the game, even since this time last month. On January 19, the Ministry of Health website reported half of all COVID cases up to that date had been unvaccinated and a quarter partially vaccinated. In the past week there have been 20 times more vaccinated cases than unvaccinated.



Chart courtesy of Derek Rankin


Those historical figures will be influenced by early stages of the pandemic, when nobody at all was vaccinated. However it is nearly impossible to know by how much with the data the Ministry of Health lets us have. In any event the past data does not change the reality we face now, Omicron is changing the numbers.


These figures are consistent with international evidence. Australia has similar vaccination rates to New Zealand’s but has experienced widespread Omicron outbreaks well beyond those who are unvaccinated.


It would be helpful if the Ministry of Health would start transparently publishing data for vaccination rates. At present, they update the cumulative number of vaccinated, partially vaccinated, and unvaccinated cases each day, but the number of new cases each day can only be derived by saving the data and calculating the change from day to day.


We face enormous mistrust and dissatisfaction with Government due to this kind of poor transparency that suppresses free and open debate. The Government should insist on the Ministry of Health making the data transparent, and even providing analysis so that any confounding variables can also be understood.


More importantly, it may be that Government policy needs to change direction. It is difficult to argue that there is not widespread transmission amongst vaccinated people. It seems unlikely that the 347 unvaccinated cases infected 7,085 others, around 20 each, but vaccinated people did not infect each other. This is particularly the case given vaccine mandates have largely segregated unvaccinated people from vaccinated people.


People have been led to believe for over a year that other people being vaccinated would protect them from being infected themselves. It appears that is no longer true, or at least the effect has been dramatically weakened.


All of this leads to a simple conclusion. If there is little difference in the rates of infection and spread of Omicron between vaccinated and unvaccinated people, then what is the point of segregating them? From the opposite perspective, if segregation is increasingly costly and undesirable, what sort of difference in infection rates would we require to justify it, and is the difference between 178/100,000 and 225/100,000 enough?


It is time to weigh up the costs that vaccine requirements are placing on individuals, on workplaces, and on social cohesion, and ask whether policies that force vaccination in various settings are still worth it. The case is becoming stronger by the day that they are not as Omicron spreads between vaccinated and unvaccinated in a way it did not do with earlier variants, and policies designed to prevent unvaccinated transmission are no longer worth it. It's time to move on.


David Seymour is the leader of the ACT Party


Data sources:




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68 Comments


Dropped into our local health centre today, the miss's needed a blood test, talking to our lovely bubbly nurse, as I said to her you been busy this morning, her reply been flat out giving people the booster and HIV, she is totally dumb struck about the situation, injecting people with HIV, she has finally admitted that the wool has been pulled over her eyes, my comment what do the other medical people think, her reply they are still believers, are you I asked no not any more, will you still inject people, yes if I want to keep my job and pay the bills, now that is what I call been caught between a rock and a hard plac…

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JW
JW
Feb 25, 2022
Replying to

I've followed John Campbell for 2 years now; he explains things well, gives unbiased information and does his research well. And his only concern is peoples' health, he has no barrows to push.

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David is dancing with his own perception of public opinion, virtual-reality glasses strapped on tight. But the pretty girls are gone, and the room is empty.


The vaccine, amongst other things, treats the symptoms not the underlying problem. Like when you block your nose when you sneeze, and almost blow your eardrums out.


Some doctors are talking of a plummeting T-cell and the plethora of low immunity diseases taking out the vaccinated. Or, vaccine induced AIDS. Jacinda and her slavish team of 120 are gunna have a hell of a time spinning that.

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Trevor Hughes
Trevor Hughes
Feb 21, 2022

The time to weigh the costs of the mandates was last October, when Ardern announced them, "two classes of people, yip yip". You were complicit in the appalling hardships forced onto a quarter of a million Kiwis for no good reason. Bugger off.


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Whats new, we have been screwed over for the last 2 years and we are still been screwed over.

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Replying to

Think of Pol Pot without the killing fields, the new beginning of nothing.

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Richard Seager
Richard Seager
Feb 21, 2022

The trouble is David that you're considered unvaccinated if you're not up to date. The plan was, before Ardern surrendered to the protestors today, to update that to the 'booster'. You're obviously not up to date with what is going on elsewhere but that chart of yours 'New Zealand Daily Case Increase' should tell you everything that you need to know. 2 years of no movement despite all the hysteria and then the obscenity of (practically) compulsory vaccination leading to a hockey stick graph now.


Moderna and Pfizer share prices have both fallen about 30% or so recently. You should catch up. I suggest Substack for some truth. Stay away from Twitter and facebook.

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