Severe disease

Why Does Natural Immunity Not Exist For the QCovid Risk Calculator?

There follows a guest post by a Daily Sceptic reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, who has some questions about the changing risk estimates being produced by the QCovid risk calculator and why important factors like previous infection are not taken into account.

The QCovid risk calculator was developed by University of Oxford, commissioned in 2020 by the Chief Medical Officer for England on behalf of the U.K. Government, and describes itself as a “clinical decision tool intended to support conversations between clinically trained professionals and patients about COVID-19 risk”. There is a clinician tool and a patient tool; the clinician tool differs only in some of the questions but delivers the same estimates.

I am a 49 year-old female with no pre-existing health conditions of note and am not obese. My daughter is a 19 year-old female with no pre-existing health conditions of note and is not obese. We ran the QCovid risk calculator in summer 2020 when considering the risk posed to ourselves and therefore the potential benefit of a vaccine.  My risk of dying was one in 62,000 or 0.0016% and my risk of hospitalisation was one in 4,000 or 0.025%. My daughter’s risk of dying was one in 500,000 or 0.0002%. This data must have related to the variants around at the time although the risk calculator never made that clear.  

I checked the risk calculator again multiple times over the past 18 months and it had not changed (or possibly was not updated).  

I checked again on January 11th 2022 and the calculator has changed. The questions are the same, but the data generated is different. 

  1. You can now select whether or not you are vaccinated – however it doesn’t ask which vaccine you might have had, or indeed when it was delivered. We now know this makes a difference. It also doesn’t make any reference to the number of doses. This also makes a difference.
  2. The risk assessment doesn’t delineate between variants and we know Omicron is significantly less harmful than Delta or Alpha.  Are they suggesting the risk posed to my health is equivalent?

I have a BSc in medical biochemistry and a Masters in law; I am analytical and data driven – I spend my days reviewing data, searching for patterns and loopholes. I am not a mathematician, but something about the data the calculator is now offering doesn’t feel right. The estimates provided by QCovid for both people (mother and daughter) are below, vaccinated and unvaccinated:

If Omicron is So Mild, Why Are ICU Admissions Skyrocketing in Australia?

There’s little doubt that Omicron is causing milder disease in the U.K., as well as in South Africa, Denmark, and many other places.

However, what’s going on in Australia? ICU admissions have shot up as Omicron has taken hold (see above), as have deaths (see below). Bear in mind 77% of the population are double-vaccinated and it’s the middle of summer there.

Now, it could be just that there are so many more Omicron infections in the formerly ‘Zero Covid’ country than there were of previous variants, and that despite being milder sheer numbers are causing the spike. Indeed, Delta positivity peaked at 1.3% whereas Omicron positivity is at 22.5% and still rising (see below). With an infection rate up to 20 times higher, the fact that ICU patients are still below the Delta peak (for now) suggests it is milder and there’s just a lot of it.

Guardian Article Claims Covid in Hospitals Has “Largely Become a Disease of the Unvaccinated” – Yet Data Shows 71% of Adults Hospitalised with Covid Are Vaccinated

An article appeared in the Guardian this week written by an anonymous NHS respiratory consultant claiming that “in hospital, COVID-19 has largely become a disease of the unvaccinated”.

Of course, there are people who have their vaccinations but still get sick. These people may be elderly or frail, or have underlying health problems. Those with illnesses affecting the immune system, particularly patients who have had chemotherapy for blood cancers, are especially vulnerable. Some unlucky healthy people will also end up on our general wards with Covid after being vaccinated, usually needing a modest amount of oxygen for a few days.

But the story is different on our intensive care unit. Here, the patient population consists of a few vulnerable people with severe underlying health problems and a majority of fit, healthy, younger people unvaccinated by choice. … If everyone got vaccinated, hospitals would be under much less pressure; this is beyond debate. Your wait for your clinic appointment/operation/diagnostic test/A&E department would be shorter. Your ambulance would arrive sooner. Reports of the pressure on the NHS are not exaggerated, I promise you. … Most of the resources that we are devoting to Covid in hospital are now being spent on the unvaccinated.

This reads to me like a blatant attempt to stigmatise the unvaccinated as selfish, a burden on society and a threat to the vaccinated. (The clue is in the headline: “ICU is full of the unvaccinated – my patience with them is wearing thin.”) Given the polling (which may not be very reliable of course) showing that 45% of U.K. adults would support an indefinite lockdown of the unvaccinated, this is all starting to look and sound rather ugly.

The most frustrating thing about this anonymously written article is it doesn’t cite any data even though its arguments are based on claims which only data can validate. It consists instead only of a single medic’s subjective impressions, with no sources provided to see if his claims holds water.

Are the hospitalised mostly unvaccinated? Not according to Government data from the UKHSA. Here is the breakdown of hospitalisations by vaccination status in England for the four weeks up to November 14th from the latest Vaccine Surveillance report.