If you’ve been paying attention over the last couple of years, you know that Australia has gone to extremes to prevent infection. The stories of mass incarceration and quarantine are everywhere. Some agree with it, some don’t.
What cannot be disputed is its effectiveness. Australia had one of the lowest infection rates in the world. And that’s due in large part to their vaccination rate.
More than 95 percent of Australians aged 16 or older have had at least one dose of vaccines, while 93 percent received two. These figures basically represent complete vaccination. Many of those left may not be able to have vaccines for medical reasons.
Sounds like Australia did the right thing…right?
Well, maybe. All that proved to be the right move until this latest wave hit.
Take a look at this:
So what are we looking at? We’re looking at one of the world’s most vaccinated countries suddenly experiencing not only more cases but more deaths than ever before.
Why? The answer is easy: omicron.
Wait, but omicron is LESS likely to kill you, right?
That’s true too, omicron is far less severe than earlier strains. Take a look at Australia’s death per million compared to the US’s death rate:
The United States’ death rate for omicron (at the moment at least) is roughly half that of delta and significantly less than of the first wave. So compared to that, Australia’s death rate still looks great.
So why is omicron the worst strain yet for Australia? One theory:
Omicron is MORE likely to infect the vaccinated.
Scottish data actually proves this. Go to page 30 if you’re curious on that report. But here’s the upshot:
Over the last month, unvaccinated people in Scotland tested positive at a rate of 1,093 people per 100,000, or about a 1% positive rate.
For fully vaccinated and boostered people? That rate was 1527/100,000 for 1.5% positivity rate.
In Australia last week, 12 vaccinated people died. Only 4 unvaccinated people died.
Now there may be some reasons for this, reporting issues or data errors. Perhaps unvaccinated people are simply less likely to get tested and report.
But one thing we can say: omicron has proved all our assumptions wrong.
Australia largely dodged the first few waves thanks to heavy travel restrictions, isolation and vaxing.
But omicron cares not for any of these measures. It is MORE transmissible than any other variant. So by simply infecting a population that has not been infected before, even though it is fully vaxed, would lead to more infections than ever and therefore more deaths.
So, tell us again: how is this a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”?