Two people under 50 and over 100 people over 50 have died from Covid after being fully vaccinated, official figures from England show, as experts said jabs were working as expected in the middle rising infection rates attributed to the Delta variant.
Figures from Public Health England (PHE) show that between February 1 and June 21 of this year, there were 118 deaths among people who received both doses of the vaccine, including 116 over the age of 50.
Of the over 50s who died from the Delta variant during that time, nearly half had been fully vaccinated while only 21 unvaccinated people under 50 died. This should be due to the “very steep gradient in risk with age,” said Sir David Spiegelhalter, chairman of the Winton Center for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge.
An unvaccinated 30-year-old man had a lower risk of coronavirus than a 60-year-old man who had been bitten, he said.
The Delta variant of the coronavirus – which is believed to be more transmissible and carries a greater risk of hospitalization and death – has become dominant in the UK.
PHE estimates that the effectiveness of the two-dose vaccine against hospital admission with Delta is around 94% and scientists believe there is likely a similar reduction against death, which means the risk lethal is reduced to less than a 20th of its usual value.
So far, 65% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated and many restrictions have already been lifted.
“The infections in the current wave will mostly affect low-risk young people, but the vaccine is not perfect and unfortunately there will be more deaths among those who are fully vaccinated,” Spiegelhalter said.