Gibraltar “is devastating evidence” that vaccination does not limit the pandemic? On the contrary

“Gibraltar, over 99 percent vaccinated and what?” – wrote one of the Internet users, giving data that on one day of November there were ten times more infections than a year ago. There are more such posts suggesting the ineffectiveness of vaccinations against COVID-19. We explain the manipulation of Gibraltar.

The epidemic situation in Gibraltar has been discussed in recent days among social media users, who indicate that this country (or rather a dependent territory) as an example of the fact that vaccines against COVID-19 are not effective. The reason for such claims is the reported successive cases of infection in Gibraltar, often called “the most vaccinated place in the world”.

“Look at the perfect example of a control group. 40,000 people, Gibraltar, over 99%” vaccinated “and what? A year ago, on 11/17/2020, there were 8 CoVid cases. Now that everyone is vaccinated on November 17, 2021, there are 87 cases “- he wrote on Twitter one of the internet users on November 18 (spelling of the posts original). There are more similar comments.

Examples of entries about Gibraltar
Examples of entries about Gibraltar Photo: Twitter

“Gibraltar is the most vaccinated place on Earth (100% of the fully vaccinated population). The current state, “he wrote on Twitter On November 16, lawyer Piotr Schramm, known for denying the effectiveness of vaccinations. He referred to a chart shared by another internet user that showed that the weekly average of new coronavirus cases per 100,000 of inhabitants is higher in Gibraltar than the European Union average.

“Gibraltar is devastating evidence that the level of vaccination has little impact on the development of a pandemic. The pandemic is doing well whether 1% of the population or 101% vaccinated,” said High Time editor Tomasz Sommer on Twitter, quoting article about Gibraltar published on dwagrosze.com. In other entries, the situation in Gibraltar was commented on in conjunction with the real information that the Gibraltar authorities have canceled this year’s official Christmas celebrations due to the surge in coronavirus infections.

Europe is fighting the fourth wave. “The current situation is dramatic” Video: TVN facts

Up to 118 percent of those vaccinated

Gibraltar is a small British overseas territory in the south of the Iberian Peninsula. It is the subject of a dispute between Great Britain and Spain, but at the same time has its own government, constitution and currency. According to government data, Gibraltar has a population of about 34,000. people.

It was thanks to the small population that a vaccination campaign was quickly carried out there. Already at the beginning of May this year, almost 100 percent were vaccinated with two doses. eligible citizens. From the beginning of October, the third dose was started in the country. By November 20, more than 45 percent had already accepted it. population (source: Our World in Data).

Some data sources, such as the University of Oxford website Ourworldindata.org), even report that more than 100% of Gibraltar are fully vaccinated. – for example, 118 percent – of the population. This is due to the fact that people without Gibraltar citizenship were also vaccinated there, i.e. Spanish workers, a large number of whom influenced the statistics.

Gibraltar Vaccine Percentage Data with Explanation
Gibraltar Vaccine Percentage Data with Explanation Photo: Our World In Data

Increase in infections? Yes. Vaccination failure? On the contrary

As emphasized by Internet users, despite the successful vaccination campaign, SARS-CoV-2 infections have recently been growing in Gibraltar. On Wednesday, November 17, the government reported 83 cases, and the current weekly average is around 60 cases. For this reason, as early as November 12, the government issued a statement saying that “given the exponential increase in cases, the government intends to cancel a number of its own activities, including official Christmas parties, official visits and similar gatherings.”

Contrary to the suggestions of Internet users, this is not “devastating evidence” of the ineffectiveness of vaccinations – at least for several reasons. Here they are:

There is no increase in deaths. There are no sick people in hospitals

In countries affected by the pandemic, the increase in infections is accompanied by an increase in deaths from COVID-19 – and in Gibraltar this is not the case. Since the beginning of March this year – i.e. for over eight months – there have been a total of six deaths caused by this disease.

From the beginning of October, when the number of infections began to rise significantly, one person died – on October 16. Since then, no infection has led to death. According to epidemiologists, this proves the success of the vaccination campaign, as it is primarily intended to protect against the severe course of COVID-19 disease and death.

Daily numbers of new cases and deaths from COVID-19 from March 2020 to November 2021
Daily numbers of new cases and deaths from COVID-19 from March 2020 to November 2021 Photo: WHO

The number of no deaths for a month was commented on by Dr Melvin Sanicas, a vaccination and public health expert at the UK’s Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, on Twitter. He posted a picture of infection and death graphs in Gibraltar on his profile, writing: “Anti-Vaccines: ‘Look at Gibraltar. 100% vaccinated, and COVID cases are rising.’ Science: ‘Look at deaths. 7-day zero average even with rising numbers Why? Because # vaccines work # vaccines save life everywhere “.

Moreover, the increase in infections is not only accompanied by an increase in deaths, but also hospitalizations. According to government data, there were two patients in the covid ward on November 23. However, no one with COVID-19 was in the intensive care unit.

“Breakthrough infections appear despite vaccination, and this is normal. However, it is worth noting that the number of deaths is zero” – this is how a Twitter profile # SzczepimySię (maintained by the Government Information Center) commented on a post about the growing number of infections in Gibraltar. “Gibraltar has an extremely small population, but the mobility is quite high (including through tourism),” noted.

Half of those infected are unvaccinated – mostly children

The Gibraltar government publishes a daily list of new infected people by vaccination status and age. Although no cumulative data are available, for example on November 17 – the day of the highest number of new cases in the current wave – out of 83 infections, 56 were unvaccinated, 26 were vaccinated, in one case the vaccination status was not reported.

Why are there so many unvaccinated people in a country where almost the entire population is vaccinated? It should be remembered that such data always refer to persons authorized to vaccinate. And 75 percent. infections in unvaccinated children on that day occurred in children under 15 years of age. Because in Gibraltar you can vaccinate children over 12 years of age, but these vaccinations did not start until the end of October. Thus, the youngest are now a particularly vulnerable group.

In the following days, the share of vaccinated and unvaccinated people became more equal. It was in turn:

  • November 18: 51 cases (33 unvaccinated, 18 vaccinated)
  • November 19: 56 cases (29 unvaccinated, 27 vaccinated)
  • November 20: 48 cases (23 unvaccinated, 24 vaccinated)
  • November 21: 25 cases (9 unvaccinated, 16 vaccinated)
  • November 22: 24 cases (10 unvaccinated, 12 vaccinated)
  • November 23: 48 cases (20 unvaccinated, 27 vaccinated).

In total, 942 infections have been recorded in Gibraltar since the beginning of November. The vaccinated accounted for 51 percent. this group (480 cases), and the unvaccinated 49%. (462 cases).

New Delta variant, breakthrough infections – and no severe cases

We would like to remind you that the Delta variant of the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus, which was not present a year ago, is currently the most infectious. He is the main cause of such a strong fourth wave of the pandemic in the world. And how strongly the Delta variant changes the epidemic situation in countries, even with a high percentage of the vaccinated population, we have already described using the example of Israel. As he explained to us Tal Brosh-Nissimov, who heads the infectious disease department at Assuta Ashdod University Hospital, “NSThe situation in Israel certainly does not mean that vaccinations are not working – it means that the currently used vaccines require a different dosing schedule than originally planned. ”Therefore, and there, and in other countries, the third dose was started and the vaccination was extended to groups under 18 years of age.

Dr. Emilia Skirmuntt, a virologist from the University of Oxford, in the analysis for Konkret24 on the situation in Gibraltar, points to another aspect: that regardless of the degree of vaccination of a given population, the so-called Breakthrough infections in vaccinated people will still happen, because no vaccine can protect 100 percent. “But in such a group we will see a really small percentage of severe cases and deaths, if any, compared to groups with low immunization rates,” he writes. This is what is seen in the data on hospitalizations and deaths in Gibraltar.

Comparison of specific days – inaccurate. You have to analyze comparable periods

The virologist also warns against comparing data on the number of infections year on year, as the quoted internet user did, choosing November 17. The epidemic factors that have occurred during this time are not taken into account then. For this reason, according to Dr Skirmuntt, “such data cannot be directly compared”.

“A year ago we also had lockdowns, very limited international travel, restrictions on wearing masks or meeting in larger groups. This also had a huge impact on the incidence rates in places where these restrictions were respected, including in Gibraltar” – he explains. “At the moment, many of these restrictions have been lifted, international travel is not so restricted, and there is also the now dominant Delta variant in the world, which is more contagious than the variants we saw a year ago. more than a year ago, even in the highly vaccinated group “- adds the virologist.

The year-to-year comparison may also be incorrect because, for example, in Gibraltar, the previous peak of infection was recorded at the turn of December 2020 and January 2021 – and not in November 2020. The most new cases (180) were reported on December 30, 2020. Therefore, for example, the Reuters agency reports that the current weekly average of infections in Gibraltar is 41 percent. summit at the turn of 2020 and 2021. It is worth adding that the latter took place before the vaccination campaign began.

You can also have reservations about comparing data on infections in Gibraltar and other countries, converting them to 100,000. residents. For Gibraltar, which has just over 30,000 inhabitants, such statements may be unreliable – especially in comparison with, for example, the population of the European Union (447 million), as one of the internet users did. His chart comes from the Financial Times website. If you add all other countries and regions, such as the European Union, to it, then it converts the data to 100,000. Inhabitants, Gibraltar will have the highest infection average in the world. Only that in the chart presented in this way, the previous world records of infections per 100 thousand. inhabitants – as now Gibraltar – recorded such countries and dependent territories as the Isle of Man, the Maldives, French Polynesia, Grenada and the Seychelles.

Chart with conversion of average new cases per 100 thousand.  inhabitants for all countries of the world
Chart with conversion of average new cases per 100 thousand. inhabitants for all countries of the world Photo: ig.ft.com/coronavirus-chart

Author: Michał Istel

Source: Konkret24, photo: Shutterstock / Twitter


About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

Check Also

Lukashenka again threatens to block gas and oil for Poland. “They should get their chicken brains”

Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenka in an interview with the Russian news agency Rossiya Siegodnia (in …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *