Covid-19 vaccines don’t cause ‘a form of AIDS’

30 November 2021
What was claimed

Official government reports suggest the fully vaccinated will develop AIDS by the end of the year.

Our verdict

It doesn’t. There are problems with both the underlying data used to come to this conclusion and the analysis of it.

An article from The Exposé claims that Covid-19 vaccine data from England shows that the fully vaccinated are developing AIDS. 

It doesn’t show vaccinated people are developing AIDS, because they are not. This false claim has spread widely round the world and been debunked by various fact checkers.

The Exposé bases its claim on reports from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). These show the number of people infected with Covid-19 each week in England among those who have been vaccinated and those who haven’t.

By comparing the data, the Exposé has calculated its estimates of vaccine effectiveness, week by week, and thereby suggested vaccine effectiveness is falling, and has even turned negative (meaning it appears that unvaccinated people are more protected against Covid-19 than vaccinated people). 

The Exposé has then extrapolated the trend to estimate the point at which vaccine effectiveness would reach -100%. It claims that everybody over the age of 30 who has been double vaccinated “will have lost 100% of their entire immune capability” within 13 weeks.

Even if this was plausible (which it isn’t, for reasons explained below), this wouldn’t mean vaccinated people completely losing their immune system, as the Exposé suggests.

A world where the vaccines have a -100% effectiveness, using the Exposé’s calculation, is one where the case rate among unvaccinated people is zero, and the case rate among vaccinated people isn’t.

That wouldn’t mean that vaccinated people have no protection against the virus. Many of them might be exposed to the virus but repel it before an infection takes root. Those who are infected are also likely to have an immune response which limits its severity.  

The immune system is not just there to prevent an infection in the first place; it’s also there to fight an infection once it occurs. A failure of the immune system to prevent infection against one specific disease is not evidence of someone contracting “a form of AIDS”.  

There is evidence that the Covid-19 vaccines’ protection does wane over time, which is why the government is rolling out booster jabs. But there’s no evidence that this is because “they are working against your immune system” and causing a “form of AIDS”.

There is also no evidence for or reason why vaccination would actually reduce your protection against Covid-19. 

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UKHSA data issues

This aside, there is a problem with the figures the Exposé uses to estimate its trend because the UKHSA’s numbers can’t be used to estimate vaccine effectiveness. 

As we’ve written before, the UKHSA’s figure is highly likely to underestimate the case rate among unvaccinated people. 

Also, vaccinated people may behave differently to unvaccinated people, for example in how much they socialise, factors which may cloud this data when it’s being used to calculate vaccine effectiveness.

Real-world data from the Office for National Statistics shows the effectiveness of vaccines against both the Alpha and Delta variants which have been most prominent in the UK since the start of the vaccine roll out. 

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