Vaccinated Germans won’t have AIDS by the end of January 2022

10 January 2022
What was claimed

By the end of January 2022, all vaccinated Germans will have AIDS and be 100% more vulnerable to Covid infections.

Our verdict

The figures this article is based on have since been corrected. There is no evidence that vaccines cause AIDS, that declining efficacy from a Covid vaccine would cause AIDS or that being vaccinated reduces your protection against Covid.

An article by The Exposé, shared on Facebook, claims that by the end of January 2022 most vaccinated people in Germany will have AIDS. 

The article uses figures from a now-corrected German government report which seemed to show the case rate of Covid-19 caused by the Omicron variant was far higher among vaccinated than unvaccinated people.

Equating vaccine efficacy with immune system efficacy, it then extrapolates these findings to claim that Covid vaccines will become 100% less effective and, in turn, cause vaccine-mediated AIDS. 

There are a number of things wrong with this. 

Honesty in public debate matters

You can help us take action – and get our regular free email

The German infection figures are wrong

The German government report quoted by The Exposé is part of a series of weekly reports, summarising data on cases of Covid-19 across Germany, including a list of some recorded Omicron cases categorised by vaccination status. 

Data to the end of December 2021 originally stated that only 186 unvaccinated Germans had been infected by the Omicron variant, a figure The Exposé used in its article. However, this was corrected on 3 January 2022 from 186 unvaccinated Omicron cases to 1,097. The official updated figures can be found here. 

Adding that to the 4,020 cases among the fully vaccinated, of the 5,117 total Omicron cases identified, 21% were among the unvaccinated, and 79% among the fully vaccinated group. At the time, 27% of people in Germany were vaccinated and 70% had been fully vaccinated.

So the case rates in each group are much more similar than the original, incorrect data published by the German government (and reported by the Exposé) suggested.

The data can’t be used to calculate vaccine efficacy

The article uses the incorrect figures to calculate that vaccine effectiveness (which it inexplicably equates to immune system effectiveness) was -87.7%, meaning that someone was 87.7% more likely to be infected with Omicron if they were vaccinated. 

It then extrapolates this data to project that by the end of January vaccine efficacy will reach “-100%” based on observations of the trend in vaccinated and unvaccinated case rates in the UK, which we have written about before

It suggests that, once this point is reached all vaccinated Germans will have developed vaccine-mediated AIDS.

These claims are baseless. While there is some evidence that vaccines become less effective over time, there is no evidence that vaccination reduces your protection against Covid-19

It’s also inappropriate to use case rates in this way, even using the updated data, to make claims about vaccine efficacy. 

The case rates may still be unreliable as they do not cover all reported cases of Omicron (only those for which extra data was available), let alone unreported cases.

And case rates are influenced by many external factors beyond just vaccination status. For example, vaccinated people may behave differently to unvaccinated people in how much they socialise, which may cloud this data when it’s being used to calculate vaccine effectiveness.

A spokesperson for the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the German agency which produced the data, told Reuters: “All in all it is not legitimate to extrapolate the value to the general population or to estimate vaccine effectiveness with such data.

“The RKI did not estimate the vaccine effectiveness concerning Omicron so far.”

Declining vaccine efficacy would not lead to AIDS

Even if vaccines became -100% effective, this does not mean that vaccinated people would contract AIDS or be unable to fight off Covid.  

Imagining for a moment vaccines had -100% efficacy against Covid-19, the case rate among unvaccinated people would have to be zero. 

Even in this scenario vaccinated people wouldn’t be unprotected from Covid-19. Many of these people would have an asymptomatic infection and many could have an immune response that would limit the severity of the illness.

The immune system does more than just protect against infection; it also fights infections should they occur. Failure of a vaccine to protect against an infection is not evidence that it has caused an auto-immune degenerative illness like AIDS.

As others have also pointed out, HIV is the only cause of AIDS and as the vaccines don’t contain HIV they can’t cause AIDS. 

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.