The government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has corrected comments made at a press conference on 19 July, when he claimed that 60% of people currently in hospital with Covid-19 were double vaccinated.
Writing on Twitter the same evening, he clarified: “About 60% of hospitalisations from covid are not from double vaccinated people, rather 60% of hospitalisations from covid are currently from unvaccinated people.”
However, some users on social media are continuing to share the original, incorrect claim without acknowledging the correction in their posts.
The most recent data publicly available from Public Health England, covering the period between 1 February and 21 June 2021, shows there were 1,165 confirmed Delta variant cases where presentation to emergency care resulted in an overnight stay (although this is likely an underestimate). Of these, 733 cases were people who were unvaccinated (63%). Of those who had been vaccinated, 173 cases had received both doses of the vaccine (14.8%), 162 cases had received their first dose of the vaccine more than 21 days ago (13.9%) and 74 had received the first dose less than 21 days ago (6.4%).
As we have written before, none of the Covid-19 vaccines currently available are 100% effective, but vaccines have been found to be highly effective against the risk of hospitalisation. The fact so many people have been vaccinated, and vaccine take up has been very high amongst those most at risk, means it is expected that many people now presenting with Covid in hospitals will have received one or more doses of the vaccine.
We welcome Sir Patrick’s correction. It is important that public figures are transparent about errors that they make and issue corrections in a timely manner.