Vaccines have not caused daily cases to increase

21 July 2021
What was claimed

The vaccine is causing new daily cases of Covid-19 in the UK, or at least isn’t stopping them.

Our verdict

We have real world evidence and data from trials showing that the vaccines do reduce your chances of catching Covid-19, and vastly decrease your chances of getting seriously ill and dying from it.

What was claimed

In the UK on 1 July 2020, no one had been vaccinated against Covid-19 and there were 63 new daily cases.

Our verdict

The vaccines hadn’t been rolled out at this point, and there were 658 new infections on this date in 2020.

What was claimed

In the UK on 1 July 2021, 66% had had their first vaccination, 49% had had their second, and there were 27,989 new cases of Covid-19.

Our verdict

This is correct for the percentage of the UK population that had been vaccinated and how many new cases were reported on that date.

A post on Instagram seems to imply that the vaccine is causing more Covid-19 cases, by comparing the number of new cases at the start of July 2021, with the same time last year.

It correctly states that there were 27,989 new cases reported on 1 July 2021, but incorrectly suggests that there were 63 new daily cases reported on 1 July 2020 in the UK, when there were actually 829.

The national Covid-19 vaccine roll-out didn’t start until 8 December. It’s true that, by 1 July 2020, 66% of the total population had received a first dose and 49% had received their second, although that population includes those under 18, who are not routinely advised to have the vaccine. The percentage of adults who had had their first and second vaccines by 1 July 2021 was 86% and 63% respectively.

But to suggest then that the vaccines have not slowed transmission, or even increased it, ignores the fact that a lot of other things have changed in the year between these dates. A more transmissible strain of Covid-19 is now dominant, testing is much more prominent now, and restrictions have generally eased across the UK. 

The Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing Covid-19, and at preventing hospitalisations and death following Covid-19 infection, including from the Delta variant. There’s also evidence that they can reduce the risk of you passing Covid-19 to household contacts, if you do happen to get infected. 

Getting vaccinated doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get Covid-19, but it does decrease the chance of getting seriously ill and having to hospitalised, and dying of the disease. It certainly isn’t causing more cases, as the Instagram post implies.

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