Tegnell misled about the death toll among the vaccinated

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Published 21 January 2022 at 07.50

Domestic. “Even some vaccinated people die of covid-19 because the vaccine is not” one hundred percent effective “, said state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell at the Swedish Public Health Agency's press conference last week. But the statement is misleading. In fact, a large majority – 70 percent – of those who die with the virus are vaccinated, the Free Times review shows.

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Fria Tider reviews FHM

  • The Swedish Public Health Agency denies that the spread of infection is greatest among vaccinated

It was at the Public Health Agency's press conference last week that Anders Tegnell presented information about how many died with laboratory-confirmed covid-19, and to what extent the dead were vaccinated and unvaccinated, respectively.

During the presentation, Tegnell showed a bar chart that he commented as follows:

– It seems that some vaccinated people also suffer from this. On the one hand, the vaccine is not one hundred percent effective and on the other hand, many of these people who die are older and fragile in many different ways, and then sometimes even a vaccine may not be able to save them.

However, summarizing the statistics on vaccinated and unvaccinated deaths with “some vaccinated” also die with covid-19 is directly misleading, Fria Tider can reveal.

The diagram that Tegnell showed at the press conference does not indicate exact figures, which makes it impossible to read how the death toll is distributed between vaccinated and unvaccinated. The Public Health Agency's weekly report also does not publish the data used to generate the diagram, despite the fact that the figure is also reproduced there.

But Fria Tider has obtained the death statistics used to produce the diagram from the Public Health Agency and reviewed it. Our review shows that from week 33 last year, when deaths began to increase rapidly, up to and including week 1 this year, a total of 756 people died with laboratory-confirmed covid-19. Of these, 529 were vaccinated and 227 were unvaccinated.

This means that about 70 percent of the deceased were vaccinated. The Swedish Public Health Agency's own statistics thus show that Tegnell's claim that “even some vaccinated” die of covid-19 is misleading. In fact, a predominant proportion of the deceased were vaccinated with at least two doses.

However, the fact that Tegnell misled about how many vaccinated people were among the deceased does not mean that the vaccine does not reduce the risk of dying with covid-19. According to the Swedish Public Health Agency, 83 percent of the population has been vaccinated with at least two doses, while 39 percent have received three doses. Vaccinated are thus underrepresented among those who die with covid-19.

How large the difference in risk of dying with covid-19 is between vaccinated and unvaccinated seems to vary greatly between different age groups. The Public Health Agency's statistics show a large relative reduction in risk in the older part of the population. In the group 65 years and up, during week 1 this year, 10.96 out of 100,000 unvaccinated with covid-19 died, while the corresponding figure for vaccinated was 1.5 out of 100,000.

In the younger part of the population, between 29 and 49 years, however, there is no significant difference in risk between vaccinated and unvaccinated. There is virtually no one who dies with covid-19 in that group, neither among the vaccinated nor the unvaccinated. During week 1, 0.11 unvaccinated per 100,000 inhabitants died with covid-19 and 0 vaccinated.

The corresponding figures for the age group in between, 50-64 years, during week 1 this year were 2.53 deaths per 100,000 unvaccinated and 0.12 deaths per 100,000 vaccinated.

Fria Tider has called the Swedish Public Health Agency to ask questions about the information provided during the agency's press conference. After receiving the message that we can not get an answer on the phone, Fria Tider has via email asked the authority why it claimed that “even some” vaccinated die when the proportion vaccinated is as large as 70 percent.

We has also asked whether the authority's assessment that the vaccine provides “very good protection” against dying in covid-19 is consistent with the fact that 70 percent of those who die are vaccinated.

No answer has yet been received.