The proof is in: Vaccines work

Chief Health Officer (CHO) Paul Kelly has given evidence to the Senate COVID-19 inquiry explaining how vaccination is working to prevent severe COVID infection:

Only 3 per cent of intensive care admissions are vaccinated. He says no one 16-69 who is vaccinated has been admitted to intensive care…

“The strongest possible incentive to be vaccinated is that you could die. If you don’t get vaccinated and you catch COVID. That is what we’re seeing in NSW at the moment, the figures are absolutely clear, that those people that are in ICU are overwhelmingly the ones that have not yet been vaccinated.

“Vaccination dramatically reduces your chances of catching COVID, of being hospitalised, of being admitted to ICU or of losing your life.”

The data is unambiguous. In Victoria, 78% of people admitted to hospital with COVID are unvaccinated. This comes despite the unvaccinated representing only 37.1% of Victoria’s population:

It is a similar situation in NSW where fully vaccinated people comprise less than 4% of COVID hospital admissions despite representing nearly half the state’s population:

The case for vaccination is even stronger when you acknowledge that the unvaccinated are younger, which means they are naturally more resilient to adverse COVID effects.

Unconventional Economist


  1. Settel down buddy. Does the Vaccine prevent infection. No. From a statistical are vacinne hesitant people healthier than others. I would say no.

    • From a statistical are vacinne hesitant people healthier than others. I would say no.

      They are if they are more likely to be younger, which is what it says in LVO’s last comment.

    • Mr SquiggleMEMBER

      It depends what you define as “working”. The vaccines reduce deaths and hospitalisations from covid. When compared to pre-vaccine lockdown they are great.

      The other way to assess whether the vaccines are working is by comparisons to other vaccines. Take polio for example. I’ve had the polio vaccine, as a result, i will never have polio, i dont need a booster and no-one i care about will get polio. By comparison, I’ve had pfizer. I am very likely to still get covid. I will need regular booster shots for the rest of my life and everyone i care about is going to get covid.

      I’m grateful for the covid vaccines, but boy are they low quality. We need the next generation of covid vaccines very quickly

      • You don’t know enough about immunology to take that position. These vaccines are doing a great job. Once the virus has settled down against a vax immune population we’ll see how things will pan out but given they were designed against the original virus surface protein theres room for optimising them and adjusting dosage levels

        • Mr SquiggleMEMBER

          You are correct in saying i don’t know much about immunology. The trouble is my life’s experience has given me skin in this game. When you take a vaccine, and enjoy the associated health benefits or risks you gain an undeniable right to a point of view. As a result of my experiences, I am very pro-vaccine.

          Having vaccines that do not stop you getting covid or from passing it on to loved ones is a substandard experience. Big pharma has created a whole new class vaccine sceptics.

      • Actually you will find the two polio vaccines (salk and sabin) are not 100 % effective. They also operate differently so sometimes need to be used in different situations.

        Google it up as their development and refining their use is a very interesting story. I have three close acquaintances who had polio and you would not wish it on anyone. One of them has had unpleasant side effects show up 60 years after the actual infection.initial

      • We NEED the cancer vaccines as well, but guess what. It doesn’t always work like that. We are not god.

        • Have you had your tuberculosis shot, smithy? If not, why not? Are the majority of Australians who aren’t vaccinated against TB antivaxxers? Surely they should get the best protection available?

  2. Yes. And no. Depending on your endpoint.

    It certainly reduces disease severity. It’s very rare for a fully vaccinated (14days after 2nd shot) to get seriously unwell. Vaccination history is now one of the most important predictors how people will do.

    It doesn’t reduce disease transmission. There are theoretical suggestions it may even increase transmission (as people won’t be as sick and will still go to work etc). Theoretical only.

    So it’s about protecting yourself, not others. Which makes the whole pass system a bit silly.

    I’m happy to have been vaxed. I don’t care whether the person next to me is or is not.

    • That position is valid only when all those who are actively seeking vaccination have had access to it. Appointments for first dose vaccinations are in a queue until the end of October in the ACT. Opening up is planned before those people will have had the time to develop immunity from their vaccinations. Young people waited for hours to get on a waiting list for Pfizer vaccine after being told they had a reasonable chance of death or disability from AZ vaccine.

    • I’m happy to have been vaxed. I don’t care whether the person next to me is or is not.

      The reason you might want to care is because that person could be in the ICU with COVID, taking up the bed you need after getting hit by a car crossing the street.

      • True. But where does that line of thinking end? The same could be said of smoking, ETOH, drugs, obesity and a host of other decisions people make.

        So I care as a doctor in that I recommend vaccination. But I don’t care if I’m at a pub and the person next to me isn’t vaxed. That’s ok.

        As a physician I feel it is my job to educate, explain, answer questions, recommend a course of action, discuss alternatives … But that’s it. It’s a slippery slope to go further than that.

      • But where does that line of thinking end?

        Probably not much past things that are relatively easily transmissable, thus able to rapidly and unexpectedly spike the numbers of people in need of medical attention, yet relatively easily preventable from doing this.

        You don’t “suddenly” end up with a hospital full of people because they’re fat. That’s the difference.

        The other reason you might care is that as a member of society, you give a damn about both it and the other people in it.

        But that’s it. It’s a slippery slope to go further than that.

        Uh, really ? So how far down that slippery slope do you think we are already with laws and campaigns against drink driving and smoking ?

        • You don’t “suddenly” end up with a hospital full of people because they’re fat.

          Yeah, that’s because we chronically have hospitals full of people because they are fat. We just had to upgrade our CT – the 180kg limit if the old one was inadequate. So we are dealing with that problem all the time.

          If we didn’t have obese people and smokers, there wouldn’t be long wait lists for surgery. So we educate and recommend and try to shape behaviour through various taxes etc. But we don’t go further than that.

  3. TheLambKingMEMBER

    It doesn’t reduce disease transmission.


    The stats are saying that ‘infected’ vaccinated people have as much viral load (so can transmit to others) as non-vaccinated people (which means they transmit as much when infected). BUT vaccinated people are much less likely to catch Covid in the first place AND they are infectious for shorter periods of time. Both of which will reduce overall disease transmission numbers!! So a vaccinated person is much less likely to infect other people than an unvaccinated person.

    Get vaccinated for yourself AND for your family & friends sake.

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Get healthy for your family and friends sake should have been a lifelong pursuit, not suddenly aware when threatened.
      Just as get rich quick schemes are too good to be true get heathy quick, by lifelong pill popping, jabs etc also applies.

      • I’m with you Boom. Too healthy to die from a piddly flu virus. Might get a little crook … but that’s it. All you guys who ‘pile in’ on those who don’t feel the need to be vaccinated should just FO.

        • TheLambKingMEMBER

          Too healthy to die from a piddly flu virus.

          But too dumb to vaccinate and reduce that chance from non-trivial to zero?

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            What’s so dumb about risk/reward analysis. Everyone’s choice is different when cost (jab substance) is involved.

          • I, Boom and similar are the smart ones champ. I don’t let fear cloud my judgement. If you actually do some real [email protected]#n research you will find that the real story is being suppressed. Thousands of medical experts disagree with the MSM BS but their opinions is being deliberately ignored. It is a TOTAL HOAX. HOAX. HOAX.

          • Thousands of medical experts disagree with the MSM BS but their opinions is being deliberately ignored.

            LOL. I think you mean the opinions of the many more thousands of medical experts who show it’s real are being given more credibility.

      • correct mate, and people cant wait to get vaxed and get back to normal, but normal life for most was making then less healthy. this should have been a wake up call for people to reflect on there lifestyle choices and health outcomes, but no, not us too smart for old mother nature types
        Maybe next pandemic

      • Spot on Boomer! The government should have been pushing this message from day one or at they very least the last year when there has beenstrong evidence that being healthy, reducing weight etc have positive outcomes. Then there is vit d, cheap & very effective, especially according to my link below. If everyone had vit d of 50 we wouldn’t need boosters & vaccines could go to 3rd world & possibly prevent a more deadly variant appearing. Health bodies around her world have failed to use the opportunity to push long term health!

      • Absolute BeachMEMBER

        Dunno Mr Boom. This bloke missed the games in Japan cos he got COVID:
        Team Portugal: Frederico Morais — Men’s surfing
        Reckon his cardio might have been pretty good (then again may have had bad habits..). There is a big list of athletes who failed to compete after a dose of COVID. I’m fit (and never get sick), but still got vaccine cos’ it MIGHT kick the snot out of me. Might not, but why try to find out?

    • Jumping jack flash

      “BUT vaccinated people are much less likely to catch Covid in the first place”
      And I also like the one about vaccinated people less likely to develop Long COVID than they would had they not been vaccinated.

      There’s some clever people around to determine these stats empirically.

    • You say so.

      That’s why Israel is contemplating a 4th shot. Because the 3rd shot (which was brought in because 2 shots didn’t stop transmission) didn’t stop transmission either.

      At the end of the day, immunity that resides in your blood stream etc has limited ability to prevent mucosal infections like colds. The immunity becomes more relevant if the virus invades your body.

      We have not ever developed an effective vaccine for a respiratory virus.

      I think that is what is emerging. You still catch it and spread it. But your body can help mitigate against invasion into your bloodstream and so you don’t get as sick.

      • Yep we’ve seen protection fade extremely quick with these vaccines and further boosters are failing to work. Most people are in that honeymoon period of protection, give it 3 months and the numbers will look terrible. We’ve seen this everywhere else that’s 6 months ahead of us, it won’t be different here.

        People who are overweight and have poor immune function due to lack of exercise, you have 3 months to get your house in order.

        This again is what infuriates me, not a word is said by the government about this, the strong link between obesity and death. As a society we’ve failed because we encourage people to live unhealthy lifestyles and then promise miracle jabs/drugs to fix their poor life choices.

        • The association is extraordinary.

          Prognostic factors in descending order of importance
          1. Vaccinated?
          2. Obese?
          3. Old?

        • Totally agree.

          One point of correction, they have had 18 months (TM) to get their house in order. Most waited for a cure in a bottle because not shoveling crap in their mouth proved too difficult.

          People should have worried about what they could control instead of expecting science and society to bail them out from their own bad decisions.

      • I’ve heard about nasal spray vaccines under development. It sounds promising, especially as presumably they could be self-administered which would make deployment much easier. I’d imagine they could become ubiquitous and taken say before travelling, around autumn etc to avoid or at least suppress outbreaks.

        What are your thoughts on these?

    • lets get some more government stats on things:

      Here is the headline: Vitamin D Insufficiency May Account for Almost Nine of Ten COVID-19 Deaths: Time to Act. Comment on: “Vitamin D Deficiency and Outcome of COVID-19 Patients”. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2757

      Conclusion: Dose up on Vit D – 1000IU per day, in the USA most people above the 35th parallel are D deficient for 6+ months of the year (autumn, winter, spring) – so dose up in these months, I have been and have never been healthier

      • While investigating something else last year, my GP discovered that I was Vit D deficient to the point where severe health impacts were likely.. I live in Canberra, so not much sun exposure for much of the year etc. Apparently more than half of Ken Behrens are in the same boat.

        I’ve been supplementing daily since then, and it has changed my life. All the aches and pains I attributed to getting old have gone. My blood pressure is down to about 105/65, my resting heart rate dropped to the high 50s. Cardio at the gym that would have had my heart rate above 150 now has it about 110. Best of all is that my mood…overall resilience, cheerfulness, outlook etc has lifted dramatically. Overall, I feel about 20 years younger now than I did a few years ago.

        All those things…muscle aches, joint pains, reduced fitness and stamina, low mood…are all symptoms of Vit D deficiency. If any of that rings a bell, see your GP, and get a simple blood test. You’ll never regret it.

        And if it helps fend off the Chinese Plague…all the better.

      • With their 7 day average of 36 cases and total of 0 deaths so far this month? Definitely something a situation to steer clear of.

      • But this is the crux of the issue right . If people are going to get it and die regardless of vaccination status why on earth are we okay with opening in 4-12 weeks time but not 52 weeks ago?

        Vulnerable (old + co-morbid) will still die, we need to get comfortable with that or lock down the joint forever.

        • They aren’t going to die regardless. They are still the most vulnerable but happily the numerator is much smaller.

    • Israel has declared that 6 months after your second jab you are effectively unvaccinated. They are enforcing that ruling via their Nazi derived Green Pass vaccine passport. They have also asked the EU to apply this rule to Israeli travellers.

      Had these drugs had the usual long history of testing to ensure efficacy and safety I’d be all for them. As it is, a lifetime of 6 monthly jabs of highly experimental drugs with currently unknown long term effects is something I’m disinclined to sign up for.

  4. I have no doubt that they work. The vaccines were never going to make people immune or prevent them from catching covid. And their efficacy wears off over time. That’s why boosters are needed and will be needed probably for the rest of your life. All this was known but not clearly communicated to the public for obvious reasons.

    I’ve chosen not to be vaccinated. There will be many others who will make the same choice in the years ahead.

    • There will be many others who will make the same choice in the years ahead.

      No doubt. Most likely the day that the highest proportion of the population is vaccinated will be the day restrictions are lifted or shortly after. Once we open, the incentive to vaccinate diminishes and as new people are born, the proportion of the population vaccinated will be diluted.

      • Or, people simply realise that its not as severe as had been made out by a panicked political and media narrative.

        Sweden had 140 deaths per 100,000. That’s equal to 35,000 deaths in Australia (prior to vaccines) if we didn’t lock down. In terms of $ per life saved that’s $14.5m per life with $503B direct govt response to CV-19. We need to also remember that over 2000 people die per month from influenza and other respiratory diseases. 2000 x 12 = 24,000 respiratory deaths per annum with no one saying booooo. Excess deaths to CV-19 would have been 35,000 – 24,000 = 11,000. $503B / 11k = $45.72M per life saved.

        Call me callous but it does seem like a bloody big number for people who are already critically unwell.

        • We need to also remember that over 2000 people die per month from influenza and other respiratory diseases.

          No they don’t. 16k people in Australia per year die from all types of respiratory illness, so 1300 per month. Within that 16k deaths, the biggest killer is COPD, which is not an infectious illness, so hard to compare to covid.
          Also not really a case of nobody saying boo either – apart from quit smoking campaigns, banning of smoking advertising, plain packaging for tobacco products etc etc to reduce smoking rates (somewhat successfully given smoking rates continue to fall from the peak in the 1970s or thereabouts) there have been things like banning smoking in every kind of workplace including bars to prevent COPD from second hand tobacco smoke and more targeted measures to prevent exposure to airborne pollutants despite tobacco companies and employer groups fighting almost every step of the way.

    • “And their efficacy wears off over time.” Immunity will be boosted by actually catching covid though wont it?

      Isn’t that one of the verboten topics right now? Natural immunity? So vaxed people will develop more immunity when they catch covid? They will have artificial and natural immunity. Covid will not be their problem anymore. Maybe boosters for the frail and elderly. But the majority of people won’t need it?

  5. Compare the case fatality rates for Victoria and NSW.

    Victoria 2.4%. Mostly 2020. Pre-vax. Original strain
    NSW 0.6%. Mostly 2021. Partially vaccinated. Delta.

    Victoria has won the ignominious trifecta of longest lockdown (world record) as well as most deaths and worst CFR (both national records). Combination of poor decisions (for which everyone involved claimed amnesia before an inquiry) as well as pre-vax.

  6. This is worth reading when trying to decide your position on vaccines.

    How significant is it that the two top FDA officials responsible for vaccine research resigned last week and this week signed a letter in The Lancet that strongly warns against vaccine boosters?

    From the first week of March 2020, the US embarked on a wild experiment in virus mitigation, deploying a series of measures with a sweep and scope that had never previously been attempted, not in modern times and not even in ancient times. The litany of controls and tactics is long. Many of these measures survive in most parts of the US. The retail landscape is still filled with plexiglass. We are still invited to sanitize ourselves when going indoors. People still mask up in proximity to others. The “Karens” of the world are still actively shaming and denouncing anyone suspected of non-compliance.

    The vaccine was the biggest gamble of all simply because the program was so expensive, so personal, and so wildly oversold. Even those of us who opposed every other mandate had hopes that the vaccines would finally end the public panic and provide governments a way to back out of all the other strategies that had failed.
    That did not happen.
    Most people believed that the vaccine would work like many others before them to block infection and spread. In this, people were merely believing what the head of the CDC said. “Our data from the C.D.C. today suggests that vaccinated people do not carry the virus, don’t get sick,” Rochelle Walinsky told Rachel Maddow. “And that it’s not just in the clinical trials, it’s also in real-world data.”
    “You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations,”President Biden said, reflecting what was the common view in the summer of 2021.
    That of course turned out not to be the case. The vaccines appear to have been helpful in mitigating against some severe outcomes but it did not achieve victory over the virus. Israel’s surge in infections in August was among the fully vaccinated. The same happened in the UK and Scotland, and that precise result began to hit the US in September. Indeed, we all have vaccinated friends who caught the virus and were sick for days. Meanwhile, team natural immunity has received a huge boost from a large study in Israel that demonstrated that recovered Covid cases gain far more protection than is conferred by the vaccine.
    The fallback position then became the booster. Surely this is the answer! Israel was first to mandate them. Here again, the problems began to show, as yet another magic bullet of disease mitigation failed. Then the inevitable headline came: Israel preparing for possible fourth COVID vaccine dose. So think about this because there is a sense in which the vaccines rank among the biggest failures: in a matter of a few short months, we’ve gone from the claim that they fully protect to they are pretty okay provided you get regularly scheduled boosters forever.

    The bombshell is called “Considerations in boosting COVID-19 vaccine immune responses.” It appears in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet. The two top officials are among the authors. The article recommends against the Covid booster shot that the Biden administration, following Fauci’s advice, is suggesting as the key to making the vaccines work better and finally fulfill their promise.
    Fauci and company are pushing boosters because they know what is coming. Essentially we are going the way of Israel: most everyone is vaccinated but the virus itself is not being controlled. More and more among those hospitalized and dying are vaccinated. This same trend is coming to the US. The boosters are a means by which government can save face, or so many believe.
    The trouble now is that the top scientists at the FDA disagree. Further, they think that the push for boosters is courting problems. They think the current regime of one or two shots is working as well as one can expect. Nothing is gained on net from a booster, they say. There just isn’t enough evidence to take the risk of another booster, and another and another.

  7. Waiting for novavax I will not take the az or pfz

    I work in health and have heard a massive number of people with huge side effects that are unreported

    I have a health degree and master’s and have read the BMJ as well as others and even they have no idea about long term effects…they can’t

    Good luck to all

    • There are known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. The long term effects of the vaccines belong in two out of three.

    • Check out COVI-VAC from Codagenix. It’s a live virus, attenuated via codon deoptimisation (slower replication) and removal of the furin cleavage site in the S1-S2 bridge domain (slower infection). It’s administered as a single-dose nasal spray so that it raises a broad immune response in the upper respiratory mucosa where it’s actually needed to confer immunity. It’s in phase 1 at the moment but I have high hopes for it.

      Current vaccines are badly designed. They target just a single protein, rather than the entire complement of viral proteins, meaning that it’s much easier for viral variants to evolve around the vaccine. Secondly, by being injected they fail to specifically raise secretory IgA where it’s most needed; in the mucosa. They can’t, therefore, effectively immunise and it’s not possible to get to herd immunity (from the vaccines alone), even with 100% vaccination. The only feasible course to herd immunity, with these vaccines, is that the vaccines reduce deaths and enough people survive SARS-CoV-2 infection leading to herd immunity from natural infection. Thirdly, they trigger spike protein production in off-target cells that SARS-CoV-2 would not normally infect (with subsequent immune response), leading to a novel disease state that is sometimes lethal and unpredictably so. This is most relevant for children who are at very low risk from COVID.

      On paper, the Codagenix vaccine looks much more sensible and well-designed. I hope the TGA is keeping a close eye on it and will fast-track approval if it works as well as I expect it to. The only thing it’s missing is dual treatment with a timed-release capsule to target the epithelium at the end of the small-intestine (another high infection site of SARS-Cov-2).

      For the curious, here’s the key point that too many talking-heads don’t seem to comprehend:

  8. For the 5 months Jan-May 21, there was ONE C19 death in Australia.

    As of 31st May, Australia had 5% more deaths than normal in first 5 months of 2021, (between 1,500 and 4,700 more than the maximum and minimum for 2015-2019), yet only 1 death was from COVID in that time. Australians are right to protest lockdown.

    But that’s cool. You are allowed to die. Just not allowed to die of C19.

    • Just like 2020, when the excess deaths in the first five months were counterbalanced by a death deficit in June to August. Mortality is a random variable, it fluctuates. So, what?

      • Law of large numbers minimises random effects at a population level.

        2020 was explained by Covid deaths in first half of year (including many undiagnosed cases in RACF when testing was limited). Deficit in 2nd half multifactorial – reduced traffic, reduced industry, highest risk members of population had their death brought forward by Covid. Again, these are not random events at the individual level, but factors operating at a population level.

        2021 is harder to explain.

        • FDA Banned Boosters for Under 65's

          Things such as flu deaths almost non existent last year.

          There’s been a build up of dry tinder from last year. People that would have ordinarily been taken out last year without COVID are being taken out this year when social distancing was out the window for the most part.