Self-reported outcomes, choices and discrimination among a global COVID-19 unvaccinated cohort

Authors: Robert Verkerk PhD1, Christof Plothe DO2, Naseeba Kathrada MBChB3 and
Katarina Lindley DO4, Science Unit, Alliance for Natural Health International, 78 Dorking Road, Chilworth, Surrey, GU4 8NS, United Kingdom, Praxis für Biophysikalische Osteopathie, Am Wegweiser Alzey, Germany, Dr Kats, 86 Jan Hofmeyer Road, Dawncrest, Westville, 3629, South Africa, Lindley Medical, 2100 FM 1189, Brock, Texas 76087, USA June 8, 2022

INTRODUCTION

Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020, there have been conflicting views among health authorities and in the published literature about the risks posed by SARS-CoV-2 to healthy populations that have not been COVID-19 injected. Additionally, health authorities and the media have frequently suggested that such unvaccinated populations pose a significant risk of infection to the COVID-19 vaccinated and vulnerable. For example, a study published in the preprint server MedRxiv found less severe outcomes among fully vaccinated COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization, compared with those not vaccinated, yet the risk of in-hospital death was greater among the vaccinated than unvaccinated (Mielke et al 2022). A global study (68 countries) by Subramanian & Krishna (2021) found a strong tendency for countries classified as “low transmission” countries to have low rates of COVID-19 ‘vaccine’ coverage (<20%), the reverse being the case for “high transmission” countries. The UK REACT study (DHSC 2021) reported that of 98,000 volunteers studied those who were double vaccinated COVID-19 were three times less likely to test positive by PCR than those who were unvaccinated (1.21% vs 0.4%, respectively). However, the data on which such findings are based cannot demonstrate a causative relationship with vaccination owing to numerous behavioural and other confounding factors between the two groups. Furthermore, data on cases and deaths relied upon by UK authorities have been shown to be spurious owing to mis-categorisation of vaccination status (Fenton et al, 2021). There have been very few studies that either assess the health outcomes of unvaccinated populations, or compare matched unvaccinated and vaccinated populations. One such study, by Lyons-Weiler and Thomas (2020), of a paediatric patient population at an integrative clinic in Portland, Oregon, found that the health status of unvaccinated children exceeded that of those subject to the routine childhood vaccination program in the USA. However, the journal that published the study, the International Journal of Environmental

Research and Public Health, was forced to retract the study 8 months following publication
given the implications of its findings. There is a significant population of individuals and communities around the world that have not been persuaded that COVID-19 ‘genetic vaccines’ (notably the widely used mRNA or adenoviral vector based injections, sometimes referred to simply as vaccines in this paper for simplicity) are either sufficiently safe or effective to justify mass roll-out into healthy populations. This is represented by the fact that over one-third of the world’s population has yet to be COVID-19 vaccinated, the majority of these being in low-income countries (Our World In Data, 2022). In response to such concerns, a UK citizen-led cooperative, the Control Group Cooperative (CGC) (vaxcontrolgroup.com), was formed in July 2021 to represent the interests of individuals and families around the world who have chosen to not receive COVID-19 ‘vaccines.’ Among the aims of the CGC is to evaluate long-term health outcomes among the COVID-19 vaccine-free, as well as linking its members to country support networks and online community groups. Participants who join the ‘control group’ may obtain an ID card (Fig. 1), in the relevant language. The card includes the statement that the individual is part of a SARS-CoV-2 Control Group and “must not be vaccinated”. Many members have reported that these ID cards have been successful in allowing travel, preventing forced vaccination (vaccination without informed consent) or avoiding the loss of liberties, such as access to venues otherwise limited to COVID-19-vaccinated individuals.

When joining or becoming a member of the CGC, subscribers are asked to participate in a survey (see Methods). It is the survey findings over the first five months of operation from a specific cohort of subscribers to the CGC that forms the primary subject of this paper.

We, the authors of the present work, are entirely independent of the CGC and have received no funding to undertake it. Since mid-2021, we have collaborated on a diverse range of scientific and medical issues as part of our work with the Health & Humanities Committee (co-chaired by two of the authors: Dr Naseeba Kathrada and Robert Verkerk PhD) of the non-profit World Council for Health (worldcouncilforhealth.org).

METHODS
This survey is based on self-reported data among self-selected individuals from around the world who have subscribed to the CGC ‘control group’ project (vaxcontrolgroup.com). All respondents on which the present analysis is based completed an online survey (see Supplementary Information) on the CGC website on a monthly basis over 5 consecutive months (October 2021 to February 2022 inclusive). This period included the time during which, in most parts of the world, omicron replaced the delta variant as the dominant, circulating variant of SARS-CoV-2. The cohort (n = 18,497) that is the subject of this analysis is a sub-group comprising 6.2% of the 297,618 people who had registered on the website by the end of February 2022 and provided data on a monthly basis over the first 5 consecutive months of the survey. Comparison of findings from this cohort with selected responses from the less complete but entire survey data set of CGC (that includes some 305,000 respondents from around the
world at the time of writing), suggests that this smaller data set is representative of the full
dataset. The online survey includes some initial profile questions (Supplementary Information;
Annex 1) that were answered on registration followed by a further series of questions (Supplementary Information; Annex 2) answered by respondents on a monthly basis thereafter. Recruitment of respondents was entirely organic and relied on respondents being made aware of the CGC project through largely alternative media outlets, given censorship on mainstream media and social media channels. It is important to recognize that because the cohort represents a self-selected, as opposed
to randomly selected, sample, the findings cannot be directly compared with other observational studies based on self-reported data based on randomly selected subjects. However, what the survey aimed to do is gather insights about health outcomes, choices and discrimination experienced by the marginalized sub-population of people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures who have elected to exercise their right of refusal of COVID-19 injections. As a self-reported survey, the interpretation of results in this paper has focused primarily on providing perspectives on the responses of an unvaccinated population to a variety of factors. Accordingly, central to this ‘look and see’ approach are the proportion of respondents who have given particular responses to the questions provided. ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 4 Given not all questions have been answered by all respondents, the denominators for the proportional analyses vary considerably according to how many relevant answers are provided and where these are unexpected, explanation is given in the tables or figures.Some analyses involve just a subset of the respondents (e.g. menstruating, menopausal and post-menopausal women aged 20 to 69) and, again, the denominator is stated.

SURVEY FINDINGS
Characterizing the cohort a. Geographic location The vast majority (98.8%) of non-COVID-19 injected participants were from 6 major continents or regions (Table 1), most being from Europe (40%), with the next larges constituents from Oceania (principally Australia and New Zealand) and North America (USA
and Canada), 27% and 25%, respectively. Table 1. Continental distribution of respondents in cohort.
The geographical distribution of respondents in the self-selected cohort is shown in Fig. 2

Region n %, Africa 171 0.9%; Asia 555 3.0%; Europe 7442 40.2%; North America 4657 25.2%; Oceania 4982 26.9%; South America 576 3.1%; Unknown 114 0.6%; TOTAL (n ) 18383 100.0%

b. Reported age groups and biological sex
The age distribution of the cohort is shown in Figure 3. Overall, of the respondents who disclosed their biological sex (96.3%), 57% of respondents were female and 43% male. The age groups with the greatest numbers of respondents were middle-aged and accordingly would generally be regarded by health authorities as highly susceptible to COVID-19 disease. ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 6Figure 3. Age and biological sex distribution of cohort. C. Blood group The blood groups and rhesus factors were reported by 51% of respondents, with expected variations between regions and almost twice as many females rather than males disclosing data (Table 2). Given prevalence of Caucasian ethnicities, the relative order of blood groups (most common to least common) was as expected, as follows: O+ > A+ > O- > B+ > A- > AB+ >B- >AB-

Table 2. Blood group by biological sex of cohort.
Blood group; Female (%); Male (%); Undisclosed biological sex (%) Total
A- 436 (7.0) 182 (5.8) 6 (8.6) 624
A+ 1,778 (28.7) 901 (28.5) 24 (34.3) 2,703
AB- 71 (1.1) 33 (1.0) 0 (0.0) 104
AB+ 265 (4.3) 141 (4.5) 2 (2.9) 408
B- 145 (2.3) 56 (1.8) 0 (0.0) 201
B+ 598 (9.7) 294 (9.3) 5 (7.1) 897
O- 665 (10.7) 359 (11.4) 5 (7.1) 1,029
O+ 2,235 (36.1) 1,196 (37.8) 28 (40.0) 3,459
Total with known blood groups 6193 3162 70 9,425 Rather not Disclose 1,383 1,289 538 3,210
Unknown 2,946 2,842 74 5,862d. Primary reason for not electing to receive COVID-19 ‘vaccine’ Table 3 lists, in descending order of frequency, the most important reasons given by cohort respondents for deciding against COVID-19 injection. Respondents were able to select multiple reasons if they felt them to be of equal importance, hence n = 54,152. Table 3. Frequency among cohort where each reason was reported to be the single most important reason for declining COVID-19 ‘vaccination’.
Reasons for not being covid vaccinated Number of respondents who considered each reason the most
important % Prefer natural medicine interventions 9,084 16.8 Distrust of pharmaceutical interventions 8,896 16.4 Distrust of government information 8,888 16.4 Poor/limited trial study data 8,841 16.3
Fear of long-term adverse reactions 8,348 15.4 Fear of short-term adverse reactions 6,216 11.5
Medical complications 2,376 4.4 Previous vaccine injuries 1,503 2.8 Total 54,152 100.0 ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 8 The survey results suggest that five reasons were of almost equal significance (with only 1.4% variance), namely preference for natural medicine interventions, distrust of pharmaceutical companies, distrust of government information, insufficient trial data and concerns over long-term adverse reactions. Only 7% of respondents gave either medical complications or concerns stemming from previous vaccine injuries as the primary reasons for COVID-19 ‘vaccine’ avoidance. e. History of past vaccination Approximately one-third of the cohort reported having been vaccinated as a child, while another one-third reported having not received any vaccine within the last 5 years(Table 4). Table 4. Reported vaccination history for cohort Reported vaccination history N %
As a child 5,405 29.2 In Last 12 months 912 4.9 Less than 5 years ago 2,837 15.3 More than 5 years ago 6,246 33.8Never Vaccinated 782 4.2Rather not Disclose 2,315 12.5 Total 18,497 100.0 The age groups from 20 years through to 84 years had the smallest proportions (2.0- 2.9%) reporting that they had never been vaccinated. Conversely, the youngest age group (ages 0-19 years) reported by far the highest rate of not having received any vaccine (15.9%) (Table 5). Table 5. Reported vaccination history by age group Age group (% in each group) Reported vaccination history 0-19 % 20-49 % 50-64 % 65-84 % 85+ % As a child 494 20.0 1,957 33.5 2,131 30.0 810 26.8 11 17.5 More than 5 years ago 313 12.7 1,956 33.4 2,755 38.8 1,200 39.8 19 30.2 Less than 5 years ago 567 23.0 858 14.7 967 13.6 436 14.4 9 14.3
Rather not Disclose 492 20.0 671 11.5 811 11.4 327 10.8 12 19.0 In Last 12 months 206 8.4 238 4.1 273 3.8 185 6.1 9 4.8Never Vaccinated 392 15.9 170 2.9 157 2.2 60 2.0 3 4.8 Total 2,464 5,850 7,094 3,018 63
Preprint draft, uploaded to ResearchGate June 8, 2022©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 9. Future vaccination choices Nearly two-thirds of the cohort (64.2%) reported that they would refuse all future vaccines of any type, with about one-fifth (22.5%) choosing to not disclose their choices
(Fig. 4). Only 1.3% reported an interest in receiving flu vaccinations and less than 5% reported that they would receive ‘holiday vaccinations’. The choices were generally similar regardless of age group. Figure 4. Responses to future vaccination choices for all age groups in cohort. g. Willingness to donate blood Around 60% of non-COVID-19 vaccinated respondents, regardless of their blood group indicated their willingness in donating blood, these numbers being approximately three times greater than those unwilling to do so or not disclosing a clear preference one way or another (Fig. 5).
0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 ,100
No to All Rather not Disclose Any Non-Trial Vaccinations Holiday Vaccinations Flu Vaccinations
Percentage of respondents ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 10 Fig. 5. Percentage of respondents reporting willingness or otherwise to donate blood. Reported outcomes, choices and attitudes a. Respondents who reported COVID-19 during survey period Respondents between the ages of 20 and 49 years reported the greatest incidence of COVID-19 disease (~10-12%), with females consistently reporting slightly more often than males regardless of age group, this likely reflecting the female bias of the cohort. Those aged 70 and over reported the lowest incidence of COVID-19 disease (4.0% females, 3.7% males) (Fig. 6).

Figure 6. Percentage of respondents reporting COVID-19 disease, by age group and biological sex during study period. b. Respondents who reported not experiencing, or at least not being sure of experiencing, COVID-19 disease Over 80% of respondents over the age of 70 and almost 80% between 1 and 19 years were either sure they had not experienced symptomatic COVID-19 disease or were not sure if they had or had not (implying any symptoms were likely to be have been mild and transient). Around three quarters of the age bands between 20 and 49 and 50 to 69 similarly reported no COVID-19 disease (Fig. 7). 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 1-19 20-49 50-69 70+ Percentage of respondents Age category Male Female ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 12 Figure 7. Respondents reporting that they had not had COVID-19 disease or were not sure if they had experienced the disease. Additionally, 11.6% of the respondents aged 50 to 69 chose not to disclose their past or current COVID-19 disease status, this choice to not disclose status being considerably lower in other age groups (2.0 – 3.5%). c. Reported COVID-19 antigen testing outcomes Nearly 20% of respondents aged 50 to 69 reported having received one or more positive tests while also experiencing symptoms, with only 1.9% in this same age range reporting positivity in the absence of symptoms (Fig. 8). Those over 70 reported the lowest rate of positive tests, with all age groups reporting much greater rates of positivity with, rather than without, symptoms (Fig. 8). 66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84 1 to 19 20 to 49 50 to 69 70+ Percentage of respondents % Female % Male Preprint draft, uploaded to ResearchGate June 8, 2022 ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 13 Figure 8. Percentage of respondents reporting positive antigen tests both with and without COVID-19 symptoms. d. SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibody outcomes Over 1 in 5 (23.5%) respondents between the ages of 50 and 69 reported having been being positive for SARS-CoV-2 (neutralising) antibodies during the survey period, although only 8.3% of these were confirmed with positive serology tests. Figure 9. Reported positive serology (SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies) by age group. 0 5 10 15 20 25 1-19 20-49 50-69 70+ Percentage of respondents % +ve with symptoms % +ve without symptoms 0 5 10 15 20 25 1-19 20-49 50-69 70+ Percentage of respondents % Confirmed % Unverified ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 14 Confirmed or unverified presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were reported least often by the oldest age band, the over 70s, which also had the lowest reported incidence of COVID-19 disease (Fig. 6). e. Reported COVID-19 disease by age group and month The greatest incidence of reported COVID-19 disease was in January 2022, with a clear escalation which mirrors the generalised, global displacement of the dominant circulating SARS-CoV-2 variant from delta to omicron, especially during the European winter (where respondent numbers were greatest) (Fig. 10). Figure 10. Reported COVID-19 disease over 5 months of survey showing proportion in each of four age bands. In terms of age bands, the 50 to 69 years age range reported the highest incidence of COVID-19 disease (12.3% of respondents), followed by the 20 to 49 year group (10.7%), with considerably lower reporting (1.3 -3.8%) of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 disease among both the youngest and oldest age bands (Fig. 11). 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Oct-21 Nov-21 Dec-21 Jan-22 Feb-22 Perecentage of subjects reporting COVID-19 1-19 20-49 50-69 70+ Preprint draft, uploaded to ResearchGate June 8, 2022 ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 15 Figure 11. Reported COVID-19 disease by age band during the 5 months of survey. f. Severity of COVID-19 symptoms One quarter (25.1%) of the survey cohort reported some symptomatic disease (n = 4636) at some stage during the survey period, most (~14%) being mild, around 8% reportedly moderate and just 2% with severe disease (Fig. 12). Some 3% reported asymptomatic disease. The 50 to 69 age band reported the highest incidences of disease of all severities (Fig. 12) Figure 12. Reported severity of COVID-19 disease among those with known or suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection as a proportion of the survey cohort. ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 16 When patients reporting COVID-19 symptoms were asked for how long they were sick or unwell, of those who answered (n= 4496), 54% indicated they were sick for less than a week, 20% between 1 and 2 weeks and 11% for over 3 weeks (Table 6). Table 6. Reported duration of sickness following suspected or known SARS-CoV-2 infection. Health status n % Generally Well 649 14.4 Sick < 1 Week 2440 54.3 Sick 1-2 Weeks 902 20.1 Sick 3 Weeks+ 505 11.2 Total 4496 100.0 g. Symptoms in relation to age ‘Fatigue’ was the most commonly reported symptom of COVID-19 disease, closely followed by ‘cough’ and ‘muscle or body pain’. Symptom ranking by frequency of reports is shown in Table 7. Table 7. Ranking symptoms by reporting frequency during survey period Symptom Qty Reports Ranking Fatigue 4786 1 Cough 4305 2 Muscle or Body Aches 4296 3 Fever 3613 4 Loss Of Taste 1846 5 Loss Of Smell 1791 6 Difficulty Breathing 1346 7 Diarrhoea 915 8 Most symptoms were reported among the 50 to 69 year age band, with between one and 3 symptoms being most commonly reported in all age classes. In the youngest age class (1-19 years), there were proportionately fewer respondents reporting 4 to 6 symptoms compared with the other three age classes (Fig. 13). Preprint draft, uploaded to ResearchGate June 8, 2022 ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 17 Figure 13. Number of COVID-19 symptoms reported by age band among those with suspected or known COVID-19 disease. There was relatively little variation in the frequency of reporting of the 8 different symptoms, as shown in Figure 14. 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1-19 20-49 50-69 70+ Number of respondents reporting symptoms Age class No Symptoms Reported 1-3 symptoms 4-6 symptoms 7+ symptoms ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 18 Figure 14. Symptoms reported by respondents in 4 age bands with known or suspected COVID-19 disease. h. Reported within-household transmission Over twice (2.2-fold) the number of respondents with suspected or known SARS-CoV-2 infection indicated that other family members within the same household had also suffered COVID-19 disease, compared with those who did not report disease. However, of these, nearly one-third (31%, n = 1435) indicated no other family members in the same household had become ill. i. Hospitalisations Only 74 respondents out of the 5196 (1.4%) who reported suspected or known SARSCoV-2 infection also reported that they were hospitalised following infection. Therefore, outpatient or inpatient hospitalisation was reported in just 0.4% of the full survey cohort. Of these, 15 were outpatient only, another 15 were hospitalised for less than 3 days, 26 were hospitalised between 3 and 7 days, 11 for between 7 and 14 days and only 10 for more than 14 days. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Cough Diarrhoea Difficulty Breathing Fatigue Fever Loss Of Smell Loss Of Taste Muscle Or Body Aches Percentage of respondents with reported COVID-19 1-19 20-49 50-69 70+ Preprint draft, uploaded to ResearchGate June 8, 2022 ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 19 These figures represent an overestimate as in some cases, a single individual made more than one visit to hospital. j. Self-administered treatments among COVID-19 patients The majority of respondents with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 engaged in selfadministered treatments using vitamins (C, D), minerals (zinc) and off-label medications (ivermectin [IVM] and hydroxychloroquine [HCQ]) during the 5-month survey period. Vitamins C, D and zinc were the most common self-administered treatments reported, with some 71% of the survey cohort (n = 3701 out of 5196) reporting regular usage. Selfadministration of these treatments or supportive nutrients was much lower in a hospital setting than at home and declined in frequency as symptom severity increased (Fig. 15). Figure 15. Respondents reporting COVID-19 disease who self-administered vitamins C and D and zinc (=Vit/min), off-label medications (ivermectin [IVM] or hydroxychloroquine [HCQ]) (=IVM/HCQ), or other products or medications (=Other) during the survey period. 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 Not hospitalised Hospitalised Not hospitalised Hospitalised Not hospitalised Hospitalised Not hospitalised Hospitalised Generally Well Mild Moderate Severe Number of respondents reporting COVID-19 disease Vit/min IVM / HCQ Other ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 20 k. Dietary supplement use among cohort Sixty four percent of all respondents reported taking vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc or quercetin, or any combination of these, routinely during the survey period for preventative purposes (Fig. 16). Among those taking supplements, vitamin D was most commonly consumed (53.3% of respondents), closely followed by vitamin C (51.7%), in turn followed by zinc (42.4%), with quercetin being the least used (15.5%) of the four. Supplement use in North America (USA and Canada) exceeded other parts of the world (Fig. 16). Figure 16. Distribution of CGC respondents routinely taking specific dietary supplements (vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc or quercetin) for prevention. l. Mental health Around 4 in 10 respondents in the survey cohort, regardless of age, reported sustained mild or moderate mental health issues through the duration of the survey. Half this number reported severe mental health issues (Fig. 17). Preprint draft, uploaded to ResearchGate June 8, 2022 ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 21 Figure 17. Percentage of cohort reporting mild, moderate or severe mental issues during each month of the survey. Over the 5-month survey period, around half the respondents reported sustained mild mental health issues throughout the survey’s duration, the reports being highest for the oldest and youngest age bands. Reports of moderate mental health issues dropped to around 3 to 4 in 10, with reports then being higher among the intermediate age bands. About 2 in 10 in each age band reported severe, sustained mental health issues (Fig. 18). Figure 18. Proportion of respondents reporting mental health issues by age band. 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Oct-21 Nov-21 Dec-21 Jan-22 Feb-22 Percentage of respondents (n = 18,497) Mild Moderate Severe 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 1 – Mild 2 – Moderate 3 – Severe Percentage of respondents ( n = 18,497) 1-19 20-49 50-69 70+ ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 22 m. Bleeding abnormalities There were significant numbers of reports of unusual bleeding among the non-COVID-19 ‘vaccinated’ women in the cohort, particularly those in the age band, representing the highest proportion of menstruating women, ages 20 to 49 (Fig. 19). The most commonly reported named menstrual abnormality was irregular periods (1,210 reports) among the 20 to 49 year age band, this representing 36% of women in the age band. Figure 19. Number of female respondents reporting menstrual or other bleeding abnormalities Additionally, 12.0% of female respondents reported unusual nosebleeds during the course of the survey, compared with 4.7% of men. This difference between females and males was even more pronounced for reports of unspecified unusual bruising, which was reported by 12.7% of females, but just 1.7% of males (all age groups). n. Mask wearing In October and November 2021 (before the omicron variant surge around the world became dominant) there were only slight variations associated with different durations of mask wearing, despite those who never wore masks having the lowest rates of COVID-19 symptom reports. In December 2021 through to February 2022 inclusive, however, there was an apparent 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 Heavier BleedingIrregular Periods Longer Bleeding Missed Period Unusual Clotting Other Number of female respondents 1-19 20-49 50-69 70+ Preprint draft, uploaded to ResearchGate June 8, 2022 ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 23 and clear association between those reporting never wearing a mask and those experiencing the lowest rates of suspected or known COVID-19 disease. These data provide no information on any causal association between mask wearing and COVID-19 disease incidence given the wide range of uncontrolled behavioural and confounding factors likely to be involved. Figure 20. Percentage of respondents with known or suspected COVID-19 disease according to their mask wearing habit over the 5 months of the survey. o. Job losses Job losses among the survey cohort were determined as a proportion of the respondents reporting loss of employment during the survey period, using as the denominator the numbers in the cohort between the ages of 20 and 69 inclusive (the primary working age range) (Fig. 21). The greatest reported job losses in relation to the numbers of respondents in each region were reported in Australia and New Zealand (n = 1,097; 29% of respondents). This rate was over double that reported in North America (n = 467; 13%), and much greater than that from the areas with the next highest losses, namely Southern Europe (n = 73; 13%) and South East Asia (n = 39; 12%). 0 5 10 15 20 Oct-21 Nov-21 Dec-21 Jan-22 Feb-22 Percentage of respondents reporting COVID-19 symptoms % of people with covid disease wearing/not wearing masks > 8 hours Most Days > 4 hours Most Days > 2 hours Most Days Rarely Never ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 24 Figure 21. Job losses in different regions among the COVID-19 unvaccinated survey cohort as a proportion of respondents of working age (20 to 69 years). Among the occupations affecting job losses, teachers were the most common, followed by nurses, those declared as self-employed, support workers and social workers. p. Discrimination The survey requested information about whether respondents had faced discrimination personally by members of society, or by their state (country). Between 20% and nearly 50% of respondents, depending on region, reported being personal targets of hate, implying victimisation, owing to their COVID-19 vaccination status (Fig. 22). Proportionately, rates of such victimisation were highest in Southern Europe and South America and lowest in Western Asia and Southern Africa (although the number of respondents in these latter regions were substantially lower). Preprint draft, uploaded to ResearchGate June 8, 2022 ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 25 Figure 22. Percentage of respondents by region reporting hate or victimisation during the 5-month survey period. Respondents reported feeling even more victimised by their respective states, with rates among respondents being greatest in Southern Europe (61%), Western Europe (59%), Australia and New Zealand (57%) and South America (57%) (Fig. 23). Figure 23. Reported state victimisation of ‘unvaccinated’ respondents. ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 26 DISCUSSION As soon as COVID-19 intra-muscular genetic vaccines were issued with emergency use authorisation by national regulatory authorities towards the end of 2020, coercive pressure was placed on populations to receive the injections, starting with the oldest age groups and those deemed most vulnerable to severe COVID-19 disease. These genetic vaccines all utilised either the mRNA (Pfizer, Moderna) or adenoviral vector (e.g. AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Serum Institute of India, Gamaleya Institute) platform (Heinz and Stiasny, 2021). Large numbers of people in different parts of the world have chosen to avoid the injections. Such dissenters have been widely stigmatised and marginalised by mainstream society, being referred to variously as “anti-vaxxers” or “conspiracy theorists”. At the time of writing, Our World in Data (2022), which consolidates data from official country sources, suggests that 35% of the world population has yet to receive any COVID-19 injections, this number rising to 84% in low-income countries. The same database suggests 77% of the population of the African continent, equating to over 1 billion people, and nearly 31% of Europeans, equating to some 232 million people, have yet to receive any COVID-19 vaccines. Some 22% of Americans (73 million), 14% of Canadians (5.3 million) and 13% of Australians (3.3 million) have reportedly not yet received COVID-19 vaccines (Our World in Data, 2022). The CGC is a grassroots, UK-based, internationally active organisation that came into being in mid-2021 to help support this substantial group of COVID-19 unvaccinated people who had already been subject to victimisation, stigmatisation, discrimination or marginalisation by mainstream society, especially in industrialised countries. By contrast, mainstream society immediately backed, in the absence of robust scientific evidence, global mass vaccination with what were initially experimental products reliant on novel platforms that had never before been tested at scale. CGC respondents in the survey gave various reasons for declining COVID-19 injection, including distrust of health authorities, governments or the pharmaceutical industry, insufficient evidence of safety or effectiveness, or concerns over injuries or potential adverse reactions, for which the manufacturers typically have indemnity in the event of compensation for injuries resulting from vaccination. Since the mass roll-out of experimental products was initiated in late 2020, the products have been found to deliver very little protection against transmission of the current, dominant, circulating, omicron variant (Amanatidou et al, 2022). This means the products do not fulfil the widely accepted purpose of a vaccine, which is to induce herd immunity by triggering an immune response that fully neutralises or sterilises the pathogen so preventing transmission. The World Health Organization (WHO) updated its description of ‘herd immunity’ on 31 December 2020, stating: “WHO supports achieving ‘herd immunity’ through vaccination, not by allowing a disease to spread through any segment of the population, as this would result in unnecessary cases and deaths” (WHO, 2020). Additionally, immunologic effectiveness even against disease was found to wane rapidly, within a few months (Israel et al, 2021; Ferdinands et al, 2022) implying that those relying on COVID-19 injections would Preprint draft, uploaded to ResearchGate June 8, 2022 ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 27 need to consent to regular, e.g. 6-monthly, exposure to the injections, a regimen that had yet to be subject to any safety trials. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that individuals reliant on naturallyacquired immunity develop broader-based and more robust immunity to SARS-CoV-2 than those reliant on vaccine-induced immunity (Gazit et al, 2021; Turner et al, 2021; Cohen et al, 2021). Such naturally-acquired immunity is likely to play a key role in dampening the hostpathogen population dynamics of the virus that appears to have been new to humanity prior to 2019, as well as reducing the risk of developing more virulent and transmissible variants (Koyama et al, 2022). Jonathan Pugh and colleagues from the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Oxford, argued in the Journal of Medical Ethics that “[w]ithout compelling evidence for the superiority of vaccine-induced immunity, it cannot be deemed necessary to require vaccination for those with natural immunity.” (Pugh et al, 2022). It follows that discrimination against individuals who have elected to invoke natural immunity, in place of vaccine-induced immunity, would be unjust. The data from the first 5 months of the CGC survey suggest that unvaccinated populations have not placed any significant additional burden on healthcare systems in their respective countries, as compared with those who consented to COVID-19 injections. In the UK, official data reveals that 33% of the population tested positive via either PCR or lateral flow tests during the whole pandemic, with the highest case rates occurring in late 2021 and early 2022 during the period of the CGC survey (GOV.UK, 2022). While some 25% of CGC survey respondents reported symptomatic COVID-19 disease during the 5 months of the survey, the incidence of disease does not itself indicate the burden on healthcare systems or society; this is better assessed by hospitalization rates and mortality (there were no CGC data available for the latter). The COVID-19 disease burden for the USA was estimated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the period February 2020 to September 2021 (CDC, 2022). The estimate included 124 million cases of symptomatic illness, 7.5 million hospitalisations and 921,000 deaths. This equates, following a pro rata adjustment to include mean data over a 5-month period to match the survey period of CGC, an average of 10.4% of the US population had symptomatic disease, 0.6% of the US population was hospitalised, and 0.3% died with COVID-19 on their death certificate. By comparison, the self-selected, self-reported, CGC population sample reported 25% symptomatic disease (suspected or confirmed), with just 0.4% of the cohort (one-third less than the adjusted CDC estimate) being hospitalised. The CGC survey did not report on mortality given the self-reporting nature of data collection. While the number in the CGC cohort reported to have experienced symptomatic disease is substantially greater than the CDC figures (25% versus 10.4%), this may be in part because the majority were suspected, rather than confirmed, cases, and so were more likely to have been reported. Cases manifesting as symptomatic disease were greatest among middleaged people in the age band 50 to 69 years, which likely reflects age-dependent ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 28 manifestation of disease (Omori et al, 2020), and shielding among the oldest, most vulnerable age group. The adjusted CDC estimates and the CGC survey data should be compared with caution as they originate from different regions of the world, they have been derived from different time periods, the CDC includes different proportions of vaccinated and unvaccinated over the 19 months of its collection, and both datasets relied on different reporting systems. However, it is of interest that the CGC cohort included a period (October 2021 to February 2022 inclusive) with the highest rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection in many parts of the world, including North America and Europe, during the first omicron wave. Overall, the survey findings suggest there is no adequate basis on which to suggest the CGC cohort and, by extension, other health-aware populations who have elected to avoid COVID19 injections, have represented a disproportionate burden on health systems compared with those who have received one or more injections. To the contrary, almost 3 out of 4 respondents who had COVID-19 engaged in self-care using vitamins (D and C), minerals (notably zinc) and/or quercetin. Reported selfadministration of these micronutrients, as well as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, dropped off dramatically for those who were hospitalised, presumably at least in part because of lack of support for use of natural products in hospital settings (a phenomenon that has been widely reported to the authors anecdotally). The percentage of populations engaging in preventative self-care using dietary supplements containing vitamins C, D, zinc or quercetin was highest in the USA at 71% of respondents, and somewhat lower, but still high (60-65%), in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. These data compare favourably with the 47% of UK users of the Zoe app in the COVID-19 Symptom Study (n = 372,720) who reported using dietary supplements (Louca et al, 2021). This latter study found modest reductions in risk of infection (9-14%) among those routinely using vitamin D, multivitamins, omega-3 fatty acids or probiotics. Among the most surprising findings in this COVID-19 unvaccinated cohort were the commonly reported instances of menstrual disturbances and bleeding abnormalities in women. Such disturbances have been reported in the literature in association with COVID19 disease (e.g. Sharp et al, 2021), lifestyle changes associated with the pandemic (Bruinvels et al, 2021), and particularly following COVID-19 vaccination (e.g. Alvergne et al, 2021; Trogstad, 2022). The disturbances reported in the survey are likely to be related to COVID19 disease, but other factors such as shedding exposure, chronic stress and changes to lifestyles caused by restrictions and related measures, as well as chronic spike protein exposure (‘spikopathy’) in domestic and occupational settings, could also have been involved. There was a high proportion (around 40%) of respondents who reported mental health issues during the reporting period. This was in line with the effects of ongoing chronic, psychological stress associated with the pandemic, as found in other studies, 66 of which have been pooled as part of a comprehensive, global, systematic review and meta-analysis carried out by a group of Chinese researchers (Wu et al, 2021). Preprint draft, uploaded to ResearchGate June 8, 2022 ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 29 In this specific cohort that has placed more trust in the human immune system than in novel ‘genetic vaccines’, the mental health burden may be associated more to the human response to the pandemic, rather than psychological, fear-based reactions to any threat posed by the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself. This includes discrimination in the workplace, by peers or by family members, as well as victimisation by states (governments/health authorities) owing to ‘unvaccinated’ status. Much of this disproportionate and discriminatory treatment is likely the result of widespread misunderstandings about, and over-stated benefits of, COVID-19 ‘vaccines’, false claims over societal risks posed by the unvaccinated, media and state propaganda and coercion to ensure high rates of COVID-19 vaccination, institutional mandates, and the desire for in-group identity as explained by social identity theory (Scheepers and Derks, 2016). In line with the scapegoating of those who have not consented to COVID-19 injection, it was also relevant that those respondents in the CGC survey who reported never wearing facial coverings or masks also experienced the lowest incidence of suspected or confirmed COVID19 disease. The scientific basis for the continued pressure on populations to receive COVID-19 ‘vaccines’ and boosters remains elusive. There is still inadequate governmental and health authority recognition of the breadth and depth of injuries which are underreported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in the USA (refer to OpenVAERS [www.openvaers.com] for summaries), the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Yellow Card system in the UK, EudraVigilance in Europe, and similar national reporting systems elsewhere. Research by a German insurance company, BKK ProVita, suggested in February 2022 following its own analysis of available data, that there is already a “violent alarm signal” in Germany which implies substantial underreporting of injection injuries by the responsible health authority, the Paul Ehrlich Institute. The findings allude that between 4 and 5% of those to whom COVID-19 injections have been administered are engaging, or have engaged, with treatments to deal with COVID-19 injection injuries (Deutsche Wirtschaft Nachricten, 2022), amounting to 2.5 to 3 million people in Germany (Phillips, 2022). Unfortunately, given the desire to uphold the mainstream narrative that wrongly insinuates mass roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines is the only means of resolving the pandemic, the executive responsible for disclosing these findings, Andreas Schöfbeck, was sacked by BKK following public release of the findings (Deutsche Wirtschaft Nachricten, 2022). This is another stark reminder of the discriminatory consequences of speaking out against the mainstream narrative even where ample supporting data are available and in the public interest Similar findings from Israel suggest the scale of COVID-19 injection injuries, and the need for medical support for those affected, is much greater than widely reported (Guetzkow, 2022). ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 30 Thus, when comparing health system burdens between COVID-19 vaccinated and ever more constrained unvaccinated (‘control’) populations, the short- and long-term impacts of injection-related injuries needs to be accounted for. There has been a seemingly deliberate effort by vaccine manufacturers and associated Phase 3 clinical trial study teams to remove data that allows comparison of outcomes between COVID-19 injected and un-injected (control) populations. The release of Pfizer data (322 documents at the time of writing) following the successful legal action in the USA by Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency (phmpt.org), with which the authors are associated, will likely in time confirm the misleading nature of the safety and effectiveness claims made by health authorities and vaccine manufacturers for the current crop of COVID-19 injections. The findings from the present survey have five main limitations; 1) the respondents are selfselected and therefore not randomly selected; 2) the data are self-reported and therefore have not been verified independently; 3) the ~18,500 participant cohort may have been biased towards the most diligent, health-conscious participants given they all completed monthly surveys (although a number of cross-checks with the main ~300,000 cohort suggests this bias is likely low); 4) there is no available comparative ‘control’ population that includes individuals who have consented to one or more COVID-19 vaccines of different types; and; 5) the questionnaire design is limited and does not account for multiple variables that affect health status, such as socioeconomic status, urban, peri-urban or rural residence, diet, or lifestyle. That being said, the survey data do offer indicative or suggestive evidence that the CGC COVID-19 unvaccinated cohort prioritizes self-care and has placed very little burden on healthcare systems in respective countries. It follows, then, that the marginalization, stigmatization, coercion of and discrimination against this population group, one that has not consented to COVID-19 injections, is neither valid nor ethical. Such discrimination and restriction of liberties based on vaccination status may fall foul of relevant national antidiscrimination laws and international treaties, such as the UN’s International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR, 1966), which includes fundamental rights to liberty and security of person, freedom of movement, privacy, religion and belief, freedom of expression, and peaceful assembly. The findings also amplify the great need to ensure that well conducted observational studies are carried out in order to compare outcomes, choices and potential discrimination in COVID-19 vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Derren Fielder, Diny Fielder-Van Kleef and Rachael Tubbs were responsible for the CGC questionnaire and data collection from respondents. The full CGC dataset was made available to RV who then worked with Derren Fielder to extract selected data for this work. The authors thank Melissa Smith of the Alliance for Natural Health International for helping collate and analyse the data in Excel. Preprint draft, uploaded to ResearchGate June 8, 2022 ©2022 Alliance for Natural Health International 31 DECLARATION OF INTERESTS None of the authors have any competing interests. FUNDING STATEMENT CGC is a membership organization and accordingly receives subscription fees, as well as donations, to help conduct research and provide support for vaccine-free communities as well as COVID-19 vaccinated individuals who have decided to opt out of ongoing vaccination programs.

The authors are entirely independent of CGC and received no funding to undertake the present work.

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Severe COVID ‘Rare’ in People Who Didn’t Get Vaccine, Survey Reveals

A survey of 300,000 people who didn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine revealed the unvaccinated didn’t place a disproportionate burden on health systems — in fact, they experienced very low rates of hospitalization and severe COVID-19.

Authors: Alliance for Natural Health International 06/09/22

There have been very few studies looking at how those who’ve elected to rely on natural immunity and natural products, as compared with those who’ve consented to COVID-19 genetic vaccines, the latter who may or may not have, also tried to optimize their immune systems, fare when it comes to COVID-19.

The few that have been done often mix vaccinated with unvaccinated, as shown in the case of U.K. data by professor Norman Fenton and his group at Queen Mary, University of London.

That changes with the first release of the analysis of survey data from the international Control Group project — also known as the Vax Control Group.

The citizen-led project was initiated by an Eastbourne (U.K.) cooperative, the Control Group Cooperative — and it’s had more than 300,000 subscribers.

Rob Verkerk Ph.D. of Alliance for Natural Health has led a team, including Dr. Naseeba Kathrada (general practitioner, South Africa, Caring Healthcare Workers Coalition), Christof Plothe D.O. (integrative and osteopathic practitioner, Germany) and Dr. Kat Lindley (family physician, USA), that has collated, analyzed and interpreted the first five months of survey data from “control group” participants.

The survey data offer important revelations, including:

  • The unvaccinated “control group” participants don’t place a disproportionate burden on health systems — in fact, quite the opposite, they have experienced very low hospitalization rates and severe COVID-19 disease is rare.
  • They are more likely to self-care, using natural products like vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc and quercetin.
  • Many have used ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.
  • Women have suffered menstrual and bleeding abnormalities despite being unvaccinated, possibly owing to spike protein exposure and shedding.
  • Their mental health burden has been considerable, possibly aggravated by their stigmatization by the mainstream, “vaccinated” society.
  • They have been heavily discriminated against because of their decision to exercise their right to informed consent and refuse the administration of “genetic vaccines.”

No jab, lower hospitalizations — finds international survey

An international survey of a health-aware, “Control Group” that includes over 300,000 people who have chosen to avoid COVID-19 vaccination, shows participants place minimal burden on health systems through their strong reliance on natural immunity, self-care and the use of natural health supplements to help prevent or even treat COVID-19.

Yet this group faces unfounded discrimination, job losses and mental health issues intensified by its marginalization by mainstream society.

The survey of participants in the “Control Group” includes a sub-group from the over 305,000 participants from more than 175 countries who have joined the citizen-led project and opted to not receive COVID-19 vaccines.

The findings just uploaded to the preprint server ResearchGate, show that during the 5-month survey period (Sept. 2021 through to Feb. 2022 inclusive), participants suffered low rates of severe COVID-19 disease, were infrequently hospitalized, and used natural health products extensively both for prevention and for treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19.

Data from these first five months of the Control Group survey were analyzed and interpreted by an independent, international team led by Robert Verkerk Ph.D., a multi-disciplinary scientist and the founder, executive and scientific director of the non-profit Alliance for Natural Health International.

Co-authors included three practicing clinicians, Dr. Naseeba Kathrada from South Africa, Christof Plothe D.O. from Germany and Dr. Katarina Lindley from the USA.

The authors came together to assess the survey data through their collaboration in recent months with the World Council for Health, a non-profit, global coalition of health-focused organizations and civil society groups.

The survey findings were based on a sub-cohort of approximately 18,500 Control Group participants who had completed questionnaires on a monthly basis over the first five months of the survey.

Among the wide-ranging data collected, the survey captured reasons why participants avoided vaccines, with distrust of governments and pharmaceutical companies as well as concerns over adverse reactions from insufficiently tested vaccines being high on the list.

Participants reported extensive mental health problems that may have been compounded by the stigmatization and discrimination facing those who shunned COVID-19 vaccines.

It also found that women, despite being unvaccinated for COVID-19, suffered menstrual and bleeding abnormalities that may have been associated with viral exposure, shedding, spike protein exposure or pandemic-related behavioral changes. Those who never wore masks reported the lowest levels of COVID-19 disease.

Given the participants are self-selected and have self-reported, the survey findings need to be interpreted with care when comparing them with national statistics or studies based on randomly selected populations.

The U.K.-based Control Group project was established in mid-2021 as a citizen-led cooperative that aims to evaluate long-term health outcomes among the COVID-19 vaccine-free as well as linking its members to country support networks and online community groups.

COVID virus linked with headaches, altered mental status in hospitalized kids

Authors: UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH Peer-Reviewed Publication

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 21, 2022 – Of hospitalized children who tested or were presumed positive for SARS-CoV-2, 44% developed neurological symptoms, and these kids were more likely to require intensive care than their peers who didn’t experience such symptoms, according to a new study led by a pediatrician-scientist at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

The most common neurologic symptoms were headache and altered mental status, known as acute encephalopathy. Published in Pediatric Neurology, these preliminary findings are the first insights from the pediatric arm of GCS-NeuroCOVID, an international, multi-center consortium aiming to understand how COVID-19 affects the brain and nervous system. 

“The SARS-CoV-2 virus can affect pediatric patients in different ways: It can cause acute disease, where symptomatic illness comes on soon after infection, or children may develop an inflammatory condition called MIS-C weeks after clearing the virus,” said lead author Ericka Fink, M.D., pediatric intensivist at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and associate professor of critical care medicine and pediatrics at Pitt. “One of the consortium’s big questions was whether neurological manifestations are similar or different in pediatric patients, depending on which of these two conditions they have.” 

To answer this question, the researchers recruited 30 pediatric critical care centers around the world. Of 1,493 hospitalized children, 1,278, or 86%, were diagnosed with acute SARS-CoV-2; 215 children, or 14%, were diagnosed with MIS-C, or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, which typically appears several weeks after clearing the virus and is characterized by fever, inflammation and organ dysfunction. 

The most common neurologic manifestations linked with acute COVID-19 were headache, acute encephalopathy and seizures, while youths with MIS-C most often had headache, acute encephalopathy and dizziness. Rarer symptoms of both conditions included loss of smell, vision impairment, stroke and psychosis.  

“Thankfully, mortality rates in children are low for both acute SARS-CoV-2 and MIS-C,” said Fink. “But this study shows that the frequency of neurological manifestations is high—and it may actually be higher than what we found because these symptoms are not always documented in the medical record or assessable. For example, we can’t know if a baby is having a headache.” 

The analysis showed that neurological manifestations were more common in kids with MIS-C compared to those with acute SARS-CoV-2, and children with MIS-C were more likely than those with acute illness to have two or more neurologic manifestations. 

According to Fink, the team recently launched a follow up study to determine whether acute SARS-CoV-2 and MIS-C—with or without neurologic manifestations—have lasting effects on children’s health and quality of life after discharge from hospital.  

“Another long-term goal of this study is to build a database that tracks neurological manifestations over time—not just for SARS-CoV-2, but for other types of infections as well,” she added. “Some countries have excellent databases that allow them to easily track and compare children who are hospitalized, but we don’t have such a resource in the U.S.” 

This study was partly funded by the Neurocritical Care Society Investing in Clinical Neurocritical Care Research (INCLINE) grant. 

Other researchers who contributed to the study include Courtney L. Robertson, M.D., Johns Hopkins Children’s Center; Mark S. Wainwright, M.D., Ph.D., University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital; Juan D. Roa, M.D., Universidad Nacional de Colombia and Fundación Universitaria de Ciencias de la Salud; Michelle E. Schober, M.D., University of Utah, and other GCS-NeuroCOVID Pediatrics investigators who are listed in the paper. 

To read this release online or share it, visit http://www.upmc.com/media/news/012122-Fink-COVID-Children.  


JOURNAL

Pediatric Neurology

DOI

10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2021.12.010 

METHOD OF RESEARCH

Observational study

SUBJECT OF RESEARCH

People

ARTICLE TITLE

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Neurologic Manifestations in Hospitalized Children Diagnosed with Acute SARS-CoV-2 or MIS-C

ARTICLE PUBLICATION DATE

21-Jan-2022

COVID-19 live updates: Vaccine protection against hospitalization is dropping slightly, CDC says

The CDC initially said 97% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated

Authors: By Julia Jacobo and Ivan Pereira Last Updated: August 30, 2021, 5:18 PM ET

The COVID-19 vaccines’ ability to keep people out of the hospital appears to be dropping slightly, particularly for those 75 and older, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday during an advisory panel.

The CDC has previously estimated that 97% of people in the hospital being treated for COVID-19 are unvaccinated, but that data was collected before the spread of delta, a hyper-transmissible variant that many doctors have warned appears to be making people sicker.

The latest CDC analysis estimates that the ability of the COVID vaccines to keep a person out of the hospital is now between 75% to 95%.

For people older than 75 in particular, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization experienced the steepest decline, from more than 90% to 80% between June and July.

Health experts are also concerned that a person’s immunity could be waning over time, particularly among older people whose bodies are less likely than younger people to develop a strong immune response to the vaccines.

However, the vaccine still remain highly effective at preventing serious illness, according to the briefing.

CDC Reports Show Unvaccinated Way More Likely To Be Hospitalized For COVID-19 Despite Drop In Vaccine Effectiveness

Authors: SEBASTIAN HUGHES CONTRIBUTOR August 24, 20216:52 PM ET

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Tuesday showed vaccinated individuals are far less likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19, even though immunity appears to decrease over time.

Approximately 3% of vaccinated people who caught COVID-19 between May 1 and July 25 in Los Angeles County had to be hospitalized, compared to 8% of the unvaccinated, according to the CDC report. Only 0.5% of those who were vaccinated had to be placed in the ICU, as opposed to 1.5% of the unvaccinated.

The vaccinated were five times less likely to test positive and 29 times less likely to be hospitalized than the unvaccinated in the county, the report stated. A report released earlier in August by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health estimated vaccinated hospitalizations to be four and 14 times less likely, respectively.

Out of 43,127 COVID infections, 25% were among the vaccinated, 3% were among the partially vaccinated and 71% were among the unvaccinated, which indicates the effectiveness of the vaccines has moderately waned over time, according to the CDC.

A separate report released Tuesday showed the effectiveness of the vaccine in frontline healthcare workers had decreased to 66%, but didn’t specify how quickly effectiveness decreases. Another report released Aug. 18 showed vaccine effectiveness had decreased in New York from 92% in early May to 80% by late July.

Cases and deaths in the U.S. have surged because of the delta variant. About 93% of cases in the country can be attributed to it, the CDC has estimated. (RELATED: What Will It Take To Get Back To Normal? Here’s What The Experts Say)

The CDC recommended vaccinated individuals wear masks in areas of substantial or high transmission in July and announced on Wednesday that booster shots would become available to most people.

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” on Monday that the virus could be under control by spring 2022 if most people get vaccinated.

“You have either the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated, those who have been infected and have cleared the virus will have a degree of protection, and we’re recommending that those people also get vaccinated because the degree of protection that you could induce in someone who has been infected, who has then recovered and then vaccinated, is an enormous increase in the degree of protection,” Fauci told CNN.

Associations between body-mass index and COVID-19 severity in 6·9 million people in England: a prospective, community-based, cohort study

  1. Authors: Min Gao, MSc *, Carmen Piernas, PhD  , Nerys M Astbury, PhD, Prof Julia Hippisley-Cox, FRCPProf Stephen O’Rahilly, FRS, Prof Paul Aveyard, FRCGP 

Summary

Background

Obesity is a major risk factor for adverse outcomes after infection with SARS-CoV-2. We aimed to examine this association, including interactions with demographic and behavioural characteristics, type 2 diabetes, and other health conditions.

Methods

In this prospective, community-based, cohort study, we used de-identified patient-level data from the QResearch database of general practices in England, UK. We extracted data for patients aged 20 years and older who were registered at a practice eligible for inclusion in the QResearch database between Jan 24, 2020 (date of the first recorded infection in the UK) and April 30, 2020, and with available data on BMI. Data extracted included demographic, clinical, clinical values linked with Public Health England’s database of positive SARS-CoV-2 test results, and death certificates from the Office of National Statistics. Outcomes, as a proxy measure of severe COVID-19, were admission to hospital, admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), and death due to COVID-19. We used Cox proportional hazard models to estimate the risk of severe COVID-19, sequentially adjusting for demographic characteristics, behavioral factors, and comorbidities.

Findings

Among 6 910 695 eligible individuals (mean BMI 26·78 kg/m2 [SD 5·59]), 13 503 (0·20%) were admitted to hospital, 1601 (0·02%) to an ICU, and 5479 (0·08%) died after a positive test for SARS-CoV-2. We found J-shaped associations between BMI and admission to hospital due to COVID-19 (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] per kg/m2 from the nadir at BMI of 23 kg/m2 of 1·05 [95% CI 1·05–1·05]) and death (1·04 [1·04–1·05]), and a linear association across the whole BMI range with ICU admission (1·10 [1·09–1·10]). We found a significant interaction between BMI and age and ethnicity, with higher HR per kg/m2 above BMI 23 kg/m2 for younger people (adjusted HR per kg/m2 above BMI 23 kg/m2 for hospital admission 1·09 [95% CI 1·08–1·10] in 20–39 years age group vs 80–100 years group 1·01 [1·00–1·02]) and Black people than White people (1·07 [1·06–1·08] vs 1·04 [1·04–1·05]). The risk of admission to hospital and ICU due to COVID-19 associated with unit increase in BMI was slightly lower in people with type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease than in those without these morbidities.

For More Information: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(21)00089-9/fulltext