COVID-19

Is it true that 95.58% of Omicron cases in Germany involve vaccinated people?

Among the 4,000 Omicron cases for which vaccination status is known in Germany, an overwhelming majority of cases involve vaccines, according to the Robert Koch Institute. But the numbers still need to be interpreted with caution.

You ask us about a data widely spread on social networks since Friday: the Robert Koch institute would affirm, in its latest report, that 95.58% of omicron cases in Germany refer to vaccinated people, although these represent less than 75% of the population. Some even add that this is proof that the vaccine, even more than ineffective against infections, would increase the risk of contamination.

The last weekly report of the institute established that between the appearance of the omicron variant and December 28, “10,443 cases of omicron” had been reported in Germany, including 1,555 confirmed with certainty by genome sequencing and 8,888 classified as suspect by means of a test. variant-specific PCR ”. The report states that “sometimes additional information is known for the omicron cases present in the notification system”, with information on the vaccination status of 4,206 analyzed. That’s only 40.3% of the case reports. In this case, it is specified that “186 patients were not vaccinated and 4,020 were fully vaccinated” (including 1,137 with booster doses).

The 95.58% value retransmitted by Internet users -which does not appear in the report- is obtained by reporting the number of cases for which it is established that people were vaccinated (4,020) of the number of cases for which the status of vaccination. (4,206).

However, these German figures should be viewed with caution. In fact, as almost 60% of the vaccine status of those infected with omicron is unknown, it is risky to extrapolate this value of “95.58%” to the general population. To do this, it would be necessary to ensure that the cases for which the vaccination status is specified are representative of all the tests. Asked by CheckNews on this point, the institute has not yet given us an answer.

On the other hand, the German journalist Tim Röhn, who seems to be at the origin of the 95.58% figure in a tweet dated December 30 and widely distributed, does not affirm that this percentage corresponds to the real rate of vaccinated among the infected. by omicron. The journalist, who had denounced the dissemination of erroneous statistics on the vaccination status of infected people, stressed that “the scope of omicron is not clear, due to the [qualité déplorable de la] data collection in Germany ”. “As a result, the percentage distribution of vaccinated / unvaccinated” – the famous 95.58% – “may be distorted,” he recalls.

Tim Röhn also questions the fact that the vaccinated and the unvaccinated do not use the tests in the same proportions (since “unvaccinated people are currently excluded from almost all social activities”), which would likely skew the results.

Immune escape

Although difficult to interpret conclusively due to its fragmented nature, the German data are compatible with the observations, also repeated, according to which omicron tends to escape the immunity of vaccines.

When asked on Friday about the vaccination status of contaminated Omicron in France, French Public Health experts responded: “We are conducting several studies to document the profile of the first cases of omicron diagnosed in France. It is still too early to show results. In the literature, we can clearly see from the few data published by South Africans, English or Danish, that most cases of omicron occur in vaccinated people. What translates to only one thing: it is that this variant has the ability to escape the immunity conferred by vaccination or a history of infection “.

In Denmark, according to data as of December 24, of 27 132 cases of Omicron infection, 77% were in doubly vaccinated people, 13.5% in people who received a booster dose and less than 9% in unvaccinated people .

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