Australian authorities to stop reporting Vaccination status of hospitalizations, deaths
- after their latest report showed ZERO UNVACCINATED patients.
A COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at Sydney Road Family Medical Practice in Balgowlah in Sydney, Australia, on Jan. 10, 2022. (Jenny Evans/Getty Images)
By Zachary Stieber
Authorities in Australia’s largest state are saying they’re going to stop reporting the vaccination status of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 after their latest report showed zero unvaccinated patients.
“Vaccination status of cases admitted to hospital, admitted to ICU, and those who die will no longer be reported,” the New South Wales government said in a recent overview of surveillance data from the two weeks through Dec. 31, 2022.
The report showed that of the 1,779 patients admitted to hospitals with a COVID-19 diagnosis during the two weeks, 79.5 percent were confirmed as receiving at least one vaccine dose and zero were confirmed as unvaccinated.
Those who received four or more doses, or a primary series and at least two boosters, made up the largest category of hospitalizations by vaccination status with 810 patients. That was followed by 377 patients with three doses, 364 with an unknown status, 218 with two doses, and 10 with one dose.
The overwhelming majority of people in New South Wales are vaccinated. According to data from the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care, 96 percent of people aged 16 or older in the state have received two or more doses and about half of children aged 5 to 15 have received at least two doses.
Still, the hospitalization data shows many hospitalizations among people who received one or more boosters, and a much lower percentage of the population fit that criteria, including just 26 percent having received four or more doses.
Igor Chudov, a mathematician, estimated from the data that the risk of hospitalization was higher for those who’ve received three doses versus those who’ve received two and the highest for those who’ve received four or more doses, with a 217 percent relative risk jump for that group compared with the unvaccinated.
The state’s government said it started breaking down metrics by vaccination status in 2021 when the vaccines were first rolled out “to monitor trends in the relationship between vaccination and outcomes.”
“With most of the population having received at least two doses of vaccine and there being differences in timings of booster dosing across different age groups, the trends between vaccines and outcomes cannot be interpreted using these data,” the government said.
The vaccinated also made up virtually all of the hospitalizations in other recent weeks in New South Wales, earlier reports show. For the week ending Dec. 10, 2022, for instance, all patients but one whose vaccination status was confirmed had received at least one vaccine dose, and a plurality had received four or more doses.
Some experts have said that such state-level data isn’t useful without adjustment for factors such as age, while others assert it provides a data point undercutting claims that the vaccines are effective.
The Australian government and the governments of other large states don’t provide metrics broken down by vaccination status.
Some data and studies indicate that vaccines still provide some level of protection against severe illness along with virtually no shielding against infection, but others indicate that more doses increase the risk of illness.
Data from U.S. states show that boosted people were more likely to get infected, hospitalized, or die when compared to people who were vaccinated but haven’t received a booster, and a paper from Cleveland Clinic shows that each successive dose heightened the chance of a person testing positive.
In New South Wales, which has about 31 percent of Australia’s population, the data showed that of the deaths recorded in the two weeks leading up to the new year, most were of vaccinated people.
Fifty-three of the 95 who died had received four or more doses. Nineteen had received three doses. Nine had received two doses. Seven had an unknown vaccination status, six were unvaccinated, and one had received a single dose.
The vaccination status of the patients was determined by examining data from a nationwide immunization database called the Australian Immunisation Register. For vaccination status to be listed as anything other than unknown, an exact match with name and date of birth was required.
Thirty-one of the deceased were living in care homes. The vast majority—64—were 80 or older. Another 18 were aged 70 to 79. Just one was younger than 50.
Other Jurisdictions Stop Reporting Status
Other health officials have already stopped reporting the vaccination status of metrics.
Public Health Scotland was publishing a report with metrics broken down by the status for months but stopped in February 2022 after a report showed that most hospitalizations were among the vaccinated.
“Due to the increasing risk of the data being misinterpreted, Public Health Scotland will no longer report a weekly summary of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths by vaccination status,” a spokeswoman told The Epoch Times via email.
The United Kingdom’s Health Security Agency also stopped providing the breakdown in 2022.
In the United States, officials have acknowledged withholding some COVID-related data, including data on reinfections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in its vaccine effectiveness estimates, stopped providing breakdowns per dose and are instead grouping all vaccinated people together except for those who have received one of the new, untested booster shots. The agency, which lists age-adjusted figures, has also refused to provide raw numbers in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.