5TH WAVE – According to Professor Didier Raoult, the countries that have vaccinated their populations the most are today those who pay the heaviest price for the pandemic in terms of the number of patients diagnosed each day. It’s wrong.
Caroline Quevrain –
Now that vaccines have demonstrated their effectiveness against deaths and severe forms of Covid, opponents and those most skeptical of vaccination are highlighting their inability to limit contagions in the face of Omicron. In a video broadcast on his Youtube channel and an interview with Sud Radio, Professor Didier Raoult made his new argument, consisting in saying that vaccines even helped accelerate the epidemic.
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To do this, the former director of the IHU in Marseille, a notorious defender of hydroxychloroquine against the disease, Explain : “It is the countries which have had the most vaccines which currently have the most cases. (…) There is a real question which is: how is it that in the countries where we have the most vaccinated , do we have the most cases? This is an extraordinarily interesting scientific question, which we are working on ”. The latter relied on the case of France, which is breaking records day after day with more than 350,000 new patients from Monday 11 to Tuesday 12 January. A situation mainly due to the Omicron variant, present in 87% of the tests, according to official figures consolidated by Covid Tracker.
Paris, 10th to have the most vaccinated
But to verify the comments made by Didier Raoult, let’s first see the five countries with the largest vaccination coverage in the world. As of January 10, with 99% of its population fully vaccinated or first vaccinated, the United Arab Emirates are in first place. Cuba (93%), Portugal (91%), Chile (91%) and Singapore (88) follow, according to data fromOurworldinData, which relies on feedback from official authorities. France is in tenth place in the world with 79% of inhabitants having received at least one dose of vaccine.
Now consider the same countries and the number of cases reported each day, averaged over a rolling week. The Middle Eastern country, world champion of vaccination, counts on average 265 positive cases per million inhabitants, while Cuba registers 156 and Portugal clearly more: 3168. Also on January 10, Chile reports 164 contaminations by million inhabitants, Singapore has 147 and France stands apart with 4,001 cases reported to the same population. However, among these six countries, only France and Portugal are among those which deplore the most contamination per day. At the start of the year, Paris is ranked 2nd in the world for daily cases and Lisbon in 9th place. So, which states have the most Covid patients compared to their population?
Among the contaminations champions, we chose to retain only those which were comparable to France, with the same vaccines used or with a climate close to ours. This excludes, for example, the Cayman Islands, Greenland or Australia (see the map above for a complete census). Today, the countries breaking contamination records are Cyprus, Monaco, Montenegro, Ireland, Denmark, Iceland and Greece.
These indicators should obviously be highlighted with other data, such as the extent of daily screening or the positivity rate recorded. Because the number of cases detected each day depends closely on the number of tests carried out. Unsurprisingly, Portugal and France are among the countries testing their populations the most, with 22.25 tests and 20.14 tests carried out per day per 1,000 inhabitants, respectively. Cyprus ranks first in the world, with 121.86 tests per day per 1,000 inhabitants, followed by the United Arab Emirates (41.77 tests). Then we find Austria (35.99 tests per 1,000 inhabitants), followed by Greece (32.37 tests) and Denmark (30.09).
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In summary, the example of France taken by Didier Raoult is the right one: second country reporting the most cases per day in the world, France is also among the most vaccinated. Same process for Portugal, which records many cases but has already vaccinated more than 90% of its population. On the other hand, making these two countries a generality does not make sense since the most vaccinated states are not today systematically the most affected by the pandemic in terms of the number of daily contaminations.
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