Is the Delta variant spreading only in highly vaccinated countries? No.
A highly viral tweet by “Corona Realism” is making the following claim: “Something really odd is going on: In Europe we are seeing surges at many places where most of the population has already been vaccinated. At the same time, the 15 least vaccinated countries don‘t seem to face any problem. At some point, denying this problem will get painful.”
In reality, the “least vaccinated countries” shown above are simply the Eastern European countries, whose infection cycle has always been delayed compared to Western Europe. They already missed the first spring wave in 2020, which led to the notorious misinterpretation that they were protected by (useless) face masks. Back then, the chief pathologist of Bulgaria famously claimed that covid was a hoax; today, Bulgaria has one of the highest covid death rates in Europe. Vaccination rates in Eastern Europe are lower than in Western Europe primarily for economic reasons.
To make the deception work, “Corona Realism” had to leave out some highly vaccinated countries in Eastern Europe (notably Hungary, Poland and Czechia), whose infection rates are as low as in the rest of Eastern Europe; and he had to leave out the many countries with a low vaccination rate severely affected by Delta, notably Russia as well as many Asian and even African countries. In fact, in many countries with a low vaccination rate, Delta covid deaths have reached an all-time record level.
In conclusion, while many “public health experts” got almost everything wrong during the covid pandemic, skeptics should remain careful not to fall for some of the same fallacies.
Update, September 2021
As predicted above, infections in Eastern Europe started to rise in early August and by late August, some Eastern European countries had some of the highest infection rates in the world (e.g. Montenegro and Kosovo). Ironically, the most highly vaccinated Eastern European countries (Hungary, Poland and Czechia), which “Corona Realism” had to remove from his mistaken “analysis”, still had the lowest infection rates in the region.
In contrast, US doctor Eric Topol in August claimed that Delta was spreading primarily in the least vaccinated US states. But once again, this was simply a regional effect: Delta first entered the US via the southern states, before reaching the northern states. Both Dr. Eric Topol (pro-vaccine) and “Corona Realism” (anti-vaccine) got fooled by regional epidemic patterns.
The striking relationship between vaccination and hospitalization in US states.
[#VaccinesWork vs Delta, in case you didn't know that]https://t.co/hvLE66NdjF by @jburnmurdoch and @nikasgari @FT pic.twitter.com/MegX111opK
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) August 5, 2021