Thursday 7 April 2022

Covid-19 & Vitamin D – why is there no herd immunity?

The Covid-19 pandemic has been in progress for a little more than two years, but daily Covid-19 records are still being broken, as in this report from England, similar from Scotland. Why has it not settled? For how much longer will case numbers increase and records be broken?

When the pandemic of Covid-19 emerged in early 2020, the plan of governments collectively (following directives from the WHO) was that the answer must be "vaccinations" (strictly m-RNA injections), which were to be manufatcured as a matter of urgency for the world, and with a great deal of financial support from governments. The introduction of vaccines was anticipated to be at the end of 2020 (at least in the wealthy nations that could afford the vaccines) with the pandemic coming to an end during 2021. 

Herd immunity

It was confidently expected that vaccinations would lead to herd immunity more rapidly than would be the case with nature. 

Herd immunity means that the great majority of the population has immunity, either as a result of infection and recovery, or by vaccination. Historically natural infection followed by survival and immunity has been by far more important, and it has stood the test of time. However the WHO has recently given vaccination a priority in the definition of herd immunity.

In the winter of 1968–69 there was a pandemic of what we called "Hong Kong Flu". It affected a large proportion of the population and it caused an estimated 50,000 deaths in the UK. At the time I was the resident medical officer (RMO) at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, and I can remember how this and other hospitals were overwhelmed by emergency admissions and many deaths. Flu vaccinations were given, but they were of very doubtful effectiveness. Tests for viral antigens and antibodies were not possible at that time.

There was a minor peak in late 1969 but the pandemic settled without any of the multiple peaks that we have seen recently. Herd immunity appears to have been reached after about a year.  The important thing about herd immunity is that it is permanent, locked into the immunity "memory" cells. It also becomes hereditable and is passed on to future generations. Hong Kong Flu has not returned.

At present there is no indication of herd immunity being reached with case numbers still increasing.

Covid-19: no treatment given

While waiting for the vaccines to become available, people diagnosed with Covid-19 were given no treatment and clinical doctors were not allowed to give treatments which could have helped, including VItamin D (especially in its activated form Calcifediol), Hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, Beclomethasone aerosol, Vitamin C, and Zinc. People diagnosed with Covid-19 were told to go home, and then to go to hospital if they had difficulty in breathing. It was a disgrace.

It was  promised that vaccinations would end the pandemic, but this did not happen. Something went wrong. In all countries we find similar patterns of the pandemic not settling, and on the contrary case numbers are increasing in multiple peaks, by a factor of up to one thousand.

There are more cases in 2022 

Covid-19 cases per day were higher in the first quarter of 2022 than in the same month in 2021 (Figure 1, below). During March 2021 case numbers were decreasing, but this is not happening in 2022.

We have seen during the previous two years that case numbers fell during the Vitamin D production season of May to August. This should happen again in 2022 but we cannot make any clear predictions.

Many governments have abandoned policies such as mask-wearing, social distancing, and lockdown. Schools and work are now back to normal. For a change in policy at a time of the highest case-rates compared to previous years indicates that governments have abandoned such policies because they have been of no obvious benefit – but of course they have been very damaging to education and the economy, and to many individuals. There will of course be no apology for failure and further vaccinations are being encouraged.

The pattern of Covid-19 is obvious not just in the UK but in many other countries. There have been several peaks that were not predicted and which are not readily explained, but we can recognise that each peak is higher than the one before.


We can look for example at the past three years in the UK, remembering that it was only in March 2020 that the pandemic emerged. At that time there was major concern, and we were subjected to almost total lockdown. But we can compare cases per day in 2020 (blue) with what happened subsequently in 2021 (green) and 2022 (grey). In retrospect the experience of 2020 appears to be quite trivial.

Figure 1. UK Covid-19 cases per day in 2020, 2021, 2022 

It is strange and certainly unexpected that the number of Covid-19 cases per day is so much higher in 2022 than in 2021. It was anticipated that the vaccination programmes during 2021 would have brought the pandemic to an end. But it has not happened, and the pandemic has become worse.

The pattern of Covid-19 is obvious not just in the UK but in many other countries. There has been a series of peaks that were not predicted and which are not readily explained. But we can recognise that succeeding peaks have been progressively higher. 

My previous reports have displayed bar-charts (such as Figure 1) that I have constructed from data displayed daily on "worldometer". However several countries, including the UK, have stopped reporting numbers regularly, and some cases altogether. Even with the UK our Covid-19 case numbers and death numbers are no longer displayed each day, and to find the numbers involves searches from a variety of sites.

However "ourworldindata" continues to supply daily Covid-19 data from around the world, but usually after a few days delay. I will show graphs from this source.


To understand (or try to understand) what is happening in the Covid-19 pandemic, let us look at Israel as another example. This is about the earliest and most completely vaccinated nation.

First we can see in Figure 2 the first four peaks that occured during 2020 and 2021, and these caused great concern. The head of Pfizer, as a child a survivor of the Holocaust, had promised Israel to be the recipient of the first Pfizer vaccines (and unknowingly the subjects of post-marketing surveillance). The failure of vaccinations to stop the pandemic was not encouraging, but successive vaccination programmes continued.

The first four waves are obvious, two in 2020 and two in 2021.

Figure 2. Israel Covid-19 cases 2020 and 2021

But the pandemic waves in 2020 (maximum 6,000 cases per day) and in 2021 (maximum 10,000 cases per day) 
became less significant when we moved into 2022. The case number hit a maximum of 100,000 per day, ten times the experience of 2021. What has been going wrong? What will happen next?

Figure 3. Israel Covid-19 cases 2020, 2021 and 2022


We can see the same in Japan, five waves in 2020 and 2021, with a maximum 25,000 cases per day.

Figure 4. Japan Covid-19 cases 2020 and 2021

And then an enoromous sixth wave in 2022, maximum 94,000 cases per day. What will happen in the near future is impossible to predict.
Figure 5. Japan Covid-19 cases 2020, 2021 and 2022


The same pattern occured in Germany, five waves during 2020 and 2021, with a maximum of 60,000 cases per day.

Figure 6. Germany Covid-19 cases 2020 and 2021

But then in 2022 a sixth wave with more than 200,000 cases per day. This peak is stubbornly persistent and in early April it is still increasing.

Figure 7. Germany Covid-19 cases 2020, 2021 and 2022

New Zealand 

New Zealand appeared to be protecting itself very well during 2020 and 2021, and was applauded as showing great success from is lockdown enforcement. Case numbers were low with the late 2021 peak reaching only about 200 cases per day, and that was after the vaccination programme was well-established. Cases per day were strangely higher following the vaccination initiative.

Figure 8. New Zealand Covid-19 cases 2020, 2021

But these peaks and numbers are of little significance when we see the current peak in March 2022. New Zealand is now experiencing 20,000 new cases each day. Something has gone seriously wrong, and a one hundred-fold increase in cases per day was completely unexpected. Despite this the end of lockdown enforcement is under way. 

Figure 9. New Zealand Covid-19 cases 2020, 2021 and 2022

Hong Kong

Hong Kong shows a similar peak in March 2022, with more than 60,000 cases per day. The previous numbers of daily deaths can now be regared as insignificant. The present increase is about one thousand times the previous numbers 
Figure 10. Hong Kong Covid-19 cases 2020, 2021 and 2022

South Korea

During 2020 South Korea was applauded for its military style  tight lockdown and there were very few Covid-19 cases, fewer than 1,000 per day. In late 2021 the number increased to 7,000 per day. 

Figure 11. South Korea Covid-19 cases 2020, 2021 and 2022

But in the early Spring of 2022 the numbers increased dramatically, to an astonishing maximum of 400,000 cases per day. Why did this happen following an extensive vaccination programme?

Figure 12. South Korea Covid-19 cases 2020, 2021 and 2022

I could go on to show many other countries, with a graph displaying 2020 and 2021, and then one to include 2022. But the point is obvious that case numbers in 2022 in many countries have overwhelmed by a factor of ten or more the case numbers in 2020 and 2021. We were told that with vaccinations the pandemic would rapidly come to an end, but the reality is that it has become much worse.

Covid-19 death rates are lower in 2022.

As shown in the example of the UK (Figure 13) Covid-19 deaths per day are much lower during the first quarter of 2022 than the same quarter in 2021. However at present in early April 2022 Covid-19 deaths per day are more than in 2021, with a tendency to increase.

Figure 13. UK Covid-19 deaths per day 2020, 2021 and 2022

It is stated that vaccinations have prevented thousands of deaths, but we cannot be certain of this as there has been no appropriate randomised controlled trial. The lower numbers of Covid-19 deaths per day during the pandemic can be seen in the example of the UK. 

You live every day, but you die only once.

There is an obvious explanation for fewer deaths in 2022 than previously in the pandemic.

You will remember that at the beginning of the pandemic, deaths were almost exclusively in the very highly vulnerable. Covid-19 deaths per day reduced during the Summer of 2020 and the Spring of 2021, but there were high numbers in the winter months of no vitamin D production.

The very highly vulnerable died early in the pandemic, and they could only die once. 

It is inevitable that it will be some time before a new cohort of very highly vulnerable will develop from the remaining just vulnerable members of the population. It is always the case that a peak of deaths in the first year of a pandemic is followed by lower than average death rate in the next one or two years.

The vaccinations 

Although vaccinations might have reduced the severity of Covid-19, it would appear that the vaccinations have failed to deliver the anticipated success.

Something has gone wrong with the vaccinations. I have suggested in a previous Blog post that vaccinations, in stimulating the immune response would inevitably have consumed Vitamin D, as a molecule of Vitamin D as 1,25(OH)D can only be used once. Immunity would inevitably suffer.

Are vaccines failing because Vitamin D supplements have not been given with the vaccinations? – especially as we are only just approaching the Vitamin D production season.

The effect of vaccines on immune mechanisms needs further evaluation in a future Blog post.

Replies and comments that I try to publish are longer accepted, and I cannot understand this. I will need to post my replies in this main text.

This is my reply to Comment 1:

From the beginning of the pandemic, reports of Covid-19 "deaths" have been deaths of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 during the previous 28 days. This definition has not changed, but overall it could have overstated Covid-19 deaths.
Observation of increased Covid-19 cases leads to an suggestion of greater transmissablity of successive variants, but it could equally be the result of a progressive reduction in the immune response of the population.
It now appears that the triple vaccinated have a higher incidence of cases and deaths then double vaccinated and unvaccinated. It also appears that this data will no longer be published in Scotland.

Reply to comment 3: (my reply could not be published)
"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away". That is, our hope for Vitamin D enlightenment. 
The government asks for "advice" concerning vitamin D, but in the text is that this advice is in repect of muscle-skeletal health only. No mention of immunity. But I will try to win the battle for vitamin D.