Fact Check-Unvaccinated people are much more susceptible to catching COVID-19 than those who have been vaccinated

Social media users have incorrectly suggested that unvaccinated people have “escaped” every single variant of the novel coronavirus.

Examples of posts sharing the claim can be seen (here , here) and (here).

“When the vaccinated start getting sick and they blame the new variant, how will they explain how the unvaccinated have escaped every single strain or ‘variant’?” the posts read.

Users have indicated they think this means authorities will pass off unvaccinated people as being asymptomatic, leaving comments like: “They'll make out we are all asymptomatic!” (here) and “They will blame unvaccinated without symptoms (here).

But unvaccinated people have caught the coronavirus and scientific evidence shows they are far more vulnerable to becoming seriously ill from the disease than those who have been vaccinated.

Out of a population of 66 million, more than 40 million people in Britain have received at least one dose of a vaccine (here). The result of this has been a plummet in infections and deaths from COVID-19 in recent months (here) .

Of the vaccines used in the UK, Pfizer/BioNTech reports its shot has an efficacy rate of 95% (here); Moderna 94.1% (here); Oxford- AstraZeneca 79% (here); and Johnson & Johnson 66% (here), in preventing COVID-19 in respective trials.

Moderna reported a 100% rate of protection against severe effects of COVID-19, while Pfizer said ten severe cases of the disease were reported in its Phase III trial – nine of which were in the placebo group and just one in the vaccine group (here).

Most of those currently in hospital with COVID-19 in Britain are unvaccinated, health officials say.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Head of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said that many of those in hospital in Bolton – which has been badly hit by the Delta variant of COVID-19 first discovered in India – were younger, and that "very, very few" had been fully vaccinated ( , here ,

A study presented to the UK government's scientific advisers likewise indicated that vaccines drastically decreased the chance of hospitalisation ( here , here).

This research, the ISARIC/CO-CIN study, found that between December and April most vaccinated hospitalised patients were infected with COVID-19 shortly before or around the time of vaccination, or before their immunity had properly developed.

The picture looks similar in North America, where hospitals have reported that the majority of their COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated (here , here , here).

Preliminary data from a study at Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, found that most people hospitalised for coronavirus weren’t fully vaccinated.

“From January first to around mid-April, we’ve had around 4,300 admissions to the hospital with COVID. Of those patients, 99% were not fully vaccinated,” Eduardo Mireles, director of the medical intensive care unit, said in a statement released by the hospital (here).


False. Unvaccinated people are much more vulnerable to catching - and becoming seriously ill from - COVID-19. Of those currently in hospital in the UK, most are unvaccinated, health officials say.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.