In this new fact check, an RTL journalist takes a closer look at a certain statement by Professor Dr Claude P. Muller on the vaccination against Covid-19.
Did they die from or with Covid-19? This is a question which has been discussed again and again since the start of the pandemic. In an interview with the newspaper Tageblatt, Professor Dr Claude P. Muller made the following statement: “Those who are still dying from Covid-19 now are those who chose not to be vaccinated.”
A listener asked our colleagues from RTL.lu, whether this statement is factually correct.
Can vaccinated individuals no longer die from Covid-19?
The official figures published by the National Health Directorate clearly show that among those who died from Covid-19 are also people who were fully vaccinated.
Over 80% of the population have been fully vaccinated. The same figures also reveal that the vaccine greatly reduces the risk of dying from Covid-19.
On the RTL.lu podcast Wellebriecher, Dr Thomas Dentzer, virologist at the National Health Directorate, stated that among those who die from Covid-19 there will be people who have been vaccinated, or vulnerable people “for whom the vaccine did not work or who had a different problem”. However, at the same time, Dr Dentzer stressed that it is evident that unvaccinated individuals have a greater risk of both experiencing severe courses of the disease and dying from Covid-19.
The virologist went on to say that in his eyes, there is one clear rule: If there is a vaccine available, it is always better to get the vaccine than to hope to survive the illness and get away with mild symptoms.
Upon enquiry by our colleagues from RTL.lu, Prof Dr Claude P. Muller acknowledged that the statement he made in the Tageblatt interview is indeed “a bit broad”. Professor Muller clarified that he specifically referred to people who had no other health problems.
He added that further explanations would have been necessary to specify the exact meaning of his statement. However, in the context of the Tageblatt article, this had not been possible, according to Professor Muller. The virologist also reiterated that people suffering from chronic pre-existing conditions are recommended to receive a fourth dose of the vaccine. Professor Muller urges those affected to speak to their GP.
Has the situation changed because of the Omicron variant?
Upon enquiry, the Ministry of Health stated that studies are still underway, and that no data are available for the time being.
Did they die with or from Covid-19?
One of the biggest studies on this issue was recently published in the renowned scientific magazine The Lancet. In order to find out whether patients died from or with Covid-19, 1,095 autopsies were performed in Germany until October 2021. In 86% of cases, patients died from Covid-19. In 14% of cases the infection with the coronavirus was a secondary disease.
Are only unvaccinated people still dying from Covid-19?
This statement does not really hold up. Vaccinated people can still contract Covid-19 and they still have a risk of dying from the disease. However, it is true that vaccination reduces the risk of both suffering a severe course of the disease and dying from Covid-19. But even vaccination does not grant 100% protection.