your vaccine does not protect me
but does it protect you?
this is becoming an increasingly interesting question. under prior variants, there seemed to be negative vaccine efficacy for case counts but, even when adjusting for that, there still seemed to be some positive effect on severity that looked to be in the 40-50% range. (though this may rely on definitional games to slant the math)
but is this still true?
even phony baloney tony has retreated from “the vaccinated are dead ends for the virus” and will not contract or spread it to “just about everyone is going to get covid, regardless of vaccination status.”
but he’s also claiming that “those who did not get vaccinated will get sicker and bear the brunt of the severe aspect.”
is this correct or just the latest faucian fallacy rooted not in data but in political exigency as he tap dances to save the routed remnants of his once mighty narrative army?
the data is preliminary, but so far, it looks pretty wrong. we’re seeing all kinds of data pollution around the stats and the use of definitions and slanted math to make boosters look like they work, but the societal pictures are showing another matter altogether and it’s looking increasingly stark and uniform.
longtime gatopal™ emily burns created this graphic. in it, she compares as aggregates the 10 most vaccinated states and the 10 least and benchmarks them off their own performance a year ago to control for seasonality, risk, etc.
cases are considerably higher in the high vaxx states. based on the data showing such prevalent negative VE on cases, this is not unexpected.
but what’s interesting is the deaths figures. they are down across the board, as one would expect given more immunity and milder variant, but they are down considerably more in the less vaxxed states. they also have very different slopes at the moment.
we’re dealing with lots of possible error and bias here, but the difference is substantial and if it is valid, that is not consistent with vaccines reducing severe outcomes.
it’s consistent with OAS style antigenic fixation and poor immune response overall.
now, we can check this data several other ways.
firstly, we can validate the case issue on a more granular level to remove the possibility of seasonal signal. that is just what another long term gatopal™ justin hart did here as he plotted county level data by state:
in every case, the R2 shows that more vaxx is associated with more cases per capita. this is just so prevalent in ALL the data and he’s using “double vaxxed” as the definition and that mostly reached near peak in these places long before now, so this does not look like “people running out to get vaxxed" because of cases.” that might drive boosters, but not double vaxx counts. (note that in a system this multifactorial, these R2’s are quite high)
but this does not speak to severity. so let’s find something that does.
hospitalization is a bad metric in many ways due to miscounts of “with” for “from” etc, but that issue has, at least, been with us all along, so we can compare states to themselves this year vs last and look only at highly vaxxed cohorts.
NY: 89% double vaxxed in 65+ age group, but 18% rise in hospitalizations in 70+ vs year ago peak.
NJ: 90% DV in 65+, 51% rise in 70+ hosp yoy
vermont: 95% DV, +14% hosp 70+ vs peak
california, 87% vaxx still rising rapidly:
FL also up ~40% on 70+ hosp despite 89% vaxx rate over 65 (same as NY, higher than CA)
there is just ZERO here to make it looks like vaccines are working to mitigate hospital counts. if 90%+ vaxxed in your demo does not even show up, despite a milder variant and far more acquired immunity, well, i’m struggling to see how this looks like “vaccines worked on severity.” there is no way the unvaxxed are driving that.
deaths are lagging, but in many places, rising FAST. this is NY:
peak last jan was 198. we’re currently at 156 and running up sharply.
NJ looks the same: (numbers are not pop adjusted, so not comparable to one another)
california and florida are, however, well down and do not show signs of heading for the peaks of last year, possible because this is out of season for them. that’s an interesting issue that warrants some inquiry.
but, by the time the northeast season ends (it’s already winding down on everything but deaths if you look closely) i suspect that both NY and NJ will have exceeded last year’s deaths.
this is an awfully difficult thing to explain away if vaccines are working on severity. how do you vaccinate ~90% of the key risk groups for death and then see no effect in the population data?
the all cause mortality data is confirming this deaths signal, so something appears to be going on.
so, i am sorry to say it and this is not an outcome that anyone wanted, but i’m getting pretty skeptical that vaccines are helping on severity anymore. even if they once did (and this is arguable based on how stacked the math that was used has been, though i suspect they were at least marginally effective) it does not look like they are doing much or even anything anymore.
this looks more and more to me like full OAS escape, and that means the helpfulness on severity is gone too. it might even flip it and go negative if the antigenic fixation is sufficiently severe and ineffective, but i have not seen anything like sufficient data to make such a claim at this time.
will keep at it.