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The risk of being unvaccinated

The numbers don’t lie.

Nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now are in people who weren’t vaccinated, a staggering demonstration of how effective the shots have been and an indication that deaths per day — now down to under 300 — could be practically zero if everyone eligible got the vaccine.

An Associated Press analysis of available government data from May shows that “breakthrough” infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 of more than 853,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s about 0.1%.

And only about 150 of the more than 18,000 COVID-19 deaths in May were in fully vaccinated people. That translates to about 0.8%, or five deaths per day on average.

[…]

The preventable deaths will continue, experts predict, with unvaccinated pockets of the nation experiencing outbreaks in the fall and winter. Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, said modeling suggests the nation will hit 1,000 deaths per day again next year.

In Arkansas, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation, with only about 33% of the population fully protected, cases, hospitalizations and deaths are rising.

“It is sad to see someone go to the hospital or die when it can be prevented,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson tweeted as he urged people to get their shots.

As the story notes, this is an AP analysis of the available data. The CDC has not done its own analysis yet because the data is not complete – only 45 of the 50 states report breakthrough infections, and they vary in how they define them. But the overall point is clear: Even though COVID deaths are down over ninety percent from January, when vaccinations started rolling out, they could be down a whole lot more, if more people were vaccinated. The extent to which COVID is under control is the extent to which the population is vaccinated. That can vary by quite a bit, by state and by region, and so we will continue to see some level of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID. And that level is higher than it needs to be. Link via Daily Kos.

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8 Comments

  1. Jason Hochman says:

    Numbers don’t lie but the fear tactics do. I am reading the book A State of Fear that describes exactly how the fear contagion spread in the U.K. It was carefully planned.

    The real numbers remain. Covid has a survival rate over 99%. At first it was unknown, but quickly became apparent to be a typical respiratory virus. The average age of those who died is over the average life expectancy.

    Very interesting to see how Germany hired scientists to scare the public
    https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/plus225868061/Corona-Politik-Wie-das-Innenministerium-Wissenschaftler-einspannte.html

    Very interesting how the people vaccinated are so concerned about unvaccinated people. If you have the vaccinated, then the numbers show that you are not likely to get sick. You can still stay in your house or wear your mask, or whatever makes you feel safe. So why worry about those who don’t get vaccinated and don’t wear a mask. They are no threat to you. Mrs Harris, Joe Biden’s boss, said right there in my TV set, she ain’t takin’ no vaccine that Trump says to take. So, if Trump had been re-elected and started sending people door to door to “encourage” vaccination, Mrs. Harris wouldn’t do it. But she now thinks that the public should trust Benevolent Biden when he sends storm troopers door to door telling us to get over it. It’s the same vaccines that came to us from Trump.

    Also, why the disinformation of referring to everyone who is not vaccinated as “anti-vax” as if that is some homogeneous group. Or vaccine hesitant? Whatever that means, but don’t worry, the Discourager of Hesistancy will come to your door. Can anyone explain this, seriously?

  2. C.L. says:

    Dr. Hochman is, once again, spot on. The ‘typical respiratory virus’ COVID has been great for everyone…unless you found yourself part of that 1%, I guess.

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    C.L.

    Do you have any moral standing to be talking here? There are bipoc’s out there that do not have your White privilege to get the injections. Black trans women are dying, C.L.!!!!!

    You chose to get your shots, meanwhile out there, is some poor black woman who didn’t get the shots. Um, patriarchy? HuWhyte privilege?

    Jason put his life where his mouth is. He refused the injections until all victims of systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, leftophobia, etc., get their shots. And then there’s you, literally taking the injections out of the arm of a much more deserving black, Muslim, queer, handicapable midget. I mean, shame on you, C.L.

  4. Manny says:

    Jason, like Bill, are known liars, as well as racists.

  5. Jason Hochman says:

    That’s a good point–if they had sent the vaccines to India so that India could vaccine the elderly and those with serious health conditions, then the toll in India would not have been so high.

    Of course many of that 1% or less who died were not preventable deaths. Ron Wright, John Prine, and Anne Feeney all had a history of lung cancer. That is not a minor condition. The five year survival for lung cancer is about 20%.

    The deaths caused by lockdowns, shutdowns, job loss, mental health, neglected screenings and treatments, are greater than the deaths from the condition. Just like Trump said, the cure can’t be worse than the disease.

    I suggest to read the book A State of Fear, to see just how the plan to use fear was done. We can’t fold like a wet sandwich when they try to shut down everything again.

  6. robert says:

    Fear tactics…the Republicans #1 tool.

    They scare people into thinking everyone is after their job and/or money amongst other things.

    Also, Bill you are such a hypocrite.

  7. Política comparada says:

    WHEN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS CALL UPON SCIENTISTS

    Herr Hochman,

    Curious to see you cite to a German-language source. Respectfully, the portion of the article that’s outside the paywall does not support what you cited it for. Not even the headline, which says:  

    Wenn der Staatssekretär Wissenschaftler zu „maximaler Kollaboration“ aufruft

    The word “aufruft” (3rd person present tense of the verb “aufrufen”) means “call upon” or “call for”, which does NOT equate to “hiring”. When you hire someone, you have control over them as their boss. So, here a German government official called upon scientists to work with the government on its COVID strategy.

    If you know German, as suggested by your surname, Mr. Hochman, you would of course know that, and would be engaged in misrepresentation. If you do not (many Texans have German surnames but don’t speak the their ancestors’ tongue) perhaps you should refrain from invoking foreign-language sources in support of a position or opinion you are promoting. 

    In any event, even allowing that this German media critique of a German official is well-founded, how is it relevant to the handling of coronavirus in the U.S.? Or in Texas? 

    What cross-cultural lessons are to be drawn here? Should policymaking be strictly separated from science to make sure that scientists have no influence on what policymakers do? Or won’t be abused by politicians for “political” purposes, whatever that means? Isn’t everything elected leaders do political by definition?  

    ON THE ROLE OF FEAR IN PUBLIC POLICY

    As for governments’ reliance on fear to regulate the behavior of individuals in a community, let us acknowledge the obvious: That the criminal law system is based on deterrence, i.e. on persuading would-be criminals not to commit the crime for fear of consequences in the form of punishment.

    And the same dynamic applies to regulatory policy even if the consequences do not involve imprisonment, but are monetary in nature (fines, penalties) or involve suspension or revocation of permits and licenses or other privileges.

    FEAR & CRIME

    If you blame your local mayor, or other politicians for an increase of crime, not to mention a purported murder epidemic, you are implicitly advocating for more aggressive prosecution to instill more fear in would-be offenders so they will refrain from committing violent acts.

    You cannot categorically reject the utilization of fear by government as a tool to control behavior (discourage crime by individuals who would otherwise be tempted) without rejecting the basic premise of the criminal law and justice system.

    So then, the only meaningful discussion to be had would have to be much more nuanced and problem-focused. When and how is the use of fear/deterrence by governments proper and justified, and what should be the consequences in nature and severity for specific non-compliant conduct that is to be discouraged? 

    And what constitutional and other normative value constraints apply?

  8. Jason Hochman says:

    I think that the semantic nitpicking is a little overboard here, missing the bigger picture. I don’t know the connotations of the German word “aufrufen” would be more akin to “appoint” or “summon” or”call upon.”

    Here is a link in English about the UK fear campaign; it mentions interviews in the book I’m reading: A State of Fear: https://geopolitics.co/2021/06/21/uk-spi-b-scientists-admit-covid19-scare-tactics-unethical-totalitarian/

    I have to disagree with your conflation of law enforcement and creating a general climate of fear. There is a big difference between using fear to stop destructive, deviant, and violent behavior vs. using fear to control an entire population, and increasing the powers and authority of the government. Also, the consequences of destroying livelihoods, relationships, communities. The knock on effects of mental illness, crime, substance abuse, people ignoring routine healthcare, and other effects that led to deaths and hospitalizations outside of the actual illness.

    Plus, I don’t see law enforcement as a fear inducing system. I believe that there are some people who just need to be kept out of society. Their disregard for rules and norms, and destructive and violent behavior can’t be allowed in a functioning society. On the other hand, there may be other consequences for minor infractions or skirting rules. For example, if my car registration expired because I didn’t want to bother, and I had to pay a fine and also the cost to register it, I would (unhappily) pay the extra cost, but accept responsibility for ignoring the rules.