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Case rate of vaccinated after 6 months higher than average American case rate?
Recently released data shows that case rate of Covid infections among fully vaccinated Medicare recipients, 5-6 months after vaccination, is HIGHER than the average case rate for ALL Americans. It seems to be comparable to the case rate for unvaccinated persons.
We all have heard that we need “data” to make “informed decisions”.
Unfortunately, in COVID-land, it is very difficult to come by with recent data, for the last week or month, not aggregated since January 1, about effectiveness of COVID vaccines. One would think that tracking vaccine efficacy is the job of the CDC and it should keep our citizens informed about how well the vaccines are working, based on some recent data. Unfortunately, this is not the case and all we hear from the CDC recently are cherry picked numbers that incorrectly aggregate data from January 1. These numbers are guaranteed to misrepresent recent efficacy of vaccination against so called “breakthrough infections”
However, something changed this week.
A very interesting study of Medicare recipients (usually persons over 65 years of age) was released by Humetrix.
This study was performed for the Department of Defense by analyzing Medicare cohort data, using Medicare claims and health outcomes. It is amazingly well done and presents a treasure trove of information.
Case Rate Calculation
Look at Slide 8 of the presentation. For the week ending 8/21/21, it shows case rate per 100,000 fully vaccinated persons 5-6 months past vaccination, as 375 per 100,000 per week.
How much is that? Compare it to the general case rate in the USA.
According to Worldometer, for the week ending 8/21/21, average total cases were 148,500 per day. Converting this to weekly case rate:
148500*7/329500000*100000 = 315 cases per 100,000 per week.
So we get:
USA Average Case Rate: 315 cases per 100,000 per week.
Medicare fully vaccinated 5-6 months past vaccination: 375 cases per 100,000 per week.
So this means, shockingly, that the fully vaccinated 5-6 months after vaccination, are having a 19% higher case rate than the average US population!
This is actually even more alarming than it seems, if you consider that elderly Medicare recipients typically do not work, mostly stay home, are more careful with masking and going out, do not party as much as young people, etc. So, despite them being less exposed, they get sick MORE often than the average American?
Comparing to the unvaccinated
So we know that the case rate among the Medicare recipients 5-6 month after vaccination, week ending Aug 21, was 375 per 100,000 per week.
Unfortunately, I do not have the USA-wide case rate for the unvaccinated for the same period. If you know where to get it, let me know.
There are two sites with case rate graphs that I am tracking: for Utah, and for Santa Clara County, CA.
Looking at these charts, we have for Aug 21: Utah 345 per 100,000, Santa Clara County 392 cases.
This is comparable to our Medicare cohort’s 375 cases per week.
In other words, if the rest of the country is somewhere between Utah and Santa Clara County, the Medicare cohort at best has no protection against infection.
What could explain the high case rate among the fully vaccinated?
This clearly shocking result requires us to apply higher standards of skepticism and try to look at why this could be.
Perhaps something is wrong with Humetrix data.
Consider that the “average American” is a mixture of Covid survivors, the completely unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, fully vaccinated under 5 months, and the cohort that we are discussing. Perhaps, the “average American rate” is low enough due to vaccination that this “19% higher than average American” is still actually lower than for the unvaccinated Medicare recipients. It is NOT clear and there is not enough data in the report.
It is possible that after some time elapses, those 5-6 month fully vaxxed are actually left with no protection whatsoever, or worse, negative protection.
However we look at the data, it is clear that 5-6 months after fully vaxxing, the protection is plainly no good.
I have some questions that I would like to be answered.
What about deaths in these cohorts?
What about unvaccinated Medicare recipients from the same group? What are their numbers, for infection and for death? Hospitalization is NOT an endpoint.
Why isn’t CDC releasing honest recent information on breakthrough deaths and case rates? Is that because they are so good?
What about 6-7, or 7-8 month past vaccination cohort, compared to the unvaxxed? Will protection stay at around zero, or will it keep going down further and turn negative?