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seawulf575's avatar

Does this study indicate a need to rethink the policy of mandatory vaccination as the only way to battle Covid-19?

Asked by seawulf575 (13113points) 1 month ago
35 responses
“Great Question” (0points)

I found this study in the NIH website. It shows that there is really no significant difference in new cases between highly vaccinated areas and low vaccinated areas. It also mentions a significant increase in the rates of hospitalizations and death in the group fully vaccinated.

Should this study be pursued for further verification and should it change the apparent national policy of demonizing unvaccinated persons?

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Tropical_Willie's avatar

Get vaccinated !
100% of the people at my local hospital with COVID-19 on ventilators (in ICU) and in isolation wards are unvaccinated.
Vaccination for COVID-19 is not forever that is the reason for boosters. Do the math !

Oh that means unvaccinated are most likely to die.

Demonized only by the fright wingers.

LostInParadise's avatar

@seawulf575 , Here is an article comparing death rates of unvaccinated compared to vaccinated from your favorite news source.

gorillapaws's avatar

Or maybe prevent people moving between high vaccination counties and low vaccination counties. The study didn’t control for proximity apparently.

Vaccines are necessary, but not sufficient. Mask mandates, social distancing and testing are also critical.

chyna's avatar

@seawulf575 I don’t know how reliable your news source is, but I did note that the article did not mention that, of those dying, whether they had outlying comorbidities. As with Colin Powell, he had a blood cancer that contributed to the vaccine being ineffective in saving him from Covid.

rebbel's avatar


Blackwater_Park's avatar

You do realize that as the vaccination numbers increase so will the percentage of people who still get sick. This is nothing to do with the vaccine efficacy but more to do with the increased number of people who are now vaccinated. It’s a vastly larger sample space and there are more outliers.

Most people won’t catch that nuance because they’re not trained how to look at data properly.

Also the delta wave has passed, wait until the next and see if that study still holds up.

seawulf575's avatar

@LostInParadise and @chyna my “news source” is the National Institute of Health.

seawulf575's avatar

@Blackwater_Park The study I cited addressed the efficacy of the vaccines as well, in a real world setting. The trial results gave the Pfizer vaccine a 96% efficacy. The Israeli study found the actual, real world efficacy to be more like 39%. That is a huge difference.

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws The idea that the vast number of cases is from unvaccinated people visiting highly vaccinated places is shot down by the study. It pointed out that three counties with the highest transmission rates had over 90% of the population vaccinated while 15 of the lowest transmission rate areas had less than 20% vaccinated. This is talking about transmission rates, not just cases. If 90% of the population is vaccinated and the vaccines are doing what they are supposed to do, the transmission rate would be significantly less, regardless of who showed up to the party.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

At the end of a COVID wave you have less body bags in areas with higher vaccination rates. What is your point here exactly?

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 “If 90% of the population is vaccinated and the vaccines are doing what they are supposed to do, the transmission rate would be significantly less, regardless of who showed up to the party.”

False. Israel is a good example that demonstrates why this inference is false. Israel didn’t vaccinate the Palestinian population which is necessarily intertwined with it’s Jewish population. If people remained only in their country/county of residence then that is a much stronger case, but having a 90% vaccination rate among residents is not the same as having 90% of the people physically in that location at any given time (If we were to snapshot Chicago right now and count up how many people in the city boundaries are actual residents, what percent do you think it would be?). It is my understanding that vaccination reduces your likelihood of contracting Covid by something between 400%-800%.

I do think it’s fair to say that vaccination is insufficient alone, but it’s a critical component of wiping out the virus. We should be vaccinating, masking, testing and social distancing,

rebbel's avatar

Which the study also suggests, coincidentally.

Zaku's avatar

@seawulf575 You, and this one article, seem to be leaping toward conclusions you desire, without statistical basis to do so.

For examples:

“It pointed out that three counties with the highest transmission rates had over 90% of the population vaccinated while 15 of the lowest transmission rate areas had less than 20% vaccinated.”
– Ok, so that’s 3 of 68 countries included in the study, or 4.4% of the cases, that is, mostly not.

From the study’s Methodology section:
“The percentage increase in COVID-19 cases was calculated based on the difference in cases from the last 7 days and the 7 days preceding them. For example, Los Angeles county in California had 18,171 cases in the last 7 days (August 26 to September 1) and 31,616 cases in the previous 7 days (August 19–25), so this county did not experience an increase of cases in our dataset.”
– So this is based on only one particular week compared to another week.
– Just look at that sample data point. That one county reported 31 thousand cases one week, and 18 thousand cases the next week. That’s very swingy data. Data like that will show all kinds of peculiar variation, particularly if you just compare one week to another week. There’s no way to infer cause and effect by only looking at that.

JLoon's avatar

It indicates that you and others need to learn how to read research papers – And stop reposting canned arguments from extremist sources that try to mix junk politics with legitimate science :

A Harvard Study Is Going Viral Among Anti-Vaxxers. The Author Says They Are All Wrong.

” S.V. Subramanian, the Harvard professor of population health and geography behind the paper, says the vaccine doubters are completely wrong.

“That conclusion is misleading and inaccurate. This paper supports vaccination as an important strategy for reducing infection and transmission, along with hand-washing, mask-wearing, and physical distancing.”

“Other research has clearly and definitively established that the vaccines significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization and mortality.”

seawulf575's avatar

@JLoon Soooo…where did I miss something in the study I cited? All you did was make a claim and then try to find something that supports your claim. But you completely avoided the cited report. AND you are ascribed a conclusion to me that I never made. I’m asking the question of whether the report I cited is worth investigating further and potentially changing the current plan against Covid. So…care to address the report I am asking about? After all, someone that has learned to read research papers ought to be good at contributing and not deflecting.

seawulf575's avatar

@Zaku And if you go back and look at the original question I am asking if it should be investigated further. The report looks at 7 day spans. No argument there at all. But over time, those 7 day spans can point to good clues. And right now what they are pointing to is a potential that the idea of making vaccines THE thing in battling Covid is not as effective as it was once thought to be.

Or is it your belief that pursuing a course of action that is potentially damaging is okay as long as it is popular?

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws Your inference is what is erroneous here. They looked at countries which would include non-residents as well as residents. Not to mention, your inference makes an initial conclusion that there is no restrictions on travel into or out of the country. So which country does that condition exist for? The report I cited says they looked at 68 countries. Are you really trying to say that travelers are causing the massive spread of the disease among all the vaccinated people in all 68 of these countries? And if that is the case, why isn’t the transference even greater among the countries (and counties) that have very low vaccination rates? You made a conclusion that isn’t based on facts. It is made on false assumptions.

Not to mention, by your assumption, then Joe Biden and his border policy is solely responsible for the spread of Covid in the USA, right?

Smashley's avatar

It’s not much of a study really. They throw some numbers they admit in the last paragraph can be skewed by various factors, then go into a mini sociological analysis of various other reports or “emerging” understandings of mrna vaccines. The paper admits that increasing vaccination rates is a necessary part of a public health response to the pandemic.

Vaccination has always been only a part of the solution, and I think you’re characterizing those specific efforts to increase sluggish vaccination rates a little dramatically.

seawulf575's avatar

@Smashley I agree with much of that. This is basically an evidence based study which, realistically, amounts to anecdotal conclusions. But that seems to be what is acceptable these days because it is the exact same sort of study that was used to say vaccines are necessary and that mask mandates solve many issues. I would love to see an RCT for all of these. But that is why I personally believe we need to look deeper into this particular study.

Caravanfan's avatar

Everybody who has died in our hospital was unvaccinated. Every. Single. Person.

@seawulf575 Get vaccinated. Don’t get vaccinated. I don’t care anymore about you. I tried.

But for the rest of you, don’t listen to his dangerous extremist propaganda. The study that he cites does not say what the antivax websites thinks it says.

Zaku's avatar

@seawulf575 I addition to noticing that that article does not say what you seem to think it says (and @JLoon pointing out the author of your article also says this – that’s the author of your article, talking about people mis-interpreting that article), I don’t see anyone suggesting that vaccines be the ONLY step taken. Why are you acting as if that’s something to argue about?

Also, no one is suggesting that studying the epidemiological statistics of the pandemic, and considering whatever steps might be effective, is something not to do.

Are you perhaps thinking that because of the reactions to people mis-using animal Ivermectin and not getting vaccinated?

Blackwater_Park's avatar

There is a thing called meta-analysis which you should become familiar. A single study, particularly any that seem to point to dubious or questionable results is not considered to be reliable until verified by other independent studies.

kritiper's avatar

So you’re putting all of your faith in a single study? It could be a North Korean study, ya know…

seawulf575's avatar

@Caravanfan It is an NIH published paper. It isn’t extremist propaganda. I’d have thought a medical doctor would know the difference. Apparently not. You say it doesn’t say what antivax websites things it says. I haven’t referenced a single antivax site at all. I have stuck to exactly what is in the study. What have I said that isn’t in that study? And really, all I have said is should this study be expanded and investigated more or not. What is wrong with questioning propaganda from the government? Or are you stuck in your ways you can’t question anything?

seawulf575's avatar

@kritiper I’m not putting faith in anything…I’m questioning. And I seriously doubt it is a North Korean study since it was published by the NIH. However if you are now stating the NIH might be working for North Korea, maybe I should ask you what you put your faith in. In fact I think I will….What do you put YOUR faith in? What study?

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janbb's avatar

I just can’t understand what you get out of flogging a dead horse on this site. We believe with most of the medical world that vaccination is a big step, along with other protocols such as masking and distancing, toward controlling the worst cases of Covid. The data, including empirical evidence by our own doctor, has shown that most Covid deaths are among the unvaccinated.

Do you really think you’re going to change anyone’s mind or do you just like hearing yourself talk?

It’s really, really tiresome. If you want to play Russian roulette with your own health – go ahead. Nobody’s stopping you.

tinyfaery's avatar

Just get over it already. Everyone here knows how you and everyone else feels about the COVID-19 vaccination. You have gone from trying to have legitimate conversation (giving you the benefit of the doubt here) to trying to show how everyone else is just wrong, and you aren’t even doing a good job of it. Don’t you have anything better to do?

JLeslie's avatar

I’m with @gorillapaws!

Non-vaccinated moving around in vaccinated areas aren’t accounted for in these statistics.

The Villages, where I live, is extremely vaccinated, and we have people every day in large groups indoors, no masks, like yoga, Zumba, art classes, discussion groups, and outdoor crowds every day, and very little transmission now. Two months ago when families were visiting and people traveling COVID was much much higher and hospitals were topping out.

An example, the biggest portion of The Villages is in Sumter County. Sumter was over 500 cases a week for weeks over the summer. Now, it’s around 90. When it was 500 many of us were staying home, not going in stores and restaurants again, but we are back inside again, now that we are off peak again for tourism. Moreover, many people here have their third shot now.

I too am disappointed there are so many breakthrough cases and breakthrough deaths, but the breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths seem to be people with very compromised immune systems or high risk. People who probably never got much if any immunity from the vaccines, so they are similar to unvaccinated people.

I think people age 40–70 who have a higher risk than younger people to wind up in the hospital benefit significantly from the vaccines, and likely avoid hospitalization altogether if they catch covid, which is less likely also.

In Florida Orange County, where Orlando is, and the three southeast counties hovered around 16% positivity rate over the summer when Florida was exploding. They are blue counties and high vaccination rates. Panhandle counties are red, border red states, low vaccination rates and positivity rates were 25–34% up along that coast.

I really examine closely what is happening in my state. My state is large, and has very urban areas, very rural areas, and pockets of very vaccinated and not very vaccinated. I feel like Florida is the entire country in one place with a lot of opportunity for the virus to run wild.

You had COVID, just get one shot for now. There is science supporting that. You’ll be safer and everyone around you.

My friends who were donating antibodies to help people couldn’t after several months because their antibody count went too low.

That’s my unprofessional opinion.

Brian1946's avatar


“But for the rest of you, don’t listen to his dangerous extremist propaganda.”

No worries here, amigo. I got my second vax on April 21, and I have an appointment to get my booster on October 20.

I can think of only one American jelly other than him who might consider his claims.
The only other jelly who might, apparently lives in Switzerland.

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Mimishu1995's avatar

@Brian1946 I think you know this already, but no Vietnamese jelly will consider that either :)

Brian1946's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Thanks for your reassurance. After your experience with Astra-Zeneca, I wasn’t sure. :)

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