US Data: Infections higher among the vaccinated
Recent data seems to align with what we are seeing in Europe
My recent post on the latest data from the UK joined others on the interwebs in finding evidence that COVID infections (likely Omicron) are seeming to spike more in the vaccinated population then in the unvaccinated population. In updating my US based dashboards this morning, it would appear to me that recent US data is showing something similar.
Unlike data from Europe, the US does not have reliable data generally on infections based on the vaccination status of the population. The data I am relying on here requires us to examine correlation and draw inferences on what we see. In what follows, I will share plots for regions of the country that show % of 12+ population fully vaccinated within a county vs. cases per 100K people in that county in the last month. I have added a filter so we are only seeing counties whose vaccination reporting is greater than 75% complete (this should have no effect on the outcomes, just potentially cleans up unreliable data points).
Sharing plots region by region (grouping South Atlantic and Middle Atlantic because each independently has a small number of data points). Recall that R-squared is a measure of how much of the variation in the dependent variable (cases per 100k) is explained by the variation in the independent variable (vaccination % in 12+ population). The p-value is a used to test whether a correlation should be considered “statistically significant”, generally a value <= 0.05 for a p-value will be accepted as being significant. Here are the plots for each region, including R-squared and p-values for the best fit linear regression lines. I have ordered from least to most significant correlation.
Northern Rockies and Plains
Middle and South Atlantic
All regions show an upward sloping best fit regression line which would mean that the counties with higher vaccination rates tended to have higher infection rates as well.
New England does not show statistically significant results, we can draw no conclusions from this region.
The Upper Midwest and the South show statistically significant results, however their R-squared values are relatively low (0.044, 0.065), so in the absence of other evidence, I would be hesitant to conclude much from this.
The remaining regions: Northwest, Southeast, Northern Rockies and Plains, Ohio Valley, Southwest, West, and Middle & South Atlantic all show very strong correlation.
From this, I would say with extreme confidence that vaccinations are not slowing the spread and therefore any mandates are not only, in my opinion, immoral but also clearly fruitless in reducing infection. From the bulk of the evidence presented above (in addition to the evidence from Europe), it would certainly appear to be a very real possibility that vaccination is increasing infection rates. My only hesitation on this last point (based on US data) is my intuition would be that highly vaccinated places are ones that also test more frequently, so perhaps that is driving the higher rate of “cases” in these places. I’d be happy to test this last point if I can get my hands on testing rates at the US County level… this is currently not in my dataset. If anyone knows if this is easily available, please share in comments.