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An Estimate of Excess COVID Deaths Resulting from Non-Vaccination
I’ve put together a calculation of the number of excess COVID deaths over the past month that have resulted from non-vaccination. Obviously, this calculation is only an estimate and relies on certain assumptions.
The algebra on this is fairly easy, though I won’t bore you with the derivation (which would be difficult to display without special text features anyway). If:
- n = number of deaths from COVID
- IRR = incident rate ratio for death from COVID (i.e. the ratio of the death rates among the unvaccinated and the vaccinated)
- PV = the percentage of the population that is vaccinated
Then the number of deaths among the vaccinated (DV) is: DV = n x PV / (PV + ((1-PV) x IRR)).
The number of deaths among the unvaccinated (DU) is: DU = n – DV
The number of excess deaths among the unvaccinated (DE) is: DE = DU (1 – 1/IRR)
The latest estimate that I’ve seen of the IRR is 11.3, from this CDC report. This means that an unvaccinated person is 11.3 times more likely to die from Covid than a vaccinated person. The CDC reports (here) that the national vaccination rate (PV) is 53.8% of the entire population, 64.9% of the population aged 18 or older, and 82.5% of the population aged 65 and over. As I suspect that Covid deaths continue to be concentrated among older people, I used two PV figures for my estimate: 65% and 80%. (Note that in these calculations, a higher PV figure results in a lower number for excess deaths among the unvaccinated, so these are conservative figures.)
Finally, I used Worldometer (here) as a source for Covid deaths, selecting the one-month period from August 12 to September 11. I calculated that a total of 39,384 deaths were reported in this period.
Here are the results, which do differ depending on the vaccination rate (PV) that I assumed for the calculation.
Assuming 65% vaccination (PV=0.65): Deaths among the vaccinated (DV) is 5,559; deaths among the unvaccinated (DU) is 33,825; excess deaths among the unvaccinated (DE) is 30,832.
Assuming 80% vaccination (PV=0.80): Deaths among the vaccinated (DV) is 10,296; deaths among the unvaccinated (DU) is 29,088; excess deaths among the unvaccinated (DE) is 26,513.
As a sensitivity analysis, I also ran the calculation for a somewhat lower death figure (38,000) and a somewhat lower vaccine effectiveness (IRR=10). This yielded estimates of excess deaths among the unvaccinated of 24,429-28,843. Obviously, these are estimates, so while I report the precise figures determined by my calculations (to the nearest whole number), I think that these figures should be interpreted as a reasonable range.
Based on these figures, I think that it’s reasonable to conclude that about 24,000 to 30,000 Americans died of COVID, during the month ending 9/11/2021, because they were not vaccinated. That’s about 8-10 times the death toll from the actual 9/11. Another way of thinking about it is that we’ve had a 9/11-worth of death every 3-4 days over the past month, due to individual decisions not to be vaccinated.
The vaccinations may have caused other problems, as there are some side effects, and there may be future side effects.
This death toll probably explains the President’s actions in mandating vaccination in a number of circumstances. You may or may not agree with his decision as a policy matter, but I think that it is important to understand the death toll that he probably considered in making his decision.
For the record, I disagree with the President’s decision about vaccine mandates. If people prefer to risk death from Covid rather than take a chance on vaccination, I would respect that decision. I respect the decision of the 24,000-30,000 Americans who, by my estimate, died during the past month or so as a result of their decision not to be vaccinated.
If I were in charge, I would not require anyone to be vaccinated. I would reopen everything including schools, put an end to all mask requirements everywhere, report the facts, and continue to offer free vaccination to any American who wants it.
Two other related points:
- The Worldometer graphs for both cases and deaths suggest that we’re past the peak of the current wave, and things are going to get better over the next month or two. No guarantees, but this seems to be the trend.
- There is some evidence that the efficacy of the vaccines diminishes over time. The CDC is now recommending a booster shot for those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, 8 months after their second shot, for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. FDA approval of this recommendation is pending. If this recommendation remains in effect, I will plan to get a booster shot myself, next January.
For those of you who are not vaccinated, I do urge you to do consider getting the shot, for the sake of your own health. Well, with some caveats. We don’t have a precise figure for risks and benefits, but my general sense is that you should probably get the shot if you’re over 40; that it’s a close call if you’re 25-40; and that you shouldn’t get the shot if you’re under 25.
However, each of you has to weigh the risks and benefits, and I will respect your decision. I hope that this information proves helpful.Published in Healthcare
The data are inherently flawed. The CDC classifies folks as unvaccinated even when they had two shots, but the “case” occurred within 14 days of the second shot. So, folks who dies from the second vaccine shot get classified as unvaccinated COVID victims. Nice.
David, thanks for this. This was my speculation in #13, but this fellow tracked down the data and did the full analysis.
For those who don’t follow the link: the analysis showed that vaccine efficacy vs. severe disease was generally 90% or better. All but one age group was in the range of 88.7%-100%. The one lower age cohort was ages 80-89, for which vaccine efficacy was 81.1%.
Edited to add: I should have finished the whole paper. The figures reported above were as of the original publication date, Aug. 17. The figures were updated as of Sep. 2, and the vaccine efficacy against severe disease was over 90% for all age groups.
Once, Eero Secure wouldn’t let me get to the website of one of my medical providers. I think their algorithm is sometimes busted…
How many regular family doctors, etc, do you think sit down and read all the details of what the covid “vaccines” do, how they work, the various possible side-effects – many of which, depending on where they practice etc, they might risk losing their license if they talked about them with patients – and so on? Talk to your own family doctor, and ask him/her how the “vaccines” work. The different cell pathways etc. I bet the vast majority of them don’t really know. (They might tell you something they briefly heard or read, but it would be incomplete and/or inaccurate. Perhaps outright wrong.)
The main thing is, regular “doctors on the street” don’t have TIME to do all that research on their own, for ALL of the treatments they might prescribe or recommend… And much of it involves details of cell structure and etc that they didn’t learn about in medical school – because it’s a specialty they’re not involved with. Doctors who know a lot about immunology etc don’t become family doctors, they become researchers, specialists, etc.
Most doctors get their information from the same places that you admit have been lying to US.
If it’s your thing, Yeay for boosters, but the current trend of mutations and boosters is looking like 4-5 boosters annually. Every iteration of a shot increases your odds of adverse reactions.
If Dr. Robert is right that the mutations are continued biowarfare leaks, then there is a possibility of an end to boosters. But if it isn’t, and the incomplete immunity from vaccinated is spawning vaccine resistant mutations, then it could go on until a vaccine doesn’t work at all never ending.
For a 12 year old living to the age of 80, that’s 272 shots. The closest comparison to this is the annual flu shot, which maxes out at 80 for the same individual receiving one annually his entire life.
We do not know how many shots are needed for the vaccine to be forever effective (or at least more reasonably timed). On top of that, Pfizer’s ivermectin pill… I mean “protease inhibitor” pill to increase effectiveness of the vaccines (I’m sorry if I appear cynical here… actually, i’m not. My cynicism is well earned).
There is a lot here screaming this vaccine is not the cure that was hoped for. The CDC has so bastardized the definition of “vaccine” that Theraflu now counts. Pfizer is developing pills that work on the same mechanism that the NIH claims ivermectin works. These are not the moves of people I should trust.
They did due an adjusted calculation. If I remember the podcast it was around 6 times? The population who had vaccinations and had previously been infected was large over 600,000 but yes the number who got COVID was small. The not vaccinated but had COVID before Feb-2021 was around 50k I think.
I think getting vaccinated is lower risk than not getting vaccinated. I think you are more likely to die of Covid unvaccinated than you are likely to die of any side effects of getting vaccinated plus any probability of death after vaccination.
My question is : If most of the unvaccinated dying are Republicans and/or Conservatives or Moderates, why would the government care? Doesn’t the government want all Republicans, Conservatives and Moderates to die, the quicker the better?
They may just want the Republicans, Conservatives, and Moderates to shut up and pay taxes to support their “bitter clingers.”
I’ve done a ton of research on my own, and I’m just a computer guy. I studied protein synthesis in college and found it fascinating. Several hours of study convince me that these vaccines are safe and effective. I’m going to go on a limb here and suggest that most physicians have done far more research than me, and understand it better than I do.
“Spin” it however you want. But the notion that we shouldn’t trust our doctors on this is laughable.
Nope. The only reason to get a booster is if you are high risk, immunocompromised, etc. Ignore Biden here. He’s wrong.
The chances that Biden made that up on his own are pretty low. Most likely he’s being told that by… DOCTORS! And other “experts.”
If your doctor says he’s right, will you believe him?
Yes, Karen wants you to die, but she is much more afraid of catching the WuFlu, so she needs you to get vaxxed.
The outcome of this disease is really, really dependent on age and individual health. If you are older than 35 or chubby or immuno-compromised then get the jab. If you are under 18 and healthy you should donate the needle to an old person in another country. If you are pregnant, proceed with caution. If the CDC didn’t stink at their job, we’d have an app that would calculate our odds and tell us what to do.
I appreciate the effort put into this. I start projects like this, but they seldom get this far. I’m not surprised at the numbers.
They might TRY, but it’s still too soon, and nobody has really been doing the research.
Karen actually doesn’t care either way. Karen has nothing else going on in her life, or is so frustrated at her powerlessness that she siezes on this opportunity to be — an enforcer. She musters righteous indignation and lathers it to high dudgeon. She seethes at your insouciant shopping, and at her climax she gives you a piece of her mind as if you were the lowliest incompetent toilet-cleaner in Marie Antoinette’s castle.
For once, she is “cleared hot” to castigate another human, and she feels that she is unassailable — all of her television news talk show people tell her so. She is having an experience removed from most of the rest of her life.
And sometimes, she works for the government, where these tyrannical urges can be satisfied by sending a tart email. To an agency. Her word become law. By God, that’s the power she was talking about. Scratched that itch!
Good work OP. Now have a personal connection to it all. School classmate I had not seen in many years was going to meet for a few drinks on Memorial day but wife got a blood clot and I missed it. And he had skipped the last class reunion. In good health at 75. But for some reason did not get the vaccine. Caught covid in early August and died on Saturday. Since we all had been getting shots since were were 6 years old (polio then, later measles, then the flu) and us guys who served in the military got scores of them the reluctance to get a shot with a proven track record is baffling to me.
This paper shows that vaccines are effective, that their effectiveness wanes with time, and goes on to lollygag about masks and frequent testing despite presenting zero data on that topic.
Not biowarfare leaks, biowarfare releases. I’ve got a US Government official portrait of Ben Franklin that says Delta and Mu are recent inventions from that lab in Wuhan. Why the facility has not been turned to trinitite is beyond me.
I guess I have a much higher opinion of doctors than you but ok let’s say the average front line doctor has no clue.
I my area it is virtually impossible to find an independent family doctor. They are all employed by Health Systems. So the Methodist Family Clinic is tied to the Methodist Hospital. The Hospital had Infectious Disease Doctors, Pathologist and Immunologists. A direct answer from an expert is a phone call or email away.
I am 10-40 minutes from 5 major research Hospitals. The Infectious Disease experts at all these places are on tv, the radio, Facebook live and literally on bill boards say to get the vaccine it is safe. These are the experts who study this stuff and do they actual research.
Google world renowned medical groups like Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic or Johns Hopkins. There actual experts all say to take the shot. They are telling my family doctor it is safe.
The US had 4 biocontanment facilities in Georgia, Maryland, Nebraska and Montana. About 6 years ago they were the places using cutting edge treatment on Ebola patients. All these high level experts and researchers say to take the shot. They can read the studies just fine.
In your State you likely know what hospital you would want to go to for a kidney transplant, heart surgery, cancer or lime disease. You would trust these people with your life and chronic illness. I would bet the experts at that hospital are saying the shot is safe. They do the actual research. They help inform your family doctor. Your doctor has more resources then a google search.
When this all started, the CDC botched the testing. It was University researchers who blew the whistle and made better tests. Theses same doctors, with a track record of pushing back on the CDC, say take the shot.
Not in medical field nor a mathematician, but I’m aware of enough anecdotal accounts of various post-vaccine issues, particularly to women, to cause me concern.
So they rolled these vaccines out without normal testing, etc. due to perceived concern over the emergent and pandemic nature, etc. I understand that it will be awhile before we know all the effects of these vaccines. However, we’re many months in so if they want more people to take these voluntarily, where’s the data on vaccine side effects so far? Their manufacturers are still exempt from liability as far as I know, so why not track and publish?
Good post Jerry. It is all about weighing risks. The chances of dying from this virus (unvaccinated) doubles for roughly every 7 years of age. So a ratio of 11.3 means the vaccine takes about 24 years off your age, virus speaking.
Then with any shot or vaccine there are risks of side effects. I am not fully up on the rates there, but I agree that somewhere in your early 30’s is about where the risks cross. If you are obese they cross younger, if you have certain allergies it crosses later.
The problem is from the beginning the public health community had been aiming for zero COVID rather than bringing death rates from all respiratory illnesses back to near average.
Maybe I give the bolded statement below too much weight, but I don’t see a big difference between the two groups after four, five months.
From March 1 to July 31, 2021, a total of 227 UCSDH health care workers tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by reverse-transcriptase–quantitative polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-qPCR) assay of nasal swabs; 130 of the 227 workers (57.3%) were fully vaccinated. Symptoms were present in 109 of the 130 fully vaccinated workers (83.8%) and in 80 of the 90 unvaccinated workers (88.9%). (The remaining 7 workers were only partially vaccinated.) No deaths were reported in either group; one unvaccinated person was hospitalized for SARS-CoV-2–related symptoms.
My relationship with medical experts has always been that they presented the options and associated risks, and allowed me the patient to make the medical decisions. It wasn’t that I simply blindly followed whatever they said. I am very suspicious of any expert (in any field) who thinks his role as an expert is to be a dictator who must be unquestionably followed.
For some reason this is now where we are with covid. Doctors X,Y, and Z say it is safe so shut up and get the jab. But what if I’m 25 years old, healthy, and had covid last year with little problem? Shut up. Get the jab. But the science says that I’m at virtually no risk for covid? Shut up. Get the jab. We said it’s safe.
Now it’s shut up, get the jab, or lose your job. This has gone way beyond anything about health.
I read the Science article (it’s not a research report) and it seems one researcher did indeed say that. Where the data are to back that up, I don’t know. I presume they are somewhere.
If the Delta wave peaked about August 22, why did daily new cases and new deaths keep going up in the U.S.? Are we all in agreement that up is down now?
ON worldometer, for the US new daily cases have definitely peaked (describing, not predicting — anything can happen, but solidly on the downslope), while new daily deaths have peaked or are peaking. Both of these using the 7-day moving average.
Oddly, “total active cases” seems to be climbing and is now higher than ever. This speaks of either active cases dragging on for months, or a leakage in the “died or recovered” accounting which would remove an active case from the numbers. There is something funny going on, but IMHO, waves are tracked using daily new cases.
As if we can trust *any* of it. Just arguing apples to apples.
I don’t know anyone who thinks it works that way. For most people, a booster is likely not needed if the goal is to protect against severe covid. For people who got their 2nd Pfizer three weeks after their first shot (like I did) maybe one will be needed sometime. If your goal is not to get any kind of infection at all vs not getting severe covid, it will be different. Antibodies that provide the first line of defense do wane with time since infection (whether by natural infection or vaccination) but there is a lot more to most people’s immune systems than that. For people whose immune systems are so dysfunctional that that’s all they’ve got, it may be different.
I assume (correct me if I’m wrong) that the point is the government is likely to add boosters to its requirements. of course, the whole thing will be ungainly to track, but as they say “Three Felonies per Day”.
I don’t think “the government” is of one mind about this, but those with the worst intentions tend to rise to the top, especially under an administration like Biden’s.