Man, it is crazy out there, and Dave Dixon is working furiously to both keep our regular charts updated and look at the new file he got on breakthrough data. Here is the most recent update to the year-over-year chart. We had a lot of deaths in September and October this year and November is off to a pretty good start as well. When you think about the breakthrough deaths, it is important to keep in mind that the case rates and per capita rates in vaccinated and unvaccinated people are important to compare to understand efficacy and you are still in general far better off to be vaccinated in terms of serious disease prevention. We have age data now and we should be able to tease out the effect by age. The state should be looking at it by vaccine as well, and at the effect of prior infection. The purest control group is never vaxed, never infected, and other groups–vaxed only, infected only, and vaxed and infected, should be compared to that control group. But I just want to observe in terms of the absolute numbers, that we saw more deaths in this November and this October than we did last year with no one vaccinated. And the same thing is true with hospitalizations and cases. In fact it could be that we have as many of these events in the fully vaxed this year as we did in the whole population last year.
Now the shape of the wave this fall looks very uncertain to me, especially after the head fake down, and I am still suspicious we will be told of some significant data issue. It may be that for whatever reason the timing of the wave just moved forward a month. No one, however, should be minimizing the impact of events among those fully vaxed. It is a lot.
Anyway, when you look at Dave’s charts, you can see that the virus just can’t make up its mind which way to go and how fast. And I gotta tell you, I am not sure anything we do is going to make much difference.