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Overall Trend and Current Point in Time Look at Breakthrough Events

By October 9, 2022Commentary

Two things can be very helpful in looking at a time series of data.  One is the overall trend over the entire study period, in this case the epidemic or the portion of the epidemic since vaccines were approved.  The other is the current point in time look.  The outstanding analysis Dave Dixon does and the associated charts and tables show both.  You can see the entire course of the epidemic and you can see what is happening now.  In regard to the revisions in breakthrough events this week, one point I want to emphasize is the current week’s data, which has importance because we know that vaccine effectiveness, including booster effectiveness, lessens quickly over time.  And for most Minnesotans it has been a long time since they got vaxed and/or boosted.

For the latest week’s data, which given the time lag is from early September, 72% of cases, 71% of hospitalizations and 73% of deaths were among either the vaxed or the vaxed and boosted groups.  This is pretty consistent and really isn’t far off from the portion of the population that is vaxed or vaxed and boosted.  And as DOH acknowledged to Dave in an email, this is without accounting for people who were vaxed out of state or at a federal site.  I suspect that this misses a few percent of the population.  As we saw with the recent revisions, having accurate data on these points would mean an even greater percent of all events would be breakthrough ones almost certainly at least 75%.  So how is there any justification for pushing further boosters?  Population immunity is very high–almost everyone has been either vaxed or infected and most people have developed immunity due to both.  So unless you are an old person who has not yet been vaxed or had an infection, I don’t know why you would consider get vaxed at this point, and I certainly would be very reluctant to suggest anyone get more boosters.  And they don’t appear to offer protection for more than a few months in any event.

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