longtime gatopal™ emily burns created this graphic. in it, she compares as aggregates the 10 most vaccinated states and the 10 least and benchmarks them off their own performance a year ago to control for seasonality, risk, etc.
cases are considerably higher in the high vaxx states. based on the data showing such prevalent negative VE on cases, this is not unexpected.
but what’s interesting is the deaths figures. they are down across the board, as one would expect given more immunity and milder variant, but they are down considerably more in the less vaxxed states. they also have very different slopes at the moment.
we’re dealing with lots of possible error and bias here, but the difference is substantial and if it is valid, that is not consistent with vaccines reducing severe outcomes.
it’s consistent with OAS style antigenic fixation and poor immune response overall.
so, i am sorry to say it and this is not an outcome that anyone wanted, but i’m getting pretty skeptical that vaccines are helping on severity anymore. even if they once did (and this is arguable based on how stacked the math that was used has been, though i suspect they were at least marginally effective) it does not look like they are doing much or even anything anymore.
this looks more and more to me like full OAS escape, and that means the helpfulness on severity is gone too. it might even flip it and go negative if the antigenic fixation is sufficiently severe and ineffective, but i have not seen anything like sufficient data to make such a claim at this time.
will keep at it.