Are the Vaccines Worth it? County Data Shows Why the Vaccinated are Told to Wear Masks in Public and Why Vaccine Mandates Should Probably Not be a Thing
While Covid-19 vaccines so far appear to significantly reduce infection rates, once infected, death rates are only somewhat better than for the unvaccinated
October 11, 2021
Public health officials on Saturday finally released data regarding Covid-19 infection and death rates among the fully vaccinated residents of the county. The numbers reveal the rationale behind officials requiring the fully vaccinated to wear masks in public places (assuming masks are effective in preventing infection). At the same time, the collected data throws doubt on the necessity or wisdom of violating federal medical privacy laws, violating civil rights, and basically pissing off the public in instituting vaccine mandates.
Basically, the rate of death, once infected with Covid-19 - even if fully vaccinated - is still five times the rate of death, once infected with the seasonal influenza. The vaccine, though providing some protection over no-vaccine, is still not very protective. Hence, the reason the fully vaccinated are told to wear masks in public (with the assumption that masks prevent infection in any meaningful way). At the same time, the death rates between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, while varying by a factor of 3 are, in absolute terms, not that different from each other. There is no good reason for government officials to institute unpopular and overreaching vaccine mandates.
These are official statistics from the LA County Department of Public Health as of September 30, 2021:
Total population of LA County: 10,014,009
Total number fully vaccinated: 6,069,615
Total Covid infections: 1,384,950
Fully vaccinated Covid infections: 55,259
Total Covid deaths: 24,762
Fully vaccinated deaths from Covid: 257
The most important number is the rate of death for those infected with the SARS-CoV2 virus. According to the county numbers on Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, the chance of dying once infected, for both vaccinated and unvaccinated, is 1.8%. The chance of dying once infected for the fully vaccinated is 0.5%. Although the chance of dying is about 3 times higher for the unvaccinated, this is a misleading number. The numbers are not very different from each other. And, for comparison, the chance of dying once you've contracted the seasonal influenza is 0.1%. So you're five times more likely to die of Covid, even if fully vaccinated, than you are to die of the flu if you get that.
Now, your chance of catching the virus dips significantly (so far) if you have been fully vaccinated. In LA County, 13.8% of the total population has contracted Covid. Among the fully vaccinated, only 0.9% have contracted Covid. So far. Vaccines have only been widely available for the past four months. This means that standing there Covid-free today, the unvaccinated have a 0.2% chance of dying of catching and dying of Covid-19. If you are vaccinated, your chance of catching and dying of Covid-19 is .004%. In other words, with the numbers so far, you are 50 times more likely to die of Covid if you're unvaccinated than if you're vaccinated. But even the unvaccinated have only a 0.2% chance. It's judgment call if that's too high for you.
And, as noted, the number of infections and deaths among the fully vaccinated will rise over time. The factor of difference between the two is going to diminish. And more breakthrough infections will be occurring among the fully vaccinated.
The protectiveness from the vaccine is great enough to offer it to those who want it, but it does not rise to the level that officials should be trampling civil rights in insisting everyone submit to a vaccine that was approved in a hasty and obviously politically motivated manner.