Private Sector Vaccine Mandates

I stumbled across this article from the Atlantic.

Alex Berenson: The Pandemic’s Wrongest Man - The Atlantic

That is certainly a valid observation. But it still begs the question why our 7 day averages for deaths is still climbing and at about 60% of the first wave of deaths.

Come late January, I think we’ll have conclusive data about the public health value of the vaccines.

And another anecdotal observation, some of the people I see getting sick either were already fully vaccinated or got it from someone who was. The concern here is the vaccine is causing some to have a false sense of security.

7-day reported deaths in AZ right now are running about 50-60% of where they were at this point in the summer 2020 wave and the winter 2021-2022 wave. I’m using 11/22 and 6/21 for the comparison dates based on AZDHS’s quotes numbers of Covid+ inpatients. Both 11/22 and 6/21 were running 22 deaths (7-day smoothed) according to WaPo’s dashboard. Right now we are running 14. We haven’t had 22 since March, though we did have a loca peak at 20 on 8/8.

It certainly seems to my unscientific eye that the vaccine is protecting the most vulnerable populations from dying. It also looks like the unvaccinated (and maybe some vaccinated also) are getting walloped by whatever version is currently circulating.

Time will tell.

This data pulls from John’s Hopkins and has been very useful for my personal analysis

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Berenson has certainly been wrong about a number of things.

However, the latest research (not yet peer-reviewed, so grain of salt and all that) contradicts this claim in the article:

The vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson seem to provide stronger and more lasting protection against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants than natural infection.

According to this study, those who got Covid and recovered were anywhere from 5 to 7 to 13 times more protected than those who got the vaccine, depending on the timing of when they got Covid.

We have yet to see if the vaccine’s protection ends up being better long-term. It appears that time is an essential element of how effective both methods of protection are. It will also likely depend on what sort of mutations future variants have. Here is another article discussing the potential for the vaccine to be more effective.


Yeah - in Thompson’s defense (and I think he’s generally an interesting writer), this was written at the beginning of April and a lot of the comparative data on infections wasn’t available then. However, there is really no excuse for making the claim the way he did, and if you read the reference, it is a letter to Nature, not a study. It concludes:

Which is pretty weak. Also, the word “conclusive” is doing a lot of work here, even back in April:

Unfortunately, the incentives seem to be aligned toward false certainty and overstatement of claims no matter where you stand on various interventions.


Its too soon to tell, but so far our the peak cases (7-day average) for the summer “delta” peak have been about 60% of the peak last winter, and the deaths (7-day average) have been about 30-35%. There are all kinds of problems with this analysis; deaths peak later than cases, case totals are sensitive to testing regimes, etc. but I would be comfortable with the claim that the vaccine is protecting the most vulnerable. Also, the US has the lowest elderly vaccination rate among developed countries (wonder why) and we are seeing more deaths than other places that are truly having “casedemics” now. See the UK for example:


On the topic of vaccine effectiveness, the latest CDC MMWR has some good information:

SARS-CoV-2 Infections and Hospitalizations Among Persons Aged ≥16 Years, by Vaccination Status — Los Angeles County, California, May 1–July 25, 2021 | MMWR (
New COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations Among Adults, by Vaccination Status — New York, May 3–July 25, 2021 | MMWR (

In New York:

In Los Angeles:


Most of the private sector vaccine mandates I’ve seen allow for regular testing as an alternative. I find that very reasonable.