Of course the uber-boosted are the ones being infected
Rejecting another Berenson blunder.
This Tuesday, Alex Berenson decided to waste his readers’ time (again) by histrionically highlighting two recent, unimpressive papers fashioned out of typically low-resolution American healthcare system data sets.
Here is his post, now unlocked:
One of the papers is a propagandistic attempt to statistically massage all-cause mortality outcomes to somehow slander natural immunity. After a cursory glance, I am not touching that paper (or whatever Berenson imagines he has uncovered within its results) with a metaphorical ten foot pole.
The other paper seems to be oppositional propaganda, as it originates from Nabin Shrestha, who in a previous paper concerning Cleveland Clinic healthcare workers somewhat quixotically attempted to affirm natural immunity just as the experimental Covid vaccines became available to the general adult population, in June, 2021.
Shrestha’s new paper is merely showing that the uber-boosted have passed the equilibrium point where the lower susceptibility conferred by the vaccine ceases to outperform post-Omicron natural immunity saturation among the less than uber-boosted, and now the former are racking up cases at a higher rate as they must finally play catchup.
I have modeled the conditions leading to equilibrium. Here, the virus is depicted as a fish-hunting sea-lion; and the experimental injections as a partially effective camouflage that makes fish blend in with their background. As such, even if the effectiveness of the camouflage does not change over time, eventually the sea lion runs out of easy-to-catch prey, and the camouflaged are caught at just as high, or higher a rate as the other pools of fish:
It is thus clear why the uber-boosted have now slipped into apparent “negative infection efficacy” (as well as neutral severe efficacy) in a real-time view; regardless of whether they have actually had more total infections to-date: They are finally catching up with everyone else.
This is not to dismiss the possibility that the injections are becoming less and less effective, or even veering into negative efficacy; only to demonstrate how insufficient a spot-check of infection rates from this summer or autumn is to offer proof of such a calamity. It is no longer useful to compare the uber-boosted to other groups, who have so much more natural immunity, in real-time.
Support for this “catch-up” explanation for the higher infection rate observed by Shrestha, et al., and hyped as some catastrophe by Berenson, are both present in this paper’s own results as well as my analysis of the “BA.5 summer survey” paper.
For the former:
For the latter:
Any further discussion of this topic on my part would completely waste the reader’s time.
Merry Christmas Eve, and thanks for subscribing to Unglossed!
Related: Further discussion of this topic on my part:
If you derived value from this post, please drop a few coins in your fact-barista’s tip jar.
Update: I did, eventually, look at the other paper:
Tu, W. et al. “SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Hospitalization, and Death in Vaccinated and Infected Individuals by Age Groups in Indiana, 2021‒2022.” Am J Public Health. 2023 Jan;113(1):96-104.
What Berenson proposes, is that because this paper finds that infection efficacy in the most favorable 1 to 6 month post-dose window, is only almost as good as natural immunity, infection efficacy is somehow… what? Negative? I would like to somewhat brazenly make the claim that comparing post-injection immunity to natural immunity, and finding the former lacking, is not, in late 2022, fodder for some “urgent” headline. Berenson further berates his reader that the “real” picture must be much, much worse — because imagine how bad the numbers would look if this paper didn’t use a favorable time-window!
They also stopped counting cases only after six months in each recipient. In other words, the study would not count Omicron infections in people vaccinated or infected before mid-June 2021 - and Omicron is known to defeat the vaccines more easily than earlier variants.
In other words, even in the period of maximum vaccine effectiveness, and even excluding many Omicron infections, almost 7 percent of vaccine recipients were infected in this study.
Brave, groundbreaking journalistic work, here.
"Support for this “catch-up” explanation for the higher infection rate " - this makes a lot of sense, I didn't think of that. Thank you!
Glad I left berenson's stack long ago, I don't miss it.
I was recently presented that Indiana study by someone, and they used it to try to claim some benefit from being vaxxed. I noticed quickly that it was not comparing vaxxed vs unvaxxed, but vaxxed vs unvaxxed with "documented SARS-CoV-2 infection between November 29, 2020, and February 9, 2022"
I wondered why they didn't compare unvaxxed vs vaxxed. If you look at figure 1, you'll see the "neither vaccinated nor infected" group is n=4.2 million
the "infected individuals" is n=736 thousand; vaxxed is 2.8 million.
Right off the bat, I saw a massive issue with the study. By this date (Feb 2022) according to the CDC, over half (57.7%) of Americans had already been exposed to the virus:
Many did not even know; if they did, it's unlikely this was ever documented. Because the person I was talking to and myself are both in our late 20s, I was focusing mainly on this age group. At most, probably about 1% of those in our age group that get exposed to SARS-CoV-2 ever seek medical assistance over it. Generally, it's not a big deal and lasts a few days if that. personally, I have never gotten sick from it, but allegedly 94% of Americans have been exposed by now, so maybe I was just asymptomatic.
Either way, the people that have a record of infection that medical professionals can access will, on average, be much different than the rest of the population. They are outright selecting for susceptibility to disease with this analysis. So it doesn't seem like a very good analysis to argue in favor of "real-world benefits of vaccination."
It's also extremely suspicious that they did not compare the vaxxed & unvaxxied without documented previous infection. They had the data, so why not do it? Maybe the results would not have been what they wanted to publish.