Health Experts Worry CDC’s Covid Vaccination Rates Appear Inflated

Yves here. I am mildly kicking myself. I had noticed this article’s point of departure, the CDC’s claim that 99.9% of the over 65 age group was vaccinated, and it was obvious it was bogus. Even in my miniscule circle of people I know personally, as in people I see or have not all that long ago seen in the flesh (and forgive me, but I am excluding NC readers at meetups), I know of three people over 65 who have not been vaccinated, and they are all upper income, highly educated, and only one is a Trump fan. And I’ve also wondered about what Lambert has called the “stately rise” of 0.1% a day nearly every day in the vaccination rate. As I said in comments, that much regularity is reminiscent of Madoff.

The question is whether these exaggerated levels are fabrications to help the Administration or the result of the rank incompetence that pervades US Covid data gathering.

By Phil Galewitz, Senior Correspondent at Kaiser Health News, covers Medicaid, Medicare, long-term care, hospitals and various state health issues. Previously, he was at The Palm Beach Post and was a national health industry writer for the Associated Press and The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. Originally published at Kaiser Health News

For nearly a month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s online vaccine tracker has shown that virtually everyone 65 and older in the United States — 99.9% — has received at least one covid vaccine dose.

That would be remarkable — if true.

But health experts and state officials say it’s certainly not.

They note that the CDC as of Dec. 5 has recorded more seniors at least partly vaccinated — 55.4 million — than there are people in that age group — 54.1 million, according to the latest census data from 2019. The CDC’s vaccination rate for residents 65 and older is also significantly higher than the 89% vaccination rate found in a poll conducted in November by KFF.

Similarly, a YouGov poll, conducted last month for The Economist, found 83% of people 65 and up said they had received at least an initial dose of vaccine.

And the CDC counts 21 states as having almost all their senior residents at least partly vaccinated (99.9%). But several of those states show much lower figures in their vaccine databases, including California, with 86% inoculated, and West Virginia, with nearly 90% as of Dec. 6.

The questionable CDC data on seniors’ vaccination rates illustrates one of the potential problems health experts have flagged about CDC’s covid vaccination data.

Knowing with accuracy what proportion of the population has rolled up sleeves for a covid shot is vital to public health efforts, said Dr. Howard Forman, a professor of public health at Yale University School of Medicine.

“These numbers matter,” he said, particularly amid efforts to increase the rates of booster doses administered. As of Dec. 5, about 47% of people 65 and older had received a booster shot since the federal government made them available in September.

“I’m not sure how reliable the CDC numbers are,” he said, pointing to the discrepancy between state data and the agency’s 99.9% figure for seniors, which he said can’t be correct.

“You want to know the best data to plan and prepare and know where to put resources in place — particularly in places that are grossly undervaccinated,” Forman said.

Getting an accurate figure on the proportion of residents vaccinated is difficult for several reasons. The CDC and states may be using different population estimates. State data may not account for residents who get vaccinated in a state other than where they live or in clinics located in federal facilities, such as prisons, or those managed by the Veterans Health Administration or Indian Health Service.

CDC officials said the agency may not be able to determine whether a person is receiving a first, second or booster dose if their shots were received in different states or even from providers within the same city or state. This can cause the CDC to overestimate first doses and underestimate booster doses, CDC spokesperson Scott Pauley said.

“There are challenges in linking doses when someone is vaccinated in different jurisdictions or at different providers because of the need to remove personally identifiable information (de-identify) data to protect people’s privacy,” according to a footnote on the CDC’s covid vaccine data tracker webpage. “This means that, even with the high-quality data CDC receives from jurisdictions and federal entities, there are limits to how CDC can analyze those data.”

On its dashboard, the CDC has capped the percentage of the population that has received vaccine at 99.9%. But Pauley said its figures could be off for multiple reasons, such as the census denominator not including everyone who currently resides in a particular county, like part-time residents, or potential data-reporting errors.

Liz Hamel, vice president and director of public opinion and survey research at KFF, agrees it’s highly unlikely 99.9% of seniors have been vaccinated. She said the differences between CDC vaccination rates and those found in KFF and other polls are significant. “The truth may be somewhere in between,” she said.

Hamel noted the KFF vaccination rates tracked closely with CDC’s figures in the spring and summer but began diverging in fall, just as booster shots became available.

KFF surveys show the percentage of adults at least partly vaccinated changed little from September to November, moving from 72% to 73%. But CDC data shows an increase from 75% in September to 81% in mid-November.

As of Dec. 5, the CDC says, 83.4% of adults were at least partly vaccinated.

William Hanage, an associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard University, said such discrepancies call into question that CDC figure. He said getting an accurate figure on the percentage of seniors vaccinated is important because that age group is most vulnerable to severe consequences of covid, including death.

“It is important to get them right because of the much-talked-about shift from worrying about cases to worrying about severe outcomes like hospitalizations,” Hanage said. “The consequences of cases will increasingly be determined by the proportion of unvaccinated and unboosted, so having a good handle on this is vital for understanding the pandemic.”

For example, CDC data shows New Hampshire leads the country in vaccination rates with about 88% of its total population at least partly vaccinated.

The New Hampshire vaccine dashboard shows 61.1% of residents are at least partly vaccinated, but the state is not counting all people who get their shots in pharmacies due to data collection issues, said Jake Leon, spokesperson for the state Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition, Pennsylvania health officials say they have been working with the CDC to correct vaccination rate figures on the federal website. The state is trying to remove duplicate vaccination records to make sure the dose classification is correct — from initial doses through boosters, said Mark O’Neil, spokesperson for the state health department.

As part of the effort, in late November the CDC reduced the percentage of adults in the state who had at least one dose from 98.9% to 94.6%. It also lowered the percentage of seniors who are fully vaccinated from 92.5% to 84%.

However, the CDC has not changed its figure on the proportion of seniors who are partly vaccinated. It remains 99.9%. The CDC dashboard says that 3.1 million seniors in Pennsylvania were at least partly vaccinated as of Dec. 5. The latest census datashows Pennsylvania has 2.4 million people 65 and older.

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  1. skippy

    Whilst this might seem off topic I would like to point out another orifice of dressed up public good which is just the opposit, yes profit is an incentive, mostly due to the unfortunate amount of links to them and the passing on of unqualified views.

    Hay why would you believe anything a YT’ber like Dr John Campbell had to say, especially during a pandemic, especially when they are a Nurse with a PhD/E that likes to trot/milk the Doctor [Milgrams white coat] to lend authority to his personal opinions when he is not a medical doctor nor any sort of Scientist working in any discipline related to Covid19, not that he has any income incentives related to followers and eyeballs on YT … so Jordan Peterson …. on the latter I hear he considers himself a prophet of the good word these days …

    I care about all your brains … because once that is fracked others can put anything they want into it … have a care and always do your due diligence …

    1. urblintz

      “I care about all your brains … because once that is fracked others can put anything they want into it … have a care and always do your due diligence …”

      I’ve no conclusive opinion about JC and have only seen a handful of his presentations (certainly less than 10), but I wouldn’t call his efforts malign.

      Misguided? Perhaps.

      Under-informed? Maybe.

      After all he’s just a “nurse.”

      as for “others” – with much larger audiences – spinning BS to the credulous:

      Which voices have done more damage?

      Now, let’s talk about “income incentives.”

      1. skippy

        Fact vs Fiction … where lesser prophets are deemed a lesser crime because they cant’ sway the narrative as much, but a profit was still had, sorry but I don’t view these circumstance as a sliding scale due to net worth because it does not always transliterate to a huge pay date, but can have just as much social misinformation.

        Alternately if such had no avenue save a soap box in the public square on Sunday maybe the noise to static ratio would dictate some would focus on the real maleficence.

        1. Eustachedesaintpierre

          From the get go correct on masks, aerosols , ventilation, banning flights & lately increasing studies supporting his position on aspiration. I guess his long experience actually dealing with patients in ICU’s also counts for nothing & when he has been incorrect he readily admits to it. Now, he isn’t perfect but perhaps in an any port in a storm sort of a way which unlike in Australia it truly was at the start in the UK he has consistently given much better advice than has been provided by the authorities – he has also had experience of working on the ground during other pandemics in areas of high deprivation in India & Africa.

          Here are links to his 2 published books – Campbell’s Physiology & Campbell’s Pathophysiology, which are free to download, but be warned only written by a nurse.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            I sincerely doubt Campbell was ahead of the curve. You provide no evidence re timing. And you conveniently ignore where he was wrong and stayed dug in on it. His main method is to read declarations from public health authorities like the WHO and narrate them a bit.

            I don’t see any evidence that Campbell recommended masks before the WHO and CDC turned around (we did before they did), nor that he was early on aerosols (DW had a video on them in September 2020, Lord only knows how long Lambert was harping on them). Taleb called for a travel ban on January 26, 2020. The US implemented its first travel ban in February 2020. It was orthodox from pretty early on. I don’t see Campbell being faster out of the box than Taleb.

            He was still touting fomites in November 2020 after it was debunked. I see him touting surface transmission and not aerosols in September 2020, when the mainstream as evidenced by DW was already on to it. Etc.

            At best, you’ve unintentionally cherry picked his record.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              I haven’t watched any of his videos in well over a year, but I did watch him early on and he was very early with masks and at least suggesting that aerosols were important. YouTube’s search function is horrible, but from what I can see from a very cursory look he was strongly advocating masks from at least early April 2020 and talking about aerosols from May 2020.

              The impression I got at the time was that at some stage in the summer of 2020 his collar was yanked, so to speak, and he started toeing the more conventional line after that. Apart from a lack of time, the main reason I stopped watching him was that it seemed to me that he was too quick to start talking about the latest research or reports or incidents without sifting the wheat from the chaff, so it all became a bit repetitive and lacking critical context. I would give him credit however that he seems to be one of the few who has been willing to openly state when he’s been proven wrong.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                CDC was recommending masks in early April too, specifically April 3:


                From what I can tell, we first advocated masks on March 19 and featured a video on how to make a simple cloth mask from baby wipes (recall surgical masks were scarce then):


                And as GM has pointed out, even though he does recant, it’s pretty late. We admitted on March 19 explicitly that we were changing position and did so later on fomites. I’m not sure Campbell has ever retreated from that.

                1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

                  OK fine & as I am not Samuel Pepys I can’t state with any certainty when I first wore a mask, but when I did I was the only one in a crowded supermarket & it was a dust mask prompted by Campbell stating that it would be a good idea to follow the Chinese example.

                  I am not comparing him with here but how he reacted at the time when the idiots in Whitehall were considering herd immunity & the general public were confused with ICU’s filling up with basically nowhere else to turn was then helpful. His explanations of mechanisms were useful & he did a good job of presenting stats & IMO his efforts to push Vit D, zinc & other treatments were laudable.

                  As to the present situation he could well be wrong but nobody knows for sure & as far as I have seen he has not been definite but rather cautious in his optimism & as I also said not perfect but who is ? He often annoyed me with his initial support for the Gov but I do recall him early on being very critical of the WHO in relation to Chinese flights & their holding back on declaring a pandemic..

                  Would things be better if he had not been around ? I don’t think so as for many who don’t have access to this place, he has I believe done much more good than harm. As for credentials I can think of many candidates in many fields who are much more worthy of punching up rather than down at, which of course is here where that is done best.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        This is tricky because Campbell defends what many regard as a good cause with very slipshod arguments. The only one that looks like a slam dunk is his complaint about depicting Ivermectin as an animal medication, when it is approved and used all over the world as a prescription medication. But he doesn’t even make that retort clearly! No one in their right mind would try to say don’t use antibiotics because they are given to animals.

        I have not looked systematically at the Ivermectin studies, which is the big bone of contention. And as we’ve said, most are underpowered because they are run by MDs. And the elephant in the room is that there is no money to run proper (as in very pricey) clinical trials on a cheap off patent drug.

        But I have looked at many, maybe even most, of the studies that declared it not to work. All the ones I read administered it too late, after patients were hospitalized. If you administered monoclonal antibodies then, they would fail too, but they are widely seen as very beneficial earlier in the disease progress. The other failure I see is incorrect dosing v. the recommended Covid protocol, specifically a failure to adjust dosage to body weight. One could cynically conclude that many of them were designed to fail, but this could be simple administrative convenience, aka drunk under the streetlight: it’s too hard to find enough patients early enough to run a study on the preferred protocol, so we’ll instead investigate Covid patients where they are easy to find, in the hospital.

      2. Celia

        Diptherio, I shudder to thing of the Mrs.’ name—So the Covid prevention rates with Ivermectin in Japan and Uttar Pradesh don’t exist?

        “A year after the country’s first Covid-19 cluster, with 5 cases, was reported in Agra district, the Uttar Pradesh government has claimed that it was the first state to have introduced a large-scale “prophylactic and therapeutic” use of Ivermectin and added that the drug helped the state to maintain a lower fatality and positivity rate as compared to other states.”

        “When adjusted for population, UP has a lower death toll than every European country but Iceland. In order to dethrone the Ivermectin hypothesis, critics need to provide an adequate explanation for UP’s extremely low death rate from Covid-19.”

        At worst, a harmless placebo, at best, a pennies per dose alternative to hundreds of billions in pharma profits and misdirected control of the U.S. government’s health policy.

        1. Basil Pesto

          Well, no. This has been addressed before here. The “Japan” evidence is so weak as to be non-existent (don’t say the words “Tokyo Medical Association”. Just don’t.) Let’s see some actual Ivermectin usage data for Japan. Not youtube videos, not captious and tendentious essays on the internet; primary sources.

          The UP evidence is perhaps a promising signal for further investigation, but by no means dispositive, no matter how much lawyerly circumstantialising is presented by the author you link to who brashly talks about “herd immunity” like he has any idea what the hell he’s talking about. It also denigrates the totality of India’s public health response, which has been commendable in many respects despite the disastrous April/May wave.

          At worst, a harmless placebo

          yep, agreed (although ‘harmless’ is too absolute, drugs don’t work that way, even those with a safety profile as good as Ivermectin’s)

          at best, a pennies per dose

          It’s amazing to me how naïve Ivermectin monomaniacals are about this. I have been saying for months that Ivermectin boosterism redounds to the benefit of what I’ve called Small- and Medium- Pharma. That is to say, though Ivermectin may be a relatively cheap generic on paper, it does not fall from the heavens into our mouths. Manufacture, Logistics, Distribution, Sales – there are all kinds of stakeholders who stand to make money from the newfound western popularity of Ivermectin. And so, in fact, it has proven, with reports here in comments recently about Ivermectin being purchased at dramatically inflated prices.

          alternative to hundreds of billions in pharma profits and misdirected control of the U.S. government’s health policy.

          Alternative in what sense? Swapping one ad hoc rationalisation for “learning to live with the virus” for another just because the profit part of the equation is more palatable for one than the other is inane. If we are going to insist on learning to live with the virus (which I think is an avoidable mistake but I digress), just use both. I’d be perfectly happy to take Ivermectin but wouldn’t use it as a substitute for vaccines; I’d use both to (hopefully) maximise my protection/minimise the probability of bad outcomes in the event that I’m exposed to infection.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Ivermectin is extremely well tolerated and cheap. IM Doc’s hospital and MDs in his mafia report success in using it, as in reduced severity of symptoms, faster recoveries, etc., but these are all smallish samples, generally <100 users and similar non-takers. But as indicated, it has to be taken very early and in the right doses or it's useless. There's also reason to think it's a prophylactic (the early non-blinded experiment in Argentina) but that was against wild type. Might not be as effective v. Delta and Omicron.

            The way to silence those who fear people would use Ivermectin and not get vaxxed is tell MDs it's OK to indulge patients and let them have Ivermectin...provided they have been vaxxed.

        2. skippy

          That has nothing to do with the objective point … Campbell could be better described as an link aggregator that does not show how its arrived at, so its a bit pot luck one way or the other, but as it has been mentioned he is slow to admit being wrong, never the less acquiesce, regardless of the strength of the facts against his position [actually others that he is forwarding as his own].

          Its got nothing to do with Ivermectin BTW because unfortunately regardless of fuzzy data on wild and Delta Covid WRT Ivermectin, because there is no Science that says Covid can’t do an escape on it. So were right back to square one about some magic band-aid and life goes on as before. That is the issue with this guy, no acumen in a multidisciplinary field to be presenting himself as some sorta man of facts. Its bad enough with all the antics from politicized public institutions and pharma executives blinded by self interests and then have people like this muddy the waters even more.

          Proselytizing and Agnotology comes to mind – is the study of deliberate, culturally-induced ignorance or doubt, typically to sell a product or win favour, particularly through the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data.

    2. Tinky

      I would like to point out another orifice of dressed up public good which is just the opposit…

      To summarize your argument, because Dr. John Campbell is not a medical doctor, in the widely understood sense, nor a scientist, and because he derives income from his Youtube channel, his “unqualified” views work against the public good?

      First, if you’re going to make such a sweeping charge, it would bolster your case to produce at least a single piece of evidence in support of it.

      More broadly, Campbell explains his views clearly, and typically backs them up with science (one obviously needn’t be a scientist to understand basic science), including peer reviewed studies. Furthermore, he was early to point out various issues that many high-profile health experts (including scientists and doctors) failed to recognize, such as the potential value of Vitamin D and aspiration during injections.

      Given the amount dubious information has been broadcast by so-called experts, who have the credentials which you apparently hold in very high regard, I find the foundation of your criticism of Dr. Campbell to be far from compelling.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Your heated defense of Campbell does not speak well of your information vetting skills, or at best, your willingness to deploy them.

        You are exhibiting the cognitive bias called halo effect, of seeing people as all good or all bad. Because Campbell presents well and seems sincere, you deem him to be accurate. The same sort of reaction is what got investors suckered by Elizabeth Holmes.

        I don’t know how many times I am going to have to repeat this: Campbell dishes out reheated conventional wisdom and is clearly some combination of unable to or uninterested in evaluating what he dispenses.

        As GM put it:

        Campbell has been uncritically drinking various flavors of hopium from the start.

        For example, there is a very long series of videos over 2020 where he talks about reinfections as something impossible

        What he does is that he takes the mainstream view and propagates it without doing his own research. I don’t think he does it intentionally but he just does not go to the right sources to get accurate information and he is not an expert on the subject already

        Then he corrects himself eventually, but that is often many months later.

        In South Africa there is tremendous pressure to downplay the situation because of the travel bans. A lot of the economy depends on tourism, and the tourist season there is right now — winter in the northern hemisphere, summer there, so you usually get hundreds of thousands of wealthy tourists the northern hemisphere heading south for holidays. But there was no tourism last year because of B.1.351, and they are absolutely desperate to not let that happen again. Also, they are letting it rip internally so that is also a major reason to downplay it.

        One has to interpret any anecdotal statements coming from South Africa with that information in mind.

        The raw data shows tripling of hospitalizations week on week over the last three weeks and they do a lot of backfilling later so the last two weeks are not complete.

        And yes, most of the infections are reinfections so that will make some of the cases milder but it will also make others worse.

        1. lakecabs

          As your article points out there is tons of misinformation out there.

          People can sense that.

          That gives rise to the nurse Campbell’s of the world.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Good point. And I should caution that he no doubt does present some helpful information. But that’s a long way from regarding him as an authoritative source. He’s now banging the “Covid is mild” drum, which is misleading in terms of inference even if true, and could be substantially an artifact of how infection waves unfold. They hit the young first because they are the ones who mingle most; it then moves into older cohorts weeks later. So the fact that the young are the ones mainly getting infected now would be expected to lead to less bad cases and lower hospitalization rates…for now. The fact that even 0-9 year olds are winding up in hospital, which never happened before, is a cause for alarm.

            And this so far is anecdata, but of a group of 19 cases in Germany, with all adults vaccinated and kids not, one adult and 2 children are very sick.


          2. Basil Pesto

            Yes, the problem is when people who – rightly – reject the mainstream automatically make the assumption that the altstream is ever and always correct and trustworthy.

            I think Campbell is a trustworthy individual so far as his intentions go. I don’t think he sits at home plotting how to bullshit as many people as possible for 20 minutes every day.

            But it would be foolish for me to assume that all of his information is therefore trustworthy as well. His analysis can exceed his competencies and when that comes from someone who has a rather large audience, that can be quite dangerous – not to mention unworthy of (automatic) trust. Misinformation can be hard to correct, especially when it goes out there by video, and even if you are self-correcting. He was often early and correct in 2020, but that doesn’t guarantee being early and correct in perpetuity into the future. Regular readers (viewers) of Campbell need to more critical of him on that score.

            Furthermore, I think it’s absolutely worth keeping this in mind from this piece by Freddie de Boer:

            I can begin by repeating a common refrain here: there is no such thing as independent media; there are only different kinds of dependence. If your financial security is derived from the approval of others, you are not independent. You can be dependent on different people and that difference does matter. I have been remarkably successful here in a crowdfunding context but I probably would never have been able to get a staff writer job at any traditional publication. (Such a job would probably pay a third of what I’m making, but that’s for another time.) But my generous readers are themselves stakeholders whose interests I will inevitably weigh and value. A consequence of this dynamic is that “independent” media is subject to external pressures too, in ways both good and bad.

            Which is to say, if Campbell were to course-correct in meaningful ways, he would be risking his viewership. If he were switch overnight to eliminationism and start interviewing, say, experts in risk or Zero Covid advocates, he may very well lose a large tranche of his audience. That can’t not be a consideration. It is also to say: if you think the route to epistemic salvation lies in exclusively relying upon the Altstream Media, you are kidding yourself. Beyond Campbell, there is a lot of shady and stupid bullshit out there.

            It’s worth pointing out, whatever about Dr John’s PhD or his nursing career – these are interesting but I don’t really care about them insofar as John’s de facto role now is that of a journalist. Journalists are, by definition, professional idiots. The measure of a journalist is how you go about remedying that idiocy – how you inform yourself. In that respect, Campbell sometimes succeeds admirably, but he also often fails. Now, nobody’s perfect, but he seems to be imbued with this aura that he doesn’t really merit. Use him as a starting point for finding out about a topic, for example, but why one would rely on him for information about epidemiology when there are so many more competent and well informed scientists on the subject out there – even accounting for the prominent ones who keep getting it wrong – is a bit mystifying.

            You might argue “yes but neither Yves nor Lambert are epidemiologists themselves and you trust them” which is true but I think 1. they have a general analytical and rhetorical skill far superior to Campbell’s, with a track record to show for it, and that counts for something. They also write, and don’t video-present. When it comes to fraught and politicised issues, video is a terrible primary medium for good epistemic hygiene. It is a noteworthy shame that the monetised swamp of YouTube has made (mostly unvetted) information conveyed by video more important than that conveyed by the written word. Writing can also be bullshit of course, but when it is, it’s also very easy to record, document, point out, and rebut – patiently and in your own good time 2. They are informed by actual scientists/“experts” who, so far as I can tell, are more interested in the truth of the situation than preconceived outcomes informed by politics or other belief systems – Campbell, for all that he’s justifiably criticised the WHO etc., remains far too credulous when it comes to the pronouncements of state-approved experts and it’s a serious shortcoming of his work. I mean, he still bangs on about herd immunity, thereby further calcifying this pernicious piece of semi-scientific received wisdom among the community of laymen who hang on his every word. That’s bad.

  2. Maritimer

    “…the CDC’s claim that 99.9% of the over 65 age group was vaccinated, and it was obvious it was bogus.”
    I am reminded of the Soviet Union and satellite countries about governments winning large percentages of the vote. Once the bogus/ridiculous/obviously fraudulent point is reached, ordinary folks just bear it all and realize the Emperor Has No Clothes. Hard to run a railroad that way. Censorship, Coercion and Purge become the order of the day.
    Certainly, one of the problems for the Naked Emperor is independent media which may yet carry the day.

    Surprising too that the article comes from Kaiser Health News. Maybe some breaking in the Covid ranks.

    1. Carolinian

      Indeed. One would hope they would cap it at 99.9 although perhaps they should declare 110 percent vaxxed just for laffs.

      I’d say this article illustrates the problem with the Covid debate in general. Nobody seems to know anything with any great certaintly and therefore, re the above thread, comments by dissenters and vax critics seem to carry about as much weight as anything else. Those of us who don’t have a deep trust of our medical system to begin with are not inclined to start now when those doing the pleading or demanding have so little regard for accuracy.

  3. The Rev Kev

    There is also the viewpoint that if accurate, timely information was gathered by organizations like the CDC, then they would be forced to act on all that information. By having the real figures be a bit fuzzy and obviously unreliable, it gives them an excuse not to follow through aggressively.

  4. Tom Stone

    It’s been half a Century since I learned that “The light at the end of the tunnel” was an oncoming train.
    If the ” Data ” comes from WHO, the CDC or the FDA i can discount it almost entirely.
    If from someone like Campbell I need to look at it carefully because there’s almost certainly a germ of truth in it, if it’s from the FLCCC I still need a degree of skepticism and need to be careful and thoughtful when parsing it, but I can assume any errors are made in good faith.
    I can say pretty much the same thing about the posts by IM Doc and GM, they have a better grasp of the situation than I, and I can assume that anything they post is both an informed opinion and an honest one.
    In a life or death situation that is invaluable.

  5. Mikel

    “They note that the CDC as of Dec. 5 has recorded more seniors at least partly vaccinated — 55.4 million — than there are people in that age group — 54.1 million, according to the latest census data from 2019…”

    CDC must be using the Facebook method for counting users. Remeber when they where discovered giving their user numbers to advertisers and those numbers exceeded census info on the population of the demographic being hyped?

    I imagine all the app promoters for pandemic tracking will have other such agendas as well.
    And time will reveal.

  6. Pate

    Yves intro
    “that much regularity is reminiscent of Madoff.”
    I think there is a fiber joke lurking here but darn if I can flush it out.

  7. chris

    Could we all just take a minute to reflect that one reason behind the BS in data collection we have is because there is no coordinated national health care system to handle it? Similarly, we have such a scattered approach to things that many US citizens have no kind of relationship with healthcare beyond it being that industry which makes sick people feel bad about going bankrupt?

    I had hoped this pandemic would be the catalyst for a transition to some kind of national health care system. Even the much discussed “public option.” But it seems like that will never happen. In the meantime, I keep hearing people ask if the reason it is easy for places like Scotland or Singapore to do high quality analysis of their issues during the pandemic is because they have a national coordination behind their efforts…no, that couldn’t be true, could it? :(

  8. wendigo

    “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.”

    So when that is the official position of one party ( and apparently the unsaid mission statement of the other ) why would anyone expect/want the CDC to act differently?

  9. Kris Alman

    In late August of this year, I saw some curious vaccination stats at the Oregonian. I emailed the reporter and noted that data from 6 zip codes with highest vaccination rates exceed 100%. 3 of them were in Tillamook, Malheur and Lincoln Counties, where one would expect the vaccination rates to be far less than averages for the state. I presumed that people from more urban counties got vaccinated there because initial vaccine drives in Oregon targeted rural counties. (A retired doc, I was on a listserv for vaccination drives from the Oregon Medical Association.)

    The data reporter responded: “These vaccination stats come straight from OHA*. We have hypothesized that it’s people with second homes who have listed their second home address for their vaccination status. Most of these places are on the coast and have small official populations (for the denominator). 97130 is Manzanita, for instance.” *Oregon Health Authority

    2nd homes…

    On December 13th, our Governor is calling a special session to prevent evictions, having exhausted $289 million in federal funding it has received for emergency rental assistance.

    According to USA Today, a 2020 federal review found that 35 people in Oregon are experiencing homelessness per 10,000. Only three states had a higher rate: New York City (47 people per 10,000), Hawaii (46 people per 10,000) and California (41 people per 10,000).

    Houseless Oregonians and Covid: a toxic cocktail for the winter months.

  10. New land of Potemkin and Pravda

    Any number reported as fact by any US government agency or any lamestream media conglomerate is — without exception — complete and utter bullshit. Whether it’s economic reports, “health” reports/recommendations, Wall Street non-GAAP [non]earnings reports, political polling numbers, etc, all of them are deliberate lies cynically told to obfuscate the truth and mislead the gullible sheeple who unquestioningly accept them as fact.

    There are only 2 questions to ask when one sees any of that offal: 1. is the real # higher or lower than stated? 2. how much higher or lower?

    Mark a numbered grid on your wall, close your eyes and toss a dart. Whatever number you hit is guaranteed to be far closer to reality than whatever was officially reported.

  11. Dave in Austin

    Here are three partial explainations for the data discrepencies:

    First, I know three people (two of them doctors) who needed booster shots but were not old enough at the time to qualify. So they simply went into the local pharmacy, said “I need my first shot” and got one, which is 2x the load of a booster. How common was that?

    Second, over the two years of Covid, many people have gotten shots and aged out of the age group and others have entered.

    Third, and a bit ghoolish, people die from both Covid and non-Covid. How many people died in that age group?

    Again, not an answer, just a potential partial explaination.

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