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Math matters

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To the editor: In a recently published letter to the editor, “Humetrix Data,” the author made an initially alarming claim: That “71% of Covid cases were among the vaccinated.” If true, this means the vaccine is not effective, right?

No, of course not, and I’ll prove it with math. Let’s say that in a village with 100 people, 80 are vaccinated and 20 are not. Now let’s say that of those 20 unvaccinated individuals, 20% are admitted to the hospital with symptoms of Covid. That’s four people. With me so far?

Now let’s say that 10% of the vaccinated are also admitted to the hospital. That’s eight people — in this example, 8/12 people admitted to the hospital were vaccinated, or 75%. Which group has the higher Covid number total? The vaccinated group, of course, because there are more of them. In which group are you least likely to wind up in the hospital? Also the vaccinated group.

Keep in mind these are not real-life figures, but the point is to illustrate that the 71% referred to in “Humetrix Data” is ultimately meaningless without knowing the numbers themselves. It doesn’t help that the author omitted a crucial detail: The 71% figure in their source is not an across-the-board measurement, but is exclusively a measurement within the most vaccinated age demographic: The 65-plus crowd. With vaccination rates upwards of 80% according to Mayo Clinic, no wonder the figures came out as they did. There are just far more vaccinated people in that age group than not vaccinated. After all, if 100% of the population is vaccinated and only one person winds up in the hospital, wouldn’t that mean that 100% of those hospitalized with Covid are vaccinated?

Folks, be wary when a big scary number is thrown out there — odds are that there’s more to the story than meets the eye.

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