by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
The American Institute for Economic Research has published a statistical analysis of new Covid-19 cases and vaccination rates in the states. The analysis, by Gilbert Berdine, M.D., an associate professor of internal medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, makes several findings of interest.
First, Berdine finds that “There is some efficacy to the vaccine in preventing Covid-19.” How much efficacy becomes the question.
His second finding is that “The correlations between Covid-19 events and vaccination rates are weak“:
In other words, vaccination rate is not the entire explanation for Covid-19 events and may not even be the most important determinant of Covid-19 events. The R2 for Covid-19 cases vs. partial vaccination rate was 0.26, for Covid-19 cases vs. complete vaccination rate was 0.39, for Covid-19 deaths vs. partial vaccination rate was 0.26, and for Covid-19 deaths vs. complete vaccination rate was 0.36. These are weak correlations. Vaccination rate may not even be the most important variable as the majority of variance is due to something other than vaccination rate. North Dakota is that point at the lower left of the plot. North Dakota has nearly the lowest vaccination rate and also nearly the lowest case rate as well as death rate. Hawaii is that point with almost the highest vaccination rate and a slightly above average case rate.
Read on as Berdine goes into the practical math implied by his findings, and why his final finding is this: “The utilitarian rationale for mandatory vaccination is very weak.”