Does Vaccination Make You MORE Likely to Catch Covid?

Walgreen’s must run an enormous number of covid tests, nationwide. So their data should be a pretty good sample. Check out these numbers from Walgreen’s web site. This chart shows the positivity rate by vaccination status. It indicates that unvaccinated people currently have a lower rate of positive covid tests than vaccinated people:

This chart, from the same source, shows what percentage of tests were administered in each group and what percentage of tests were positive:

So unvaccinated people accounted for 28.5% of the tests, but only 16.6% of the positive covid results.

There are several possible explanations here. The obvious one is that vaccination makes you more likely to catch covid. But it is also possible that people who don’t get vaccinated are, on average, healthier than people who do, and therefore their immune systems are more likely to fight off covid and other diseases. A third possibility is that unvaccinated people are, on average, more worried when they catch a cold and therefore are more likely to seek out a covid test. Of those possibilities, the second and third are totally hypothetical and speculative, and to some degree contradictory. Maybe there are more explanations that I haven’t thought of.

It is generally a mistake to draw cosmic conclusions from a single data set, but as noted, Walgreen’s administers an enormous number of covid tests. (I am sure the raw numbers can be found somewhere on the linked web site, but I couldn’t readily see them.) The authorities have admitted for quite a while that vaccination won’t prevent you from getting covid, so the theory is that it will likely prevent you from getting a serious case. But what if vaccination actually makes you more likely to get sick?

I can’t draw that conclusion from these numbers alone, but it would be interesting to see what other data are out there. Frankly, I trust Walgreen’s a lot more than I trust the thoroughly politicized CDC.

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