The Unvaccinated and the Numbers

The pandemic isn't over.

WaPo has an analytical piece worth your time: The unseen covid-19 risk for unvaccinated people. It contains a number of graphs showing the differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated in several states. Rather than attempt to excerpt, I will simply recommend the piece.

The data demonstrate the efficacy of the vaccines which is good, but they also show that the pandemic continues amongst the unvaccinated and this does not bode well for the fall and winter.

Two quick excerpts from the piece that illustrate all of this:

“Things are getting safer for those who are vaccinated,” the state’s secretary of health, Umair A. Shah, told The Post. “For those who are unvaccinated, they remain at risk. We have to make sure that nuanced message is getting to our community.”


“I hope this does not become a tale of two societies,” he said.”The people who are vaccinated and are protected can resume their lives, taking off their masks.

“The people who are not vaccinated are the ones who are not wearing a mask or washing their hands. Those are the very people who often times will socialize and be around similar like-minded people. You’re going to have the pandemic continue in those clusters.”

These are real concerns.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. CSK says:

    I just saw this comment over at I repeat it here, punctuation and capitalization errors intact:

    “Anti-vaxxers? How about using a true description – Patriotic, Freedom Fighters who are resisting a forced vaccination by a Communist Federal Government.”

    They’re also offering helpful advice on where to buy faux vaccine passports, although I should think a true “Patriotic, Freedom Fighter” would eschew such pusillanimous deceptions. Excuse me. Make that Pusillanimous Deceptions.

  2. Mona says:

    Just had a quick text from a long-time friend about vaccinations. He is over 62 and says he is healthy, so why should he get vaccinated?
    Indeed, what could possible go wrong in this scenario?
    After I told him to get the damn shots, I haven’t heard a reply…

  3. CSK says:

    Does he think that only unhealthy people contract Covid-19?

  4. charon says:

    There are actually 3 main variables that affect the per capita rate of new cases”

    – how many people are unvaccinated.

    – people’s behavior

    – how many people have already been infected with COVID. (Reported cases greatly understate the true number of infections according to some modelers. I believe that is why the Dakotas are not doing too badly – lots of previously infected people).

    On this map, you can hover your cursor on a county to see the number of cases also the per capita.cases. There are many rural counties with very high per capita cases, but such small populations not many actual cases.

    I only spotted two populous counties that are showing large number of cases Clark, NV (Las Vegas) and Miami-Dade. Clark is doing fairly poorly on vaccinations plus being a resort area. I don’t know what the issue is with Miami-Dade as it is more highly vaccinated than most other populous counties.

  5. charon says:


    There is a map here you can hover cursor to see vaccination rate in a county.

  6. says:

    @CSK: Let them go ahead and die. I don’t see why we should try to convince people that their stupid actions are in fact stupid. Put them in the same category as motorcyclists who refuse to wear helmets, idiots who refuse to wear seat belts, and all the other Darwin award contestants.

  7. Gustopher says:

    “I hope this does not become a tale of two societies,” he said.

    The alternative is that we virus mutates and spills into the vaccinated community, so I hope it is a tale of two societies.

    I’m optimistic that way.

  8. Gustopher says:

    I’m beginning to think we should just infect the unvaccinated adults and get it over with. Everyone else should keep their kids inside for a few weeks. Same for the immune compromised.

    The original strain was less-worse than delta, so use that.

    Virus or vaccine, their choice. But let’s get a move on it.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Darwin arises from his grave and says, “I told you so.” and returns to his peaceful slumber.

  10. David M says:


    We need some sort of a true vaccination rate for states or counties, based on the combination of vaccinations and previous infections

  11. Modulo Myself says:

    If you hate the vaccine wars, blame liberals.

  12. Kathy says:


    A coworker got the first dose of AstraZeneca last week. He wondered why the interval for the second dose is indicated between 8 and 12 weeks, while that for Pfizer is 21 to 28 days. So, I explained about the difference between virus vector and mRNA vaccines.

    He was shocked to hear a virus would be used on a vaccine. I burst out laughing. The very first vaccine was a whole, live, fully functioning virus that gave people a mild disease, but left them immune to a dangerous, nasty disease. All the vaccines for viral diseases that followed, until recently, used either a weakened virus, a dead virus, or a fragment of virus.

    Between such things, and the person you mention, you’d think vaccines were invented last week, and people haven’t yet come to understand them.

  13. Liberal Capitalist says:


    I just saw this comment over at I repeat it here, punctuation and capitalization errors intact:

    “Anti-vaxxers? How about using a true description – Patriotic, Freedom Fighters who are resisting a forced vaccination by a Communist Federal Government.”

    the tide of reality is catching up with them…

    Justice told ABC News that people are gambling with their lives.

    “When it really boils right down to it, they’re in a lottery to themselves,” Justice said. “We have a lottery, you know, that basically says, ‘if you’re vaccinated, we’re going to give you stuff.'”

    “Well you’ve got another lottery going on,” he added. “And it’s the death lottery.”

    We are in a race’: GOP governors implore residents to overcome vaccine hesitancy as delta variant rises

    Vaccine hesitant are in ‘death lottery,’ W.Va. governor says

  14. charon says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Justice has always been pretty serious about COVID, definitely an outlier compared to other GOP governors.

  15. CSK says:

    Charlie Baker’s taken Covid quite seriously. Actually, all the New England Republican governors have done so.

  16. Mona says:

    @CSK: Perhaps. I try and save my sanity by not arguing about issues and attitudes that I know will not change. I try. Don’t succeed, most times.

  17. Mona says:

    @Kathy: It boggles the mind. Too bad there isn’t a way to quickly reference knowledgable places of medical and scientific facts. Oh yeah, it’s all on our phones.