Wisconsin’s Covid Data Stray From Narrative

DHS hasn’t updated breakthrough cases in over two months

Percent of Covid deaths among the vaccinated in Milwaukee County rising

DHS adds “percent boosted” category to local vaccination tracking

Still no correlation between vaccination rates and disease activity

Mar. 16, 2022
By Bill Osmulski

Wisconsin public health officials continue to adjust how they report Covid vaccine data to the public, as evidence mounts of declining vaccine efficacy, according to ongoing research at the MacIver Institute.

DHS “Illness After Vaccination” Reporting

In August, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) finally released data concerning infections, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status. The data covered Feb. – Jul. 2021. The MacIver Institute immediately recognized that the rate of infections was increasing twice as fast among the vaccinated as the unvaccinated. That trend vanished in October, when DHS applied direct age adjustment to all the data.

DHS only updated its “Illness After Vaccination” tables once a month, usually on the 15th. Throughout that period, the data indicated that cases, hospitalizations and deaths were far more likely to occur among the unvaccinated than the vaccinated.

The last time DHS updated those tables was on Jan. 14th, with the most recent data coming from Dec. 31, 2021. DHS says it has not updated its “illness after vaccination” tables for the past two months due to technical difficulties.

Milwaukee County’s Vaccinated Covid Deaths

Coincidentally, data from the Milwaukee Medical Examiner suggests that a shift in vaccine efficacy started in January.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner releases detailed reports on every death the office processes. Those records also include each Covid-19 victim’s vaccination status. This is the only public health official in Wisconsin that releases this type of data that the MacIver Institute has identified.

According to that data, 24% of all Covid Deaths in Milwaukee County in January were among the vaccinated. That percentage grew to 42% in February. Three days in February, more vaccinated than unvaccinated individuals died of Covid in Milwaukee County.

So far, in March, Covid deaths in Milwaukee County have plummeted. It did not record its first Covid death of the month until March 5th. As of March 15th, the Medical Examiner has only recorded 7 Covid deaths for the month for all of Milwaukee County.

No Measurable Relationship to Public Health Outcomes

In July, the MacIver Institute compared the vaccination rate on the first of each month to the Covid activity level two weeks later for every county in Wisconsin. It found that there was no statistical correlation between the two factors.

When conducting this type of analysis, you compute a correlation coefficient (r-value) that describes the strength of the correlation between two data sets. When working with linear regressions, like in this study, that value is squared (r2). The closer the r2-value is to 1, the stronger the correlation. The closer it is to zero, the weaker the correlation.

Based on the public health narrative, we expected counties with high vaccination rates would have low covid activity, and counties with low vaccination would have high covid activity. From our analysis, we found that was not true at all.

In July, when we first published our findings, the highest r2-value was 0.043 indicating no correlation. At the time, Dane County had the highest vaccination rate at 66%, followed by door county at 64%.

The MacIver Institute continued to record and analyze the data after publishing that report. Seven months later, there is still no correlation between vaccination rates and covid activity levels.

The highest r2-value was 0.12 recorded in August 2021, which indicates no correlation. It dropped down to 0.0017 in December and back up to 0.1 in February. Radical swings like that reinforce the conclusion that there is no correlation between vaccination rates and covid activity levels.

As of Feb. 1st, Dane County had the highest vaccination rate at 77%, followed by Menominee at 75%, and then Door with 73%. There covid activity levels per 100,000 in order were 277, 374, and 115.

DHS Now Reporting Booster Doses Per County

While recording the first of the month vaccination levels, the MacIver Institute discovered a change in DHS’ recordkeeping on March 1st. The state is now recording and reporting how many Wisconsin residents are fully vaccinated and boosted.

Dane County has the highest percentage of boosted residents at 46.7%, followed by Door with 46.1%, and Bayfield at 43.5%. The lowest rates are Taylor with 17.5%, Clark with 17.9% and Rusk with 22%.

DHS does not, and has never, used the term “fully vaccinated.” It instead uses the term “% complete.” That is still listed separately from “% complete (boosted)”.

It’s likely DHS will have to revise its reporting again later this year. Pfizer’s CEO admitted on national television in March that people will need a fourth shot (second booster) soon.

Of course, from the MacIver Institute’s continuing research and coverage, the efficacy of those vaccines remains questionable to say the least.