Letter to the Editor: Cooties Comparison Illustrates Effectiveness of Vaccine


Imagine there are 1,000 children in a school and 75% of them are vaccinated against cooties and 25% are not. During a recent cooties outbreak, 20 children were infected: 11 vaccinated and nine unvaccinated. Was the vaccine effective?

Yes. Here’s why.

There were 750 children vaccinated against cooties. Eleven of 750 (1.5%) were infected.

There were 250 children not vaccinated against cooties. Nine of 250 (3.6%) were infected. The rate of infection was a lot lower for the vaccinated group. Less than half.

These are made up numbers, but you can probably see where I am going with this.

When we consider COVID-19 vaccines, we shouldn’t just count the raw numbers of vaccinated and unvaccinated people who get sick or die. We should compare the rates of infection, hospitalization and death between the two groups.

When vaccine researchers assess vaccines, they compare rates, not raw numbers. The results have been crystal clear. When you compare vaccinated people to their unvaccinated peers, vaccinated people are much less likely to get infected and much, much less likely to get seriously ill or die.


Dale Grauman

Winfield, Illinois