“So-and-so received the two doses of the vaccine, but he contracted corona.” This new obsession has become transmitted between people like the virus itself, and raises with it anxiety and tension, and sometimes questions about the vaccine itself and its feasibility.
This morning, the “Washington Post” published leaks of a confidential report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) showing its concern over the increase in so-called “breakthrough infections”, that is, infections with the Corona virus in people who completed the two doses of the drug. the vaccine. So what are these injuries? What is troubling about the latest report? What are the implications of all this for the issue of vaccines?
What are Breakthrough COVID infections?
In short, they are infections that “penetrate” the vaccinated person. Since a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing the second dose of the vaccine, any infection that occurs after that is considered a “penetrating infection” as defined by the CDC.
Also, according to the CDC, these infections are not strange, and do not diminish the importance of the vaccine, but rather they are expected due to the lack of access to a 100% effective vaccine.
So far, it does not seem that there is an age group that is more susceptible than others to penetrating injuries, as young people, as well as the elderly, are exposed to these injuries despite receiving the vaccine. However, the symptoms of these injuries vary according to age, as the elderly category is more vulnerable than others to more severe symptoms.
On July 30, 2021, the American newspaper “Washington Post” published a leaked report from the CDC, which was presented inside the center in order to plan strategies and recommendations for the next phase. The report includes the latest information regarding infection rates, the effectiveness of vaccines and preventive measures in the next stage.
The difference in the type of infections between the vaccinated (one or two doses of mRNA vaccines, i.e. “Pfizer” or “Moderna”) and the unvaccinated (information according to data between 12-2020 and 4-2021):
The viral load (the number of copies of the virus) upon infection is 40 percent lower among vaccinated people if they have contracted the virus compared to non-vaccinators.
– Vaccines are less susceptible to symptoms related to hyperthermia compared to non-vaccinators infected with the virus, and the average duration of symptoms is less for vaccinated people infected with the virus.
Duration of immunity after receiving the vaccine:
Until now, the duration of immunity conferred by the vaccine is still unknown, but there are some studies that show high levels of immunity after 20 weeks of the second dose.
How has Vaccine Effectiveness (VE) changed since its production to date?
Although the preliminary figures for the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines based on the results of clinical trials and preliminary results in countries after the start of vaccination are high, the numbers today are lower than before.
Based on the leaked report on the CDC, and according to data from nursing homes, the approximate figures for the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines are as follows:
Effectiveness in protecting against any injury (including injuries without any asymptomatic symptom): 61 percent.
Effectiveness in protecting against infection with moderate symptoms: 75%.
Efficacy in protecting against infection with severe symptoms: 80 percent.
What about the “delta” mutator?
The “delta” variant has a large share in the CDC report because it may be responsible for many of these changes in the effectiveness of vaccines. According to the data in this report, there are studies that indicate that the risk of contracting the “delta” mutant in general is greater than the risk of contracting the alpha (British) mutant. In addition, there are data from Singapore indicating higher rates of hospitalization and a greater need for oxygen or admission to intensive care with the delta mutant compared to other strains.
There are also indications from studies in Massachusetts that there is no difference in viral load between vaccinated and unvaccinated people who develop the delta mutant, which may raise concern in terms of delta avoidance of the immune system.
It is also worth noting that the report concluded with a summary about the “delta” mutant that it is more contagious and more capable of “penetrating” vaccinators, and that initial indications show that it is more likely to be more dangerous than previous strains.
CDC Subsequent Steps:
At the conclusion of the report, a series of recommendations for how the organization should deal with public opinion regarding these new facts, and these recommendations begin by saying: “We are aware that the war has changed.”
The report stresses the importance of focusing on the effectiveness of vaccines in reducing the risk of acute illness and death from the virus, although this drop in the percentage is not as complete as we hope. In addition, the report recommended a return to imposing masks even on vaccinators, especially in closed places. He also presented the possibility of recommending some sectors of work to make vaccination mandatory for all its employees.
What does this mean for vaccines and epidemic control?
In the midst of all this, it is important to remember that the priority has always been to reduce the number of hospitalizations so as not to outweigh the capacity of hospitals and medical sectors. Indeed, today, hospitalization and death rates seem very low in countries and regions with high vaccination rates compared to the numbers at the beginning of the epidemic before any of the vaccines were produced, despite the relative pessimism about the future of all this.
However, Kathleen Nezel, a vaccinologist at the Maryland School of Medicine, points out that what is needed is to define the goal, which is to prevent cases of acute illness with Covid, not avoid the origin of the virus. She also says that this may be difficult, but it is necessary, because it is clear so far that Corona will accompany us for a long time.
In conclusion, cases of corona infection among vaccinators should not discourage people from going to receive the vaccine, as the objective view of these cases and their proportions, in addition to the effectiveness of vaccines documented by numbers and experiences, although not ideal, should motivate people to receive the vaccine more than before.
“Read: Internal Cdc Document on BREAKTHROUGH Infections.” The Washington Post, WP Company, www.washingtonpost.com/context/cdc-breakthrough-infections/94390e3a-5e45-44a5-ac40-2744e4e25f2e/.
Yasmeen Abutaleb, Carolyn Y. Johnson. “’The War Has Changed’: INTERNAL Cdc Document Urges New Messaging, Warns DELTA Infections Likely More Severe.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 30 July 2021, www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/07/29/cdc-mask-guidance/.
“COVID-19 Breakthrough Case Investigations and Reporting.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 July 2021, www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/health-departments/breakthrough-cases.html.
Gilmerm. “Covid-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Cases: What You Need to Know.” Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, 27 July 2021, health.clevelandclinic.org/breakthrough-covid-cases/.