What Happened: News of fully vaccinated individuals testing positive for COVID seem to be making headlines everywhere. For example, six people who tested positive in a Sydney hotel quarantine had already been fully vaccinated. According to data from NSW Health’s weekly COVID-19 surveillance report, between April 10 and May 1, six people in quarantine who reported being fully vaccinated were among the 150 overseas cases recorded. One had received a one-shot vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson, and the remaining cases had received both doses of a two-shot vaccine, such as Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna. University of Sydney epidemiologist Dr. Fiona Stanaway said, given no COVID-19 vaccine is 100 percent effective, it was to be expected that some people who have been vaccinated test positive.
The New York Yankees recently announced that they had two coaches and one support staff member test positive for COVID despite all of them being fully vaccinated. In Seychelles, East Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that on Tuesday it was reviewing coronavirus data in the region after the health ministry said more than a third of people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week had been fully vaccinated.
These are a few of many examples, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise as people have been warned throughout the pandemic that the full dosage of COVID vaccines will not be 100 percent effective. Canada’s Chief Public Health officer Teresa Tam, for example, recently reminded Canadians on Saturday that even those who are fully vaccinated are susceptible to COVID. She did say, however, that the risk of asymptomatic transmission is far lower for anyone who is fully vaccinated, but how much lower? What about asymptomatic individuals who are not vaccinated?
According to Dr. Jay Bhattacharya from Stanford University’s School of Medicine,
The scientific evidence now strongly suggests that COVID-19 infected individuals who are asymptomatic are more than an order of magnitude less likely to spread the disease to even close contacts than symptomatic COVID-19 patients. A meta-analysis of 54 studies from around the world found that within households – where none of the safeguards that restaurants are required to apply are typically applied – symptomatic patients passed on the disease to household members in 18 percent of instances, while asymptomatic patients passed on the disease to household members in 0.7 per cent of instances. A separate, smaller meta-analysis similarly found that asymptomatic patients are much less likely to infect others than symptomatic patients.
Asymptomatic individuals are an order of magnitude less likely to infect others than symptomatic individuals, even in intimate settings such as people living in the same household where people are much less likely to follow social distancing and masking practices that they follow outside the household. Spread of the disease in less intimate settings by asymptomatic individuals – including religious services, in-person restaurant visits, gyms, and other public settings – are likely to be even less likely than in the household. (source)
Something to think about.
It’s hard to say. In the United States, for example, the CDC makes it quite clear that “there will be a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19” and that “symptomatic breakthrough cases will occur, even though the vaccines are working as expected. Asymptomatic infections among vaccinated people also will occur.”
But the concern here is the fact that the CDC recently announced the following,
As previously announced, CDC is transitioning to reporting only patients with COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infection that were hospitalized or died to help maximize the quality of the data collected on cases of greatest clinical and public health importance. That change in reporting will begin on May 14, 2021. In preparation for that transition, the number of reported breakthrough cases will not be updated on May 7, 2021.
This means that people who get infected with COVID after being vaccinated will not be reported unless they are hospitalized or died. It begs the question, how can any appropriate data in the United States, for example, be collected regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine if those who test positive and have had the vaccine are not being reported?
It is a bit confusing, because the CDC is requiring that clinical specimens for sequencing should have an RT-PCR Ct value ≤28 when conducting tests for vaccinated individuals. “Ct” refers to cycle threshold. A common occurrence when using this test is a Ct value greater than 35, which makes the probability of “false positives” quite high. Why are they all of a sudden specifying a Ct value for vaccinated individuals? You can read more about that, in depth, here.
Why This Is Important: Prior to the rollout of these vaccines, the vaccine manufacturers claimed to have observed a 95 percent success rate. Dr. Peter Doshi, an associate editor at the British Medical Journal, published a paper titled “Pfizer and Moderna’s “95% effective” vaccines—let’s be cautious and first see the full data.” Even today, there is still not enough data to tell how effective the vaccine is.
A paper recently published by Dr. Ronald B. Brown, School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, outlines how Pfizer and Moderna did not report absolute risk reduction numbers, and only reported relative risk reduction numbers.
Unreported absolute risk reduction measures of 0.7% and 1.1% for the Pfzier/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, respectively, are very much lower than the reported relative risk reduction measures. Reporting absolute risk reduction measures is essential to prevent outcome reporting bias in evaluation of COVID-19 vaccine efficacy.
Brown’s paper also cites Doshi’s paper which makes the same point, “As was also noted in the BMJ Opinion, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna reported the relative risk reduction of their vaccines, but the manufacturers did not report a corresponding absolute risk reduction, which appears to be less than 1%.”
Absolute risk reduction (ARR) – also called risk difference (RD) – is the most useful way of presenting research results to help your decision-making, so why wouldn’t it be reported? (source)
Omitting absolute risk reduction findings in public health and clinical reports of vaccine efficacy is an example of outcome reporting bias. which ignores unfavorable outcomes and misleads the public’s impression and scientific understanding of a treatment efficacy and benefits…Such examples of outcome reporting bias mislead and distort the public’s interpretation of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine efficacy and violate the ethical and legal obligations of informed consent.” – Brown
Furthermore, there are a variety of other factors that may be responsible for a drop in cases that we are likely to see in combination with the rollout of these vaccines. One of those factors is previous infection, as there is evidence suggesting that previous infection is more efficient than the vaccine when it comes to creating immunity.
I’m not aware of any vaccine out there which will ever give you more immunity than if you’re naturally recovered from the illness itself…If you’ve naturally recovered from it, my understanding as a doctor level scientist is that those antibodies will always be better then a vaccine, and if you know any differently, please let me know. – Dr. Suneel Dhand, an internal medicine physician based in the United States
Vaccine expert and Harvard professor of medicine Dr. Martin Kulldorff recently tweeted that, “After having protected themselves while working class were exposed to the virus, the vaccinated Zoomers now want Vaccine Passports where immunity from prior infection does not count, despite stronger evidence for protection. One more assault on working people.”
There are multiple studies hinting at the point the professor makes, that those who have been infected with covid may have immunity for years, and possibly even decades. For example, according to a new study authored by respected scientists at leading labs, individuals who recovered from the coronavirus developed “robust” levels of B cells and T cells (necessary for fighting off the virus) and “these cells may persist in the body for a very, very long time.”
With all of this said, there is also evidence suggesting that the vaccines are indeed working. 22 renowned scientists published an article titled “The vaccine worked, we can safely lift lockdown.” It was pertaining to the United Kingdom. Many of these scientists have also been quite vocal about their belief that not everybody needs to be vaccinated, and the fact that this is indeed the message we are being bombarded with is suspicious given the fact that this messaging does not, as one of the Professors, Dr. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University explains, does not align with the science. All this is expressed by her, and others, while maintaining their belief that the vaccine can be used as a great tool for focused protection, on those who are vulnerable and who need it the most.
In the article, they explain,
It is time to recognize that, in our substantially vaccinated population, Covid-19 will take its place among the 30 or so respiratory viral diseases with which humans have historically co-existed. This has been explicitly accepted in a number of recent statements by the Chief Medical Officer. For most vaccinated and other low-risk people, Covid-19 is now a mild endemic infection, likely to recur in seasonal waves which renew immunity without significantly stressing the NHS.
Covid-19 no longer requires exceptional measures of control in everyday life, especially where there have been no evaluations and little credible evidence of benefit. Measures to reduce or discourage social interaction are extremely damaging to the mental health of citizens; to the education of children and young people; to people with disabilities; to new entrants to the workforce; and to the spontaneous personal connections from which innovation and enterprise emerge. The DfE recommendations on face covering and social distancing in schools should never have been extended beyond Easter and should cease no later than 17 May. Mandatory face coverings, physical distancing and mass community testing should cease no later than 21 June along with other controls and impositions. All consideration of immunity documentation should cease.
The Takeaway: Regardless of how effective the vaccine is at preventing the spread of COVID, and more, there are a number of valid scientific reasons why freedom of choice and informed consent should always remain. A number of “pro-vaccine” scientists who believe and point to the idea that these vaccines are indeed working are also pointing out that they believe mandatory vaccines for travel, employment, and school are unscientific and unethical. If this vaccine was completely safe and effective, travel mandates, for example wouldn’t be needed, everybody would be rushing to get one. Do we really want to give governments the power to implement health mandates when it goes against the will of so many people, doctors, and scientists? Is it not enough to simply promote and recommend people receive the vaccine instead of using measures to coerce the entire population to do so? Why are certain viewpoints, opinions, research and evidence of so many experts in the field being completely ignored and in some cases ridiculed if they oppose the common narrative we receive from governments and mainstream media?
Reprinted with permission from Collective Evolution.