So researchers decided to look at whether heavy use of cocaine, cannabis, and other drugs increases the risk for breakthrough Covid infections. (They found having a cannabis use disorder does; other drugs don’t, once you control for comorbidities. Tell Your Children.)
Anyway, that’s not the news.
This study was large and well-conducted. It used a database that covers 85 million Americans in 63 health-care organizations. It was published Oct. 5 in World Psychiatry, a peer-reviewed journal. People were included if they’d had no Covid infection before vaccination and had been “fully vaccinated” – that is, 14 days after the second dose.
The researchers wound up examining medical records of about 580,000 Americans, 30,000 with a substance use disorder, 550,000 without. They found that just over 7 percent of people with a use disorder wound up with a breakthrough infection between January and August, compared to 3.6 percent of those without.
Okay. Set aside the small group of users and focus only on the 550,000 people in the non-using group. They had a 3.6 percent chance of infection for fully vaccinated people over eight months, January to August.
But eight months is really about four months. Why? These are BREAKTHROUGH infections, and the average vaccinated American was not “fully” vaccinated until mid-April. (Remember, too, that “breakthrough” infections do not include the two weeks after the first dose, when vaccine efficacy is somewhere between zero and negative.)
So 1 in 28 “fully vaccinated” people was infected over the four months when the vaccines were at peak effectiveness. Because vaccines work!