According to recent reports, the new wave of the Delta variant of coronavirus does not seem to be the ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’ we were told it was.
Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the director of the CDC, recently acknowledged that vaccinated people with infections of the Delta variant carry just as much virus in the nose and throat as unvaccinated people, and may spread it just as easily.
In the United States, there were 71,000 new cases per day recorded on average as of July 29th. The new data suggest that vaccinated people are spreading the virus and contributing to those numbers.
Because of the trend, the CDC is reversing course, and now recommending that even fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors and that schoolchildren should be mandated to wear masks in all schools in the fall.
According to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about three-fourths of people infected in a Massachusetts Covid-19 outbreak were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus with four of them ending up in the hospital.
Health authorities in Los Angeles County, California, said almost 30% of new COVID-19 cases are among the population fully vaccinated against the virus.
According to a recent report regarding certain counties in California from CBS Sacramento, “A new analysis finds several counties with above-average vaccination rates also have higher COVID case rates, while case rates are falling in counties with below-average vaccination rates.”
Data analyzed by the news outlet found five counties, Los Angeles, San Diego, Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco, have both a higher percentage of people who are fully vaccinated than the state average, yet also have a higher average daily case rate.
In contrast, counties like Modoc, Glenn, Lassen, Del Norte, and San Benito, which have below-average vaccination rates also have consistently decreasing case rates.
Several countries around the world that vaccinated their populations quicker than the US, and with the same vaccines, are seeing cases, hospitalizations, and deaths surge among the vaccinated.
The unvaccinated individuals in those countries now seem to be doing better than the vaccinated ones, and people who have been previously infected and obtained natural immunity without being vaccinated are doing the best of any group.
The Guardian recently published an article in late June asking “why most people who now die or are hospitalized with Covid in England have had a vaccination?”
Today, in England, Scotland, and Israel, a greater percentage of the population was vaccinated, and much more quickly than in the United States. Because of this, the falling efficacy is much more apparent. Those countries have also been much more transparent about reporting hospitalizations and deaths among vaccinated people.
In all three countries, hospitalizations and deaths have risen since May, and vaccinated people have accounted for more than 50% of the deaths recently. Israel only used the Pfizer vaccine, and the United Kingdom used a mix. When broken down by different vaccines, the same results are found.
According to data out of the UK and Israel, people who are over 50 years old seem to be doing worse in terms of deaths and hospitalizations than the unvaccinated.
The unvaccinated people who had been naturally infected and have obtained natural immunity seem to be doing the best overall as a group.
According to new data from the MOH, the number of deaths in July among people aged over 60 shows 25 deaths among the fully vaccinated, while only 6 deaths occurred among those not fully vaccinated.
The number of reported cases among people aged over 60 that have resulted in hospitalization or severe illness is 182 for fully vaccinated patients, while there were only 46 for patients in the same category who have not been fully vaccinated.
In the UK, more than 46 million people have had a first vaccine dose – nearly 90% of the adult population – and more than 37 million – over 70% of adults – have had both doses.
The number of first doses administered each day is now averaging more than 42,000.
An average of more than 170,000 second doses are now being given a day. The delivery of second doses has been accelerated in response to the emergence of the Delta variant, first identified in India.
Despite their vaccination attempts, the UK is experiencing growing levels of vaccinated people accounting for hospitalizations and deaths.
According to their monthly reports, in England, those over 50 years old who are fully vaccinated seem to be experiencing higher totals of hospitalizations or deaths from COVID-19.
The mask guidance change in the US from the CDC comes a few days after Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief COVID-19 medical adviser, said the agency was reexamining mask recommendations for fully vaccinated Americans.
“We’re going in the wrong direction,” Fauci told CNN’s anchor Jake Tapper on Sunday.
According to a report from USA Today, new data shows exactly what many experts warned about months ago. The efficacy of the vaccines is plummeting after a few months, just as researchers are seeing in other countries using the same vaccines.
The report concludes:
“New data suggests vaccinated individuals could have higher levels of virus and infect others amid the surge of cases driven by the delta variant of the coronavirus.”
Current COVID-19 vaccines were developed to protect against the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 that became dominant worldwide. As more variants arise, scientists have raised questions about whether one of these could become different enough to cause ADE.
Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), is a phenomenon in which the binding of a virus to suboptimal antibodies enhances its entry into host cells, followed by its replication.
This is bad because it would mean a virus or a vaccine makes people more at risk for severe disease.
So far, there have been no studies linking the COVID-19 vaccines to ADE, but the concerns about ADE with COVID-19 vaccines have resurfaced with the emergency of virus variants.
In 2016 a dengue vaccine was developed and given to 800,000 children in the Philippines. Among children who were vaccinated and later exposed to dengue, 14 died, presumably from more severe illness. Since then, the vaccine is normally only given to children 9 years and older who have already been exposed to dengue.
Another example comes from the U.S., when ADE occurred during a clinical trial for a vaccine against the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). In 1967, children who participated in the trial and received the vaccine developed more severe RSV illness when they later encountered the virus in public. Two toddlers died. The vaccine was associated with immune complex formation that caused lung obstruction and enhanced respiratory disease, stalling RSV vaccine development.
Similarly, cases of ADE also occurred with an inactivated measles vaccine that was being developed in the U.S. in the 1960s. After vaccinated children developed more severe illness, the vaccine was withdrawn. The live, weakened measles vaccines that are currently in use in the U.S. have not been associated with ADE.
According to some studies, some types of vaccines that do not prevent transmission could allow more virulent and deadly versions of a virus to spread.
Perfect vaccines are referred to as such because they mimic the perfect immunity that humans naturally develop after having diseases.
“When a vaccine works perfectly, as do the childhood vaccines for smallpox, polio, mumps, rubella and measles, it prevents vaccinated individuals from being sickened by the disease, and it also prevents them from transmitting the virus to others,” said Andrew Read, an author of the study and an Evan Pugh professor of biology and entomology and Eberly professor in biotechnology at Penn State University.
Nobel Prize Winner Luc Montagnier said in May that epidemiologists know but are “silent” about the phenomenon, known as “Antibody-Dependent Enhancement” (ADE).
The French Virologist also contended that “it is the vaccination that is creating the variants.”
For viruses that have extremely low infection fatality rates like COVID-19, the best way to reach herd immunity seems to be by natural infection.