Vaccinated Spread COVID-19 as Easily as Unvaccinated, High Viral Loads in Vaccinated, CDC and Fauci Report

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A woman wearing a face mask walks through Penn station in New York on August 2, 2021. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio stopped short of ordering a mask mandate in the city on Monday but issued a strong recommendation for all New Yorkers to wear facemasks in public indoor settings. (Image: KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released on July 30, after several large public events in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, 469 cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) were diagnosed among residents who had traveled to the town between July 3 and July 17. 74 percent of the cases were in fully immunized people, with the Delta variant identified in 90 percent of the specimens tested.

Public gatherings included packed indoor and outdoor events at bars, restaurants, guest houses, and rental houses. The reported 14-day average COVID-19 incidence spiked from 0 cases per 100,000 persons per day on July 3 to 177 cases per 100,000 persons per day on July 17.

In total, “274 (79%) vaccinated patients with breakthrough infection were symptomatic,” and 80% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, or four out of five, were fully vaccinated. 50%, or two out of four vaccinated patients, had underlying medical conditions. The one unvaccinated patient had “multiple underlying medical conditions.” There were no deaths reported.

Most of the cases occurred in males (85 percent), with a median age of 40 years. “Vaccine products received by persons experiencing breakthrough infections were Pfizer-BioNTech (159; 46%), Moderna (131; 38%), and Janssen (56; 16%).”

The most common reported symptoms included coughs, headaches, sore throats, myalgias, and fevers.

The CDC concluded that “The B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant is highly transmissible,” and that “Jurisdictions might consider expanded prevention strategies, including universal masking in indoor public settings, particularly for large public gatherings that include travelers from many areas with differing levels of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.”

Transmission and vaccine efficacy

The findings came on the heels of a July 27 CDC recommendation that “all persons, including those who are fully vaccinated, should wear masks in indoor public settings in areas where COVID-19 transmission is high or substantial.”

“High viral loads suggest an increased risk of transmission and raised concern that, unlike with other variants, vaccinated people infected with Delta can transmit the virus,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated on July 30, according to a report by The New York Times.

The viral loads indicate that “even fully immunized people can spread the virus as easily as unvaccinated people who become infected,” the article states. In an email to the media outlet, Walensky confirmed, “We believe at individual level they might, which is why we updated our recommendation.”

The new findings challenge previously reported CDC data that 97 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated. CNBC reported in July that the “Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine is just 39% effective in Israel where the delta variant is the dominant strain, according to a new report from the country’s Health Ministry,” although the vaccines demonstrated “88% effectiveness against hospitalization and 91% effectiveness against severe illness.”

Similar effectiveness has been seen with ivermectin. In a recently published systematic review and meta-analysis in The American Journal of Therapeutics analyzing 15 trials with 2438 participants, “ivermectin reduced the risk of death by an average of 62% (95% CI 27%–81%) compared with no ivermectin treatment.” Furthermore, in studies of ivermectin prophylaxis, or medication taken for prevention, “among health care workers and COVID-19 contacts probably reduces the risk of COVID-19 infection by an average of 86%.”

In the UK, one of the most vaccinated countries in the world against COVID-19, Public Health England (PHE) released a report in June highlighting the fact that there were higher death and hospitalization rates among vaccinated compared to unvaccinated persons.

In an interview on the CBS News “Face the Nation” broadcast published on Aug. 1, Dr. Anthony Fauci, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director and chief medical advisor to the president, stated, “when you look at the level of virus in the nasopharynx of people who are vaccinated, who get breakthrough infections, it’s really quite high and equivalent to the level of virus in the nasopharynx of unvaccinated people who get infected.”

“So we know now that vaccinated people who get breakthrough infections can spread the virus to other people,” Fauci continued. “But the mean, the– the sort of average or mean level of virus in the nasopharynx is really quite similar, almost identical on an average. So you would think, obviously, when you have biological variability, you’re going to have some people high, some people low, some people in the middle. But the median or mean is going to be right there, which is very similar to the unvaccinated individual, which is troublesome, which tells you the potential for transmission is there,” he said.

According to the U.S. CDC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database, which reports adverse events after COVID-19 vaccines predominantly in the U.S., 518,769 reports have been received as of July 23, 2021. There have been 11,940 deaths, 40,991 hospitalizations, 4,110 cases of anaphylaxis, 3,714 cases of Bell’s Palsy, 4,799 heart attacks, 3,201 cases of myocarditis or pericardits, and 1,932 cases of thrombocytopenia or low platelets that can increase risk of bleeding reported.

The mounting evidence of adverse events and reports of transmission and waning immunity after COVID-19 vaccination have made many reconsider the risks and benefits of getting the jab. Alternative prophylactic drugs or treatments such as ivermectin are quickly gaining traction through ongoing medical research and clinical trials.

  • Steven Li is a medical professional with a passion for lifelong learning and spreading positivity and truth to the world. He has a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree and a passion for business and marketing, cultivated through healthcare and technology-related consulting projects. He also has a love for music and the performing arts.
  • A medical worker administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a boy at a healthcare services center in central Israeli city of Modiin on June 22, 2021. Israel's Ministry of Health reported 139 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, raising the total number in the country to 840,079.
    A medical worker administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a boy at a healthcare services center in central Israeli city of Modiin on June 22, 2021. Israel’s Ministry of Health reported 139 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, raising the total number in the country to 840,079. (Image: Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua via Getty Images)

    The latest wave of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections in Israel has raised concerns, given that the nation is one of the most vaccinated countries in the world. The new wave of infections is believed to be driven by the Delta variant that first emerged in India, accounting for roughly 90 percent of cases.

    Around 55 percent of the country’s 9.3 million people have been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The breakthrough cases, or infections in fully vaccinated people, account for around 40 to 50 percent of new COVID-19 cases, Prof. Chezy Levy, the Director-General of the Health Ministry, said in an interview with local radio.

    Prof. Levy added that the figure is concerning. “Even though the numbers are low, the fact that this is reaching vaccinated people means… that we are still checking how many vaccinated people have also been infected,” Levy said.

    On June 15th, the government lifted a face mask mandate in enclosed public spaces. However, according to new guidelines issued by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, face masks could once again be mandated in enclosed spaces if an average of 100 or more new cases are diagnosed daily for a week.

    The Health Ministry’s advice is for people to start wearing masks again. In his meeting with a panel of health experts, Bennett said that the new wave of infections will be treated as a fresh outbreak.

    “It also infects people who have been vaccinated. You can get vaccinated and get infected… We have seen in other countries like the UK a significant increase in child hospitalizations… So we made an initial decision to treat it as a new outbreak – and our goal is to interrupt it; take a bucket of water and pour it over the fire when it is still small,” Bennett said in the meeting.

    In a recent media presentation, Dr. Sharon Alray-Price, head of Public Health Services, revealed that of the 891 coronavirus cases confirmed in Israel during May, almost half had received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. A Channel 12 report showed that 6,765 fully vaccinated people had contracted the coronavirus, and based on epidemiological tracing, another 3,133 had contracted the virus from the vaccinated people.

    Back in January, the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) Military Intelligence Directorate published a report warning that vaccines could trigger viral mutations.

    “The mass vaccination program, which is happening at the same time as an active outbreak in Israel, may lead to evolutionary stress on the virus… This situation may cause that mutations offering the virus a certain protection against immunity (whether from the vaccine or disease) will spread significantly among the population, if they appear,” the report said.

    The government has decided to postpone the date tourists are allowed to enter from July 1 to August 1. Fines could be levied against individuals who travel to countries on the government’s COVID-19 blacklist, including South Africa, Russia, India, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. Health officials have been empowered to quarantine anyone who has been exposed to the Delta variant, regardless of if they have been vaccinated or recovered from an earlier infection.

    The number of daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million was 16.85 as of June 27, which is 6.5 times more than the rate of 2.59 recorded a month earlier, on May 27. As of June 28, Israel has reported 840,995 cases of infections and 6,429 deaths.

    US situation, WHO warning

    According to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of 10,262 breakthrough cases were reported in America as of April 30. The agency stopped counting breakthrough cases afterwards, opting to only track the number of hospitalizations and deaths among vaccinated individuals. In Massachusetts, 3,791 breakthrough cases were reported in fully vaccinated individuals as of June 12.

    At a recent news briefing at the World Health Organization (WHO) Geneva headquarters, assistant director-general for access to medicines and health products, Dr. Mariangela Simao, stated that people cannot feel safe just because they have been jabbed, and they still need to protect themselves. “Vaccine alone won’t stop community transmission,” Simao stated.

    With reporting by Prakash Gogoi.

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