Friday, August 13, 2021

CDC not reporting most breakthrough infections

What Is the True Vaccine Breakthrough Rate? The CDC Doesn't Want You to Know | Foundation for Economic Education - Jon Miltimore:

August 13, 2021 - "Over a recent 12-day period the Milwaukee Brewers had nine players test positive for COVID-19.... [T]he team disclosed that most of the players were vaccinated for COVID-19, including former MVP Christian Yelich.... The Brewers are not an isolated example of Major League Baseball teams experiencing a rash of vaccination breakthroughs. Teams across the league have experienced similar problems, including the New York Yankees, who saw nine vaccinated players sidelined in May with COVID-19....

"[B]reakthrough cases also appear to be more common than the CDC, media, and public health officials suggest.... A recent outbreak in Provincetown, Massachusetts, for example found that the vast majority of COVID cases involved vaccinated individuals.... But that wasn’t all. The CDC’s study also found, the Washington Post noted, individuals 'carried as much virus in their noses as unvaccinated individuals.' '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 Rochelle] Walensky said.... [T]his data suggests two important things. First, COVID cases among vaccinated individuals appear to be higher than the 'less than 1 percent' many claim. Two, vaccinated individuals appear quite capable of transmitting the virus to others, as Walensky states. Indeed, viral loads in nasal passages suggest they could transmit the virus at rates similar to unvaccinated carriers....

"'As of May 1, 2021, CDC transitioned from monitoring all reported vaccine breakthrough cases to focus on identifying and investigating only hospitalized or fatal cases due to any cause,' a statement says.... Does this mean the CDC isn't tracking breakthrough cases anymore unless someone is hospitalized or dies? I asked the CDC for clarification. I didn’t hear back from them. But if one goes to the CDC site, you’ll find information on vaccine breakthroughs that includes only hospitalizations and deaths. The figure — as of August 2 — stands at 7,525, which is below the 9,245 breakthrough infections the CDC had documented as of April 26.... 

"[T]he media are left guessing what the breakthrough rate is. CNN points out that roughly half of US states report data on breakthroughs, and in those states official statistics put the COVID infection rate of vaccinated people at less than 1 percent, 'ranging from 0.01% in Connecticut to 0.9% in Oklahoma.' A highly cited Kaiser report similarly puts the breakthrough rate at 'well below' 1 percent. An NBC News analysis covering 38 states, meanwhile, found 125,682 breakthrough cases, which represents about 0.08 percent of the 164 million vaccinated Americans....

"A thorough review of the evidence strongly suggests breakthrough cases are far likelier than the claims in headlines. A New York Times story published Wednesday exploring the Delta variant  noted that the CDC 'does not tally national figures on breakthrough infections that don’t result in hospitalization or death,' so the precise incidence 'is unknown' even though the CDC says breakthroughs are 'extremely rare'.... But infectious disease experts hinted that breakthrough cases are more likely than the current data suggest. 'I think that if we started to test people just randomly on the street, we would find a lot more people who test positive,' Dr. Abraar Karan, an infectious diseases fellow at Stanford, told the newspaper.

"On Thursday, New York magazine published an article under the headline 'Don’t Panic, But Breakthrough Cases May Be a Bigger Problem Than You’ve Been Told.' Journalist David Wallace-Wells, who spoke to scientists at Harvard and Scripps’s, said public health officials may be 'overstating the vaccine effect on transmission and understating the scale and risk of breakthrough infections.' 'The message that breakthrough cases are exceedingly rare and that you don’t have to worry about them if you’re vaccinated — that this is only an epidemic of the unvaccinated — that message is falling flat,' Harvard epidemiologist Michael Mina told Wallace-Wells. Eric Topol, an American cardiologist and author, was more blunt, saying he estimated the vaccines’ efficacy against symptomatic transmission had fallen to roughly 60 percent for the Delta variant....

"Wallace-Wells notes it’s impossible to estimate the true breakthrough rate because the CDC stopped tracking and reporting most breakthroughs in May, but the data he assembled paint a much different picture. 'In Delaware, between July 1 and July 22, ‘breakthrough’ cases were 13.8 percent of the total,' he writes. 'In Michigan, between June 15 and July 30, the figure was 19.1 percent. In this period, there were 2,369 breakthrough cases and 12,409 in total. In Utah, 8 percent of new cases were breakthroughs in early June, but by late July, as Delta grew, the share grew, too, to 20 percent (even while the total number of cases almost doubled)'.... 

"By only tracking breakthrough infections that result in hospitalization and death, the CDC is depriving the public of crucial information on the efficacy of vaccines and fueling the vaccine wars. Increasingly, these wars are a bipartisan chorus of vaccinated voices who paint the unvaccinated as either crazy people ... or filthy creatures who are prolonging the pandemic because of their selfishness.... This chorus has had its desired effect. A recent Axios-Ipsos poll found that 80 percent of Americans blame the unvaccinated for rising cases — even though the US has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world — which has fueled efforts to force Americans to get vaccinated by requiring 'vaccine passports' to travel or do business.

"Blaming the unvaccinated for the drawn out pandemic may be popular and politically convenient, but .. breakthrough transmissions appear to be more common than the CDC has let on — which is undoubtedly why they stopped tracking most breakthrough cases. The CDC’s effort to hide breakthrough cases not involving death or hospitalization from the public eye might serve its presumed goal — getting more Americans vaccinated — but it undermines the truth and further erodes public trust in government, which is already at historic lows. The silver lining in the story is that a full analysis of the science of vaccination makes an even stronger case that the decision of whether to vaccinate or not should be made by one person: the individual getting the vaccine."

Read more: https://fee.org/articles/what-is-the-true-vaccine-breakthrough-rate-the-cdc-doesnt-want-you-to-know/

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