The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that the experimental biologics, which were developed to prevent serious complications of COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, do not prevent infection with and transmission of the virus to other people. In an interview with CNN on Aug. 5, 2021, CDC director Rochelle Walensky, MD, addressed the Delta variant and said that the biologics “continue to work well for Delta, with regard to severe illness and death–they prevent it. But what they can’t do anymore is prevent transmission.”1
In a press statement released by the CDC on July 30, Dr. Walensky said that new data from her agency showed that “Delta infection resulted in similarly high SARS-CoV-2 viral loads in vaccinated and unvaccinated people” and that these 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.”2 3
Dr. Walensky added:
This finding is concerning and was a pivotal discovery leading to CDC’s updated mask recommendation. The masking recommendation was updated to ensure the vaccinated public would not unknowingly transmit virus to others, including their unvaccinated or immunocompromised loved ones.2 3
This new finding by the CDC directly conflicts with the following statement made by Dr. Walensky in March 2021: “[V]accinated people do not carry the virus, don’t get sick, and that it`s not just in the clinical trials but it`s also in real world data.”4 5 6
But that’s how science works. That is why it is so important to never dismiss alternative theories, perspectives and conclusions. Science is never settled. You just never know when everything you once believed to be true suddenly gets turned on its head and is no longer true.
Yesterday, COVID-19 vaccinated people were not believed to be spreaders of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Today, they are.
“Breakthrough Cases” Rising in U.S. and Make Up Majority of Coronavirus Infections in Several Countries
It is now also evident that fully vaccinated people are testing positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in numbers that may not have been imagined possible a few weeks ago. These so-called “breakthrough cases” are increasingly being reported throughout the U.S. For example, as of last week nearly 10,000 breakthrough coronavirus cases were reported in Massachusetts, 5,600 in Minnesota, and there were more than 1,000 cases reported in Tennessee.7 8 9
According to data collected by NBC News and reported on July 30, some 38 states had confirmed a total of 125,682 breakthrough cases.10 You can bet that number is not entirely accurate. First, the number does not include reported cases in 12 other states. Second, countless cases are asymptomatic or mild and, therefore, go unreported.
Last week, it was reported that at least 233 staff members at two hospitals in San Francisco, California tested positive for coronavirus. About 80 percent of them were fully vaccinated. It is unclear how many of them were asymptomatic or only exhibited mild symptoms that were not immediately identified as COVID-19. This is consistent with the July 2021 coronavirus outbreak in Barnstable County, Massachusetts in which 74 percent of the 469 reported COVID-19 cases occurred in fully vaccinated people.11 12
Breakthrough coronavirus cases are not confined to the U.S.—they are occurring all over the world. NDTV recently reported that more than 40,000 breakthrough cases have been confirmed in the state of Kerala in India.13 In July, Reuters reported that, of the 1,096 cases of identified coronavirus infections in Singapore during a four week period, 75 percent of them were in vaccinated people.14
This phenomenon in which significant numbers of coronavirus infections are occurring among fully vaccinated people in highly vaccinated populations is happening in other countries, such as Chile, Israel, Mongolia, Seychelles and the United Kingdom. It is a persistent pattern that should be acknowledged and thoroughly investigated.15
The rising number of breakthrough coronavirus cases has answered the question of whether the COVID biologics protect against infection and transmission. That is why top U.S. health officials like Dr. Walensky now prefer to stress that these pharmaceutical products prevent “severe illness and death.” So do other health professionals like Jason Gallagher, MD, a clinical professor at Temple University’s School of Pharmacy in Philadelphia. Dr. Gallagher said:
Vaccines mostly protect people from developing disease, not infection.16
According to Matthew Weissenbach, MD, senior director of clinical affairs at Wolters Kluwer Health in Philadelphia, “Although it’s still possible for vaccinated individuals to test positive for COVID-19, the vaccines are nearly perfect at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, or death.”16
COVID Vaccines are No Guarantee Against Hospitalization or Death
That is the new mantra: Vaccines may not prevent you from getting and spreading coronavirus, but at least they will keep you out of the hospital and save your life. But that is not necessarily true either.
Of the breakthrough coronavirus cases in Massachusetts, 445 cases resulted in hospitalization and 106 in death.7 17 Of the cases in Minnesota, 514 fully vaccinated people ended up going to the hospital and 57 died.8 Of the ones in Tennessee, 272 required hospitalization and 39 died.9 These are only a few examples.
Last week The New York Times published an article, which includes a chart that lists the number of hospitalizations and deaths for breakthrough cases by state. Judging by the numbers provided for Massachusetts, Minnesota and Tennessee, the Times‘ chart is out of date. However, it serves as a reference point. Here’s a few more facts to ponder… Hospitalizations for breakthrough cases in California, Michigan, Illinois, Arizona and North Carolina—843, 569, 563, 379 and 321 respectively. Deaths for breakthrough cases in those five states—88, 223, 151, 34 and 61 respectively.18
U.S. health officials and the mainstream media will consistently try to remind the American public that these hospitalization and death numbers for people for whom the vaccines failed to protect against infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus are rare, given the millions of people who have been vaccinated. But where exactly is the line between rare and common? It’s certainly not rare to the person who got vaccinated after trusting that he or she would at least be protected from serious illness or death—only to discover otherwise.
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1 The Star Democrat. CDC: COVID vaccines won’t stop transmission; Fully vaccinated can still get, spread Delta strain. Aug. 5, 2021.
2 Press release. Statement from CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH on Today’s MMWR. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention July 30, 2021.
3 Wamsley L. Vaccinated People With Breakthrough Infections Can Spread The Delta Variant, CDC Says. NPR July 30, 2021.
4 Rosa-Aquino P. CDC Data Suggests Vaccinated Don’t Carry, Can’t Spread Virus. Intelligencer Mar. 30, 2021.
5 MSNBC. Transcript: The Rachel Maddow Show, 3/29/21. Mar. 29, 2021.
6 TrialSite Staff. CDC’s Walensky on Record that Vaccines Don’t Stop SARS-CoV-2 Transmission While Other Societies Show An Alternative Pathway. TrialSite News Aug. 7, 2021.
7 Markos M. Nearly 10,000 Breakthrough COVID Cases Reported in Mass.; Over 100 Have Died. NBC10 Boston Aug. 11, 2021.
8 Associated Press. Minnesota Logs 5,600 Breakthrough COVID-19 Cases, 57 Deaths. KIMT3 News Aug. 10, 2021.
9 Denis A. Some Tennesseans more affected by COVID breakthrough cases, Vanderbilt doctor says. WKRN Aug. 10, 2021.
10 Strickler L. Breakthrough Covid cases: Data shows how many vaccinated Americans have tested positive. NBC News July 30, 2021.
11 Schnell M. Hundreds of staffers at two San Francisco hospitals test positive for COVID-19. The Hill Aug. 1, 2021.
12 Lovelace B. CDC study shows 74% of people infected in Massachusetts Covid outbreak were fully vaccinated. CNBC July 30, 2021.
13 Kumar P. Over 40,000 Vaccinated People Test Positive In Kerala: Sources. NDTV Aug. 11, 2021.
14 Aravindan A. Vaccinated people make up 75% of recent COVID-19 cases in Singapore, but few fall ill. Reuters July 23, 2021.
15 Cáceres M. Coronavirus Spreading Among the Vaccinated in Highly Vaccinated Countries. The Vaccine Reaction July 25, 2021.
16 Curley B. If You’re Vaccinated and Are Exposed to COVID-19, Here’s What You Should Do. Healthline July 26, 2021.
17 Dwyer D. Here’s how many breakthrough cases have occurred in Mass. Boston.com Aug. 11, 2021.
18 The New York Times. See the Data on Breakthrough Covid Hospitalizations and Deaths by State. Aug. 10, 2021.