It’s been just over a week since I posted this:
… are you seeing more and more social media alarmism over vaccinated people getting COVID? I’m certainly noticing it. Mostly, it consists of short anecdotal posts like this:
Two vaccinated friends had a couple over for dinner. Assuming they were vaccinated, too. They weren’t. Now all four have COVID. Ugh, please get vaccinated. To protect you and others.
My bullshit flag is waving. If you’re fully vaccinated, the odds are very slim … less than 5% … that you’ll contract or be able to pass on COVID, even the Delta variant alarmists want to frighten us with. In the unlikely event you do get it, you’ll probably be asymptomatic; i.e., you won’t get sick. I’m not the only one wondering what’s motivating the fear-mongering. Here’s what journalist Amanda Marcotte said on Twitter:
Ugh, seeing a lot of people trying to imply the vaccines don’t work against the Delta variant. I don’t know why people are so eager to return to lockdown, but they’re misleading people. The MRNA vaccine is very effective against Delta.
Well, that was 10 days ago. Today? Israel Says Pfizer Vaccine Just 64% Effective in Real World as Delta Variant Continues to Spread Rapidly. Yup, that’s the headline. From the article:
The Israeli health ministry said it now believes the vaccine is just 64% effective at preventing symptomatic infections, which compares with the efficacy rate of about 95% in clinical trials back in 2020, it said in a statement posted on Twitter. The vaccine remains roughly 93% effective at preventing hospitalizations and death, the ministry said. Experts have repeatedly warned of the need to vaccinate at least 70% of the world’s population to prevent new variants emerging that may prove resistant to the existing vaccines.
This is new information. When I said, 10 days ago, that vaccinated people had less than a 5% chance of getting COVID, even the Delta variant, that was the best information available to the American public at the time, straight from the Centers for Disease Control. When I went on to say even if you did get it you probably wouldn’t get sick, that too was based on what the CDC’s telling us.
Since then I’ve seen dozens of social media reports of vaccinated people catching COVID, the Delta variant specifically. I originally thought those reports were trolling attempts coming from the anti-vaxx Trump crowd, but I now think they’re sincere, bottom-up attempts to warn us of a danger that until now, with this news from Israel, our own government’s been reluctant to acknowledge. I have to assume if Israel has this data, so too does the United States. Perhaps the CDC is worried we’re not grown-up enough to hear about it, but now that Israel’s let the cat out of the bag, perhaps we’ll get some official guidance from our own authorities soon.
No, of course we don’t want to go back into lockdown, or even put our masks back on, but if in fact the best vaccine of all, the Pfizer vaccine, is only 64% effective against the Delta variant, and that while it may not kill us the odds are fairly high we’ll get sick, how fucking stupid would it be to not at least mask up again? And how long will it be before our leaders muster up the political and moral courage to tell us to?
A side note: I was talking about this news today with the lab tech who drew blood from my arm at the doctor’s office, and he told me word’s going around the medical community that the J&J vaccine, the one-shot vaccine originally touted as only 70% effective against COVID, may be an excellent booster shot for people who’ve already had the Prizer or Moderna vaccines. And with this news from Israel, I’m thinking we’ll see a push for booster shots sooner rather than later.
Update (7/8/21): Don’t get me wrong. The latest info from Israel doesn’t make me think getting vaccinated might not be worth it. On the contrary, if I were still unvaccinated I’d want it now more than ever. The people COVID is killing are unvaccinated. The data’s clear on that. I don’t want to die, therefore getting vaccinated is a no-brainer.
But … I want to know more about vaccinated people who contract the more-contagious Delta variant and get sick from it. Like, how sick exactly? Mild flu-like symptoms? Worse than that? Hospitalization? I hope we get answers soon. In the meantime, this fully vaccinated person is masking up again. It seems the only sensible thing to do.
More info, reported today by Business Insider: How Well COVID-19 Vaccines Protect Against the Delta Variant, According to the Best Available Data.
© 2021, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.