CDC’s biased undercount of COVID-19 breakthrough infections

CDC’s biased undercount of COVID-19 breakthrough infections

Note that views expressed in this opinion article are the writer’s personal views and not necessarily those of TrialSite.

Dr. Ron Brown – Opinion Editorial

July 10, 2021

"A vaccine breakthrough infection is defined as the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA or antigen in a respiratory specimen collected from a person ≥14 days after receipt of all recommended doses of an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.” COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections Reported to CDC — United States, January 1–April 30, 2021 | MMWR. 

As of May 1, 2021, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) counted only breakthrough COVID-19 infections that occur in fully vaccinated people who are hospitalized or who die. This surveillance policy appears to be based on the assumption that only a small percentage of breakthrough infections will occur in people who received vaccines with extraordinarily high efficacy rates of approximately 95%, as in the mRNA vaccines.

CDC readily admits that their surveillance policy will result in undercounting breakthrough infections that are asymptomatic or mild. But with so few breakthrough infections expected, due to the high efficacy of the vaccines, the number ...

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