More Data Out of Israel Leaves Open Questions About Vaccines

More Data Out of Israel Leaves Open Questions About Vaccines

It's very challenging to draw conclusions on the risk levels and trajectory of COVID-19. There are a number of variables and they are being interpreted in various ways in the media. One day, we hear how protective the vaccines are and the next we hear about how vaccine immunity is waning. In the latest twist, Israel released data showing that vaccine efficacy is waning since they are seeing the rate of breakthrough cases escalate dramatically when you compare the date of vaccination i.e. January vaccinations are at higher risk than Feb, which are higher risk than March, etc. However, the much more likely reason for this is that Israel (like almost every country) prioritized their vaccine rollout for the most at-risk groups. This is mainly aligned by age with the elderly being first in line. It's well established that the elderly have poor immune responses to both vaccines and infection. Their poor immune response to vaccines is almost certainly what's causing the pattern of breakthrough cases. Or could it be something else?

Regardless, there is no doubt that breakthrough cases are happening at higher numbers than we hoped. The Delta variant is definitely playing a role. However...

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