The nation’s top doctor went on the record recently that just because an individual is fully vaccinated with one of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized under emergency use, it doesn’t mean that they are fully protected. In fact, one report reveals up to 20% of all of those 74 million people who have been fully vaccinated could still get sick, meaning 14.8 million people are at risk. In another local Bay Area example, just recently 39 fully vaccinated people in the Sonoma County area north of San Francisco actually became ill with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Called “breakthrough cases,” local prominent physicians/researchers remind all that the COVID-19 vaccines don’t mean full protection. So TrialSite reminds all that just because you are vaccinated against COVID-19 doesn’t mean you will not get infected by the virus. TrialSite also emphasizes to the CDC and other agencies that given the liability waivers now involved with Emergency Use Authorized vaccines, that robust consumer updates should be provided weekly on all relevant data in a clear, concise and easy to understand format.
Recently, Dr. Bonnie Maldonado from Stanford University shared on local San Francisco Bay Area media ABC7 News KGO that, “We are not invulnerable just because we are vaccinated, so the vaccine is about 90% effective in preventing any infection, but that is a ten percent risk.”
The Washington Post reported recently that the CDC is ramping up its scrutiny and review of so-called breakthrough cases as its expected that if about 10% of those fully inoculated may be at risk for infection. But NPR reports that thus far with three emergency authorized vaccines with an effective rate of about 94%—that is, preventing disease and death associated with COVID-19 starting about two weeks post the final jab), about 80% are effective at preventing infection. So that could, of course, increase the number of breakthrough cases. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci was on the record recently that “There are always breakthroughs regardless of what the efficacy of the vaccine is.”
Benefits associated with vaccination, according to Stanford’s Maldonado and Dr. Peter Chin-Hong of University of California, San Francisco, are that receiving the vaccine definitely reduces the probability of infection and better prepares our bodies for fighting the virus as evidenced by the clinical trials. Dr. Chin-Hong was on the record, “Nobody in the study when they got the vaccine got a serious disease, were hospitalized, or died, which is really important to know even if they weren’t fully protected.” Dr. Maldonado emphasized, “The immunity we have from vaccines is the best thing we have going for us if we want to get rid of this virus everywhere, not just in one person.”
But the breakthrough cases raise all sorts of questions? In the real world, are the vaccines’ efficacy actually stronger or weaker? Which vaccines are performing better? What are the demographics correlating to breakthrough cases? What kind of consumer reports should be produced informing all the public which vaccines have more associated adverse reactions? Given there is no legal liability for the vaccine producers during the emergency authorization phase, the government has a responsibility to produce as much granular data as possible for health consumers.