By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 2, 2021 ~
As of its most recent July 27 update on COVID vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States carries this statement:
“Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant.”
That statement stands in stark contrast to what the Director of Public Health Services in Israel told television viewers of the CBS program, Face the Nation, on Sunday, reporting that 50 percent of new infections in Israel are from fully vaccinated people.
The Pfizer–BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine was the exclusive vaccine used to inoculate the broad population of Israel. It was also one of the two most highly-administered vaccines in the United States, with Moderna’s mRNA vaccine being the other. As of July 12, only 12.8 million people in the U.S. had been vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine versus 146 million people in the U.S. that were fully vaccinated with either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, both of which require two doses.
Israel has been closely tracking the effectiveness of the vaccine over time and publishing its studies. These reports have critical implications for health policy in the U.S. – particularly when it comes to the need to protect oneself against waning immunity by wearing a proper mask.
On Sunday, Face the Nation included interviews with both Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) who is also the Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden, as well as Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, the Director of Public Health Services in Israel.
Even though the COVID-19 vaccines were administered at roughly the same time in both countries (beginning in December of 2020 and expanded in January of 2021 and thereafter) Fauci parroted the view of the CDC, which differs dramatically from the facts on the ground in Israel.
When Face the Nation host, John Dickerson, asked Alroy-Preis about her biggest concern from the “uptick in cases because of the Delta variant,” she said this:
“…we are seeing about 50 percent of the people who are infected right now are vaccinated, fully vaccinated individuals. And so that is obviously of concern.”
If half the people becoming infected in Israel are fully vaccinated individuals, it stands to reason that the U.S. should be seeing a similar outcome in more heavily populated areas of the U.S. In fact, according to the CDC’s own data, in an outbreak in July in Barnstable County, Massachusetts (Cape Cod) 469 cases were detected among Massachusetts residents, with 74 percent of those fully vaccinated.
But despite this mounting evidence that there is serious waning protection against infection from the vaccine over time, Dr. Fauci told Face the Nation viewers this:
“…the predominant message is that if you are vaccinated and you get a breakthrough infection – first of all, if you’re vaccinated, you’re much, much more protected against getting infected than an unvaccinated who is completely vulnerable.”
If 50 percent of the new infections in Israel are coming from the fully-vaccinated and 74 percent of the cases in the outbreak in Cape Cod were from fully-vaccinated people, how can the statement above from Fauci be accurate? Likewise, the statement on the CDC’s website that “Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant,” would appear to need a major update.
What Fauci and Alroy-Preis do agree on, at this point in time, is that the vaccine does appear to be protecting the fully-vaccinated from severe disease. Fauci said this on the program:
“…the critical issue, John, is that if you do get infected, the likelihood of your getting a severe outcome of the infection is very low.”
Alroy-Preis said this:
“…we now see that the vaccine effectiveness against disease is roughly 40 percent. It still remains high for severe disease. But we are seeing diminished protection, especially for people who have been vaccinated earlier.”
Alroy-Preis clarified “vaccinated earlier” as follows:
“…what we have been seeing in the past several weeks is actually an evidence that there is waning immunity. If we compare people both over the age of 60, but also between 16 to 59 who were immunized early on, so were fully vaccinated by the end of January, we see infection rate among them that is 90 per 100,000 which is double that of those who were fully vaccinated in March. So we see a drop in the vaccine effectiveness against disease for those who have been vaccinated early on. And we see it for both elderly people over the age of 60, but also for younger.”
Alroy-Preis would appear to be challenging the official narrative coming out of Pfizer. If Israel is finding that “the vaccine effectiveness against disease is roughly 40 percent” and Pfizer is reporting “91.3% vaccine efficacy observed against COVID-19, measured seven days through up to six months after the second dose,” it would suggest that someone has faulty or out-of-date data. (See the full Alroy-Preis interview on Face the Nation below.)
This isn’t a trivial matter. Getting a handle on precisely when the vaccines’ protection wanes to the point of no longer being viable to prevent infection and the spread of the virus to others is a critical matter in terms of preventing hospitalizations, death and the renewed sacking of economies around the world.
As of its July 27 update, the CDC has this statement on its website:
“To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.”
If Israel’s studies are correct, and one has only a 40 percent protection against COVID disease about six months after being fully vaccinated, shouldn’t the CDC be recommending that people wear masks during all indoor activities and continue social distancing at both indoor and outdoor activities?
Because of the waning immunity, Israel has just initiated a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine to persons over 60 years old. The U.S. is studying the need for a booster shot. Hopefully, the U.S. is also conducting clinical trials as to just how much of this vaccine the human body can safely absorb over the span of a year.