Switching gears to treatments instead of desperately clinging to vaccines may be the winning approach.
News continues to stream worldwide that the COVID-19 vaccinations are not as effective as either hoped or advertised.
In my home state of California, 19% of all new cases are among those who have received vaccinations. Officials are using this data to thrust the mask-up campaign upon everyone whose last name isn’t Obama.
About 19% of recent documented COVID-19 cases in California are breakthroughs, and state data shows that those who have been fully vaccinated account for an increasing portion of positive tests.
…Breakthrough case rates are a sensitive topic, one that some health officials are trying to avoid and which has sparked a lot of handwringing in the media about how to report it.
The fear is that misinterpretation of the numbers will dissuade people from getting vaccinated. But, without the data, the important push for everyone to wear masks is weakened.
In Israel, about 60% of the population has the vaccination. An Israeli doctor says that most COVID-19 patients hospitalized at his hospital are fully vaccinated, and those with severe illness have also been vaccinated.
Talking with Channel 13 TV News on August 5, Dr. Kobi Haviv, medical director of Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem said that “85 to 90 percent of the hospitalizations are in fully vaccinated people,” and “95 percent of the severe patients are vaccinated.” Herzog Hospital specializes in nursing care for the elderly.
…Data from the Israeli Minister of Health in July suggested that the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine in preventing infection and symptomatic illness had dropped from 90 percent to only 39 percent and 41 percent, respectively. However, the levels of protection against severe illness (88 percent) and hospitalization (91.4 percent) remained high.
The Pfizer vaccine has been the only COVID-19 vaccine available for Israelis since it was authorized for use in December 2020.
Iceland’s top epidemiologist admits the vaccination is not achieving the herd immunity as hoped for:
While data shows vaccination is reducing the rate of serious illness due to COVID-19 in Iceland, the country’s Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason says it has not led to the herd immunity that experts hoped for. In the past two to three weeks, the Delta variant has outstripped all others in Iceland and it has become clear that vaccinated people can easily contract it as well as spread it to others, Þórólfur stated in a briefing this morning.
…The panel opens for questions. “What needs to happen for you to tighten restrictions, Þórólfur? You don’t sound very positive at the moment.”
Þórólfur says he has not decided on measures beyond August 13. He is in discussions with the Health Minister, and it is the government that must decide whether it is necessary to impose tighter restrictions. Þórólfur adds that at this time he will likely make recommendations in a different format than the memorandums he has previously sent to the Health Minister.
As a reminder, Iceland has over 70% of its population vaccinated, and nearly everyone over 16 has received their shots.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Iceland (93% of the population 16 years of age or older vaccinated) is experiencing its largest wave of Covid-19 yet. At this point, I think it is unreasonable to assume that increased vaccine coverage will result in herd immunity pic.twitter.com/k8mUZAtIGO
— Elías Eyþórsson (@eliaseythorsson) August 7, 2021
During another discussion, the Director of the National University Hospital Páll Matthíasson asserted that the pandemic is here to stay. He recommends that people turn the focus from lockdowns and restrictions to preparing hospitals for the new realities.
“This and other pandemics are here to stay,” Páll says. “We must strengthen the healthcare system so that it is not always on the brink of collapse.” We are all in the same boat in this society. It’s a pretty good boat despite everything, but we must work together to ensure success, Páll says.
Pfizer has announced that the development of a booster to target the delta variant. But what about all the other variants likely to arise?
One Swedish Professor thinks people might need five booster shots.
While many people have bragged about being “fully vaccinated” after taking two COVID-19 jabs, a Swedish professor says that as many as five shots may be needed to combat falling immunity.
“We don’t know how long the vaccine protects against serious illness and death,” said Karolinska Institute Professor Matti Sällberg. “This means that you pick the safe before the unsafe.”
Alternatively, it may be time to shift our desperate focus from vaccines to healthcare readiness. This includes readily available treatments allowing people to recover fully at cost-effective price points. The Iceland team may be the first group of epidemiologists who realize that a new approach may better respond to this virus.DONATE
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