As vaccines continue rolling out to every nook and cranny of our nation, people are transitioning back to the lifestyles they at one time freely enjoyed. Granted, precautions are still being taken, but they’ve become much more relaxed as the light at the end of the tunnel draws closer. But not so fast…
In Washington state over 100 fully vaccinated people who felt they were safe, were not. They’ve tested positive for COVID-19. This only represents 0.01% of the state’s population, but these 102 people have returned to a somewhat normal lifestyle where they have been spreading the virus to those not yet vaccinated. As the wheels on the bus go-’round and ’round.
Two of the victims, both over the age of 80, did not survive due to their underlying health issues, and eight of them required hospitalization. All of them had been fully vaccinated for over two weeks prior to falling ill. While it should be easy enough to determine which manufacturer’s vaccine was the culprit, collectively, the victims had received doses produced by Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and the new single-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson, making it nearly impossible to say which one is to blame.
The Washington State Department of Health is diligently investigating the matter to determine the individual patterns of each of the victims to see if there is a common denominator between them. So far, there has not been.
In a recent statement by Washington state’s secretary of health, Umair Shah, he emphasized how “It is important to remember that every vaccine on the market right now prevents severe disease and death in most cases. People should still get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible, and encourage friends, loved ones, and co-workers to do the same.”
“Finding evidence of vaccine breakthrough cases reminds us that, even if you have been vaccinated, you still need to wear a mask, practice socially distancing, and wash your hands to prevent spreading COVID-19 to others who have not been vaccinated,” the statement continued. So. Get fully vaccinated and continue to shelter in place anyway, just as if you didn’t receive it. Right. Gotcha.
Perhaps for the elderly and those with underlying health issues, Shah may have a valid point since none of the three vaccines are 100% effective. U.S. drug regulators gave Pfizer’s vaccine a 95% effective rating while Moderna’s version came in at 94.1. But, the Johnson & Johnson one-shot version being scarfed up by young folks anxious to once again resume their nightlife, bottomed out as only 66.9% effective.
The percentages were determined following two weeks after receiving the final vaccination, or the single-dose J & J. Infections among vaccinated people have not been confined to the borders of Washington state by any means. Idaho is on the cusp. Though health officials say the number of cases stands at less than 100, they are starting to see an uptick.
The same holds true in South Carolina where 134 previously vaccinated people contracted the virus, and the identical scenario is creeping into Florida where dozens of cases have been reported. Once again, all after two weeks of being administered the vaccine from the various suppliers.
Though the Minnesota Department of Health is not the only state health department that has begun issuing health warnings and advisories, their initial statement said they are “investigating COVID-19 infections (symptomatic and asymptomatic) among people who are appropriately vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine, also called vaccine breakthrough cases.” The infection broke through the vaccine.
Along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Minnesota health officials are attempting to “understand to what extent sub-optimal primary immune responses among specific groups, waning immunity, vaccine compromise, and viral mutations or variants may impact susceptibility to COVID-19 infection after vaccination.”
Let’s hope they are successful, and quickly, before things once again escalate to the out-of-control stage. France just shut down their entire country due to the coronavirus, and America certainly doesn’t want or need, to go there.
But, there’s a new administration in town that has a tendency to panic in the face of a potential crisis, so keep doing whatever it is you’re doing and hope for the best. Meanwhile, there’s a guy in Palm Beach who’s shaking his head.