An Israeli study published on April 9th illustrates that certain COVID-19 variants have an increased likelihood of infecting vaccinated people.
The study has yet to be peer-reviewed and has received scrutiny from American health officials for the study’s small scale. Breakthrough infections occur when a vaccine fails to provide immunity against a pathogen, and cases are common in individuals who have recently taken the COVID-19 vaccine. The rise in cases post-vaccination is claimed to be a result of newly emerging virus variants, which are stronger and more infectious than others. The issue is currently being studied by the CDC.
Medical professionals, including Dr. Fauci, have previously cautioned that the COVID-19 vaccine may be less effective against new strains of the virus. The Israeli study analyzed roughly 400 patients of Clalit Health Services who had tested positive for the virus during or after their vaccination process. “Vaccinees infected at least a week after the second dose were disproportionately infected with B.1.351 (odds ratio of 8:1). Those infected between two weeks after the first dose and one week after the second dose, were disproportionately infected by B.1.1.7 (odds ratio of 26:10), suggesting reduced vaccine effectiveness against both VOCs under different dosage/timing conditions.”
Israel has been praised for its efficient vaccine distribution efforts, with half of the population, almost 5 million people, fully vaccinated. Pfizer is the most common vaccine used in Israel and is therefore setting a global precedent. In America, only one-third of vaccine doses have been distributed thus far, and 22 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated. Propositions of vaccine passports and government vaccine programs raise questions about the future medical freedom of Americans. The right to global travel, college attendance, and even visiting bars are just a few of the concerns emerging over the possibility of vaccine passports.
For the past few months, vaccine rollouts have not been a simple process. Complications emerging today, arising from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have led to a pause in distribution. Although allegedly rare, concerns such as blood clotting fuel speculation about the COVID-19 vaccine. Individual incidents include deaths following taking the vaccine and severe allergic reactions. Concerns have risen over AstraZeneca, Moderna, and J&J. The concern is furthered by the fact that vaccine distributors can not be blamed for side effects. While vaccine efforts aim to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, they continue to face controversial data.
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ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: TIMES OF ISRAEL