Milwaukee, WI — We recently reported West Virginia saw an increase in COVID cases among its vaccinated population. However, it’s not the only state with this alarming trend. MacIver News in Wisconsin recently reported that the Department of Health Services released a report on 8/19/21 that shows case numbers increasing twice as fast in vaccinated individuals.
This information comes as a surprise. From February to July, Wisconsin DHS has been fairly transparent with their numbers, which showed an overall higher percentage of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the unvaccinated population. However, when broken down month-by-month, the gap between vaccinated and unvaccinated appears to shrink. In May, the percentage of unvaccinated individuals accounted for 96% of cases. In June, it was 88%, and in July, it was even lower at 77%.
Meanwhile, the vaccinated population saw a 771% increase from June to July (14.4 per 100,000 to 125.4 per 100,000). While the case count for unvaccinated did rise, it was a 346% increase, further showing the alarming speed at which vaccinated cases are rising.
The gap in hospitalizations is also shrinking. However, the unvaccinated are still accounting for more deaths. With that being said, does this point to waning efficacy of the vaccines? What will these numbers look like in six months?
We may have an idea if we look to other nations who have administered more vaccines and are also diligent with reporting. Israel is perhaps the most vaccinated nation and is now seeing their hospital beds filled with vaccinated (mostly older) individuals. They recently reported that the efficacy of their Pfizer vaccine had dropped from 90% to 55% as Delta tears through their nation.
Though the breakthrough cases in the U.S. are fewer and farther between (right now), are we traveling the same path as Israel? Booster shots are a hot topic, with many individuals fearing they will become a stipulation for living a normal life. Every six to eight months, will we need to renew our booster to maintain our place in society? That’s not a realistic or remotely reasonable proposal.
However, natural immunity appears to be robust with long-lasting protection. A recent study pointed to a “13.06-fold (95% CI, 8.08 to 21.11)” increased risk for the vaccinated to be infected with the Delta variant compared to unvaccinated individuals who had been infected with COVID-19 and recovered.
With dwindling protection and the increased need for boosters, those of which have not been studied long term, should we be pushing for three, four, or five vaccines in otherwise healthy individuals when natural immunity appears to offer better protection for much longer?
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