Reports of Covid-19 breakthrough infections in the United States and Israel have many people worried. What people are concerned about is when people that are fully vaccinated test positive for Covid. This is called a breakthrough infection.
Most breakthrough infections result in mild to no symptoms proving that vaccines are working the way they should. The purpose of these vaccines is to protect the vaccinated from death or a severe illness. The biggest misconception is that vaccines protect from getting infected what some call sterilizing immunity.
The fact of the matter is that people with breakthrough infections can infect other people. Case studies show immunized people potentially have higher levels of the virus in their noses than unvaccinated people. The difference between breakthrough infections and being unvaccinated is those vaccinated will clear the virus quicker, reducing the amount of time they’re infectious and can pass the virus to other people.
Although breakthrough cases are happening, many case studies show that there is no need to worry. A study at the University of Illinois showed that vaccinated individuals with a breakthrough infection are less likely to shed infectious virus at a given viral load. The study also indicates that they shed shorter than unvaccinated individuals and are symptomatic for fewer days.
New reports coming out of the UK with 1.2 million participants show that the vaccine has signs of waning. Pfizer came in at 88%-> 74% at four months, while AZ came in at 77%-> 67% at three months.
At this point, it is unclear if children contribute to breakthrough infections. Children under the age of twelve can’t be vaccinated just yet even though there is discussion about Covid vaccines for ages 5 to 12, thus there is a spike in cases related to kids compared to the elderly. Before the emergence of the Delta variant, early case studies indicated that children insignificantly contributed to transmission. This has drastically changed with school systems in multiple locations publishing data as to the number of infected school children.
Covid became an epidemic in our society. It can fade away or continue to evolve. Keeping a close eye on interactions between the virus and vaccines is essential.
Waning Covid Protection After Six Months Explained
The effectiveness of the Pfizer shot dropped to 74%, while AstraZeneca dropped to 67% after six months. According to researchers in Britain this underscores the need for booster shots. After six months, the effectiveness of Pfizer in preventing COVID-19 a month after the second dose dropped from 88% to 74%. As for AstraZeneca, the effectiveness dropped from 77% to 67% after five months.
Britain, along with other European countries, planned a vaccine booster campaign for Covid 19 later on in the year. Top vaccine advisors believe a third shot is necessary for the elderly and more vulnerable people. The United States government also plans to provide a third shot starting in mid-September to people who had their initial shot more than eight months ago. Britain conducted a separate public health study on protection from either Pfizer-BioNTech or AstraZeneca vaccines against the delta variant within three months. Studies done at Oxford University show that 90 days after the second shot of AstraZeneca or the Pfizer vaccine, the prevention of infections slipped to 75% and 61%. That’s down respectfully from 85% and 68% two weeks after the second dose. This still a significantly better rate than 0%.