It was heartbreaking to watch dozens of Olympic athletes having their dream crashed with the novel coronavirus taking the wheel.
Many tested positive for the COVID-19 and have been ruled out even after their doses of vaccination. Doctors, however, are not surprised by the test results coming out positive. In most cases, they prevent someone from becoming sick, or at least as ill as they would have without the vaccine.
Clinical professor at Temple University’s School of Pharmacy in Philadelphia and a clinical pharmacy specialist in infectious diseases, Dr. Jason Gallagher, informed about two reasons we still see COVID-19 cases in vaccinated people.
The first reason is the obvious one. If a vaccine works for 90 to 95 percent of people, it doesn’t work for 5 to 10 percent. That level of effectiveness tends to squelch out the spread of the virus if most people are vaccinated, but sadly, we are not near that level for now.
The second reason by Gallagher is a bit more complicated. According to him, vaccines are the most effective way to block diseases rather than infection. Infection can be asymptomatic or mild, and people may not even know that they have it. But if you are looking, you will find it in infected people. The Olympic team(s) are testing to figure out infections so people can be isolated, and it will help prevent the spread of diseases that people would never know they had.
Any vaccination provides at least some level of protection. As per U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fully vaccinated adults age 65 years and older are around 94% less likely to get hospitalized with COVID-19 than people who are not vaccinated. People who are partially vaccinated are 64% less likely to get hospitalized.
Dr. Javeed Siddiqui, co-founder, and chief medical officer of telemedicine-based practice TeleMed2U said, “Partially or fully vaccinated people had a 40% lower average viral RNA load compared to unvaccinated. A 58% lower risk of fever, and a shorter illness, six days of symptoms, and two days spent sick in bed. The efficacy against the severe and symptomatic disease was assumed to be 52 percent, 14 days after the first dose, and 95 percent one week after the second dose.”
Doctors are sure that numbers are correct, and vaccinated people do not get nearly as sick as long as they live.
Senior director of clinical affairs at Philadelphia-based Wolters Kluwer Health, Dr. Matthew Weissenbach said, “Although it is still possible for vaccinated individuals to test positive for COVID-19, the vaccines are nearly perfect at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, or death. A vast majority of vaccinated individuals who happen to test positive for COVID-19 can expect to experience only mild symptoms or asymptomatic.”
Battling the delta variant
Another major factor in the surging COVID-19 case rate is mutation. Delta variant is becoming predominant throughout the world not because it is more infectious. The vaccines have about 65% efficacy, versus 95% for the original strains.
It doesn’t mean that 35% of people who are vaccinated are going to get infected. It means that the risk to develop an asymptomatic infection is reduced by 65%, compared to someone who is not vaccinated. Perhaps, something to note is that it reduces by nearly 100% the chance of ICU hospitalization or death.
Here are three levels of protection:
- Protection against bad outcomes even if symptoms develop. It is something that many factors are doing at the moment.
- Protection against symptomatic infection
- Protection against any infection at all. It is often tough to determine
In the end, the only way to stop the pandemic is to get vaccinated quickly and massively. Every unvaccinated person is a potential host for the COVID-19 virus to mutate and duplicate. Vaccines are safe, with far fewer side effects compared to the COVID-19 infection.
In hospitals, people who did not get vaccinated are dying or becoming permanently disabled. It is happening not only from the COVID infection but also from the complications from the illness. People developed strokes, difficulty in breathing, extreme fatigue, blood clots, and heart attacks after months of developing COVID. People who got infected before vaccines would never want to go through it again.
Vaccines are not 100% effective against the virus. There can be a small number of vaccinated people who test positive. It is true that vaccines do not necessarily protect against infection, but protect you from hospitalization and serious illness from COVID-19.
So if you are vaccinated, you are less prone to serious illness compared to the unvaccinated person. Don’t wait too long and get vaccinated before it becomes worst.
For more latest information or updates on COVID-19, stay tuned with WiseRX blogs!