COVID Is Not A “Pandemic Of The Unvaccinated” As Politicians Claim
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- The Facts:
- There are multiple examples of COVID-19 outbreaks happening in highly vaccinated communities or groups.
- There is also evidence that vaccinated people can be the source of an outbreak.
- Vaccines do not stop transmission.
- This is not a “pandemic of the unvaccinated as many politicians have claimed.
- Reflect On:
- Why has so much blame been put on the unvaccinated for viral spread when the vaccinated can hold the same viral load? What are the implications of outbreaks in fully vaccinated groups?
- How does the vaccine protect others if vaccinated individuals can still spread the virus?
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Vaccinated people may be responsible for spreading COVID just as the unvaccinated are. In Massachusetts for example, a total of 469 new COVID cases appeared during a number of public events in July of 2021, and 74 percent of these cases occurred in those who were fully or partially vaccinated.
Low cycle threshold (CT) values were used in this case during PCR testing, which gives a more accurate representation of viral load present within individuals.
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In Israel, an outbreak of COVID-19 involving 16 healthcare workers, 23 exposed patients and two family members was caused by a fully vaccinated patient. Of all exposed individuals, the vaccination rate was 96.2 percent. Two unvaccinated patients developed mild disease, while fourteen fully vaccinated patients became severely ill or died.
12 new cases were recently detected in a professional soccer team in Germany. Ten out of the twelve players were vaccinated, most of them fully vaccinated. One player was unvaccinated. The public discussion was conducted in a manner that the unvaccinated player was suspected as the source for the viral spread, but it turned out that he had the lowest viral load of all players. This suggests that the vaccinated players were much more likely to be the source of the outbreak.
Ever since the rollout of COVID vaccines, unvaccinated people have been blamed for the continuation of the pandemic. For example, Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn said in August of 2021 that they are currently seeing a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” He said that up to 95 percent of COVID patients in intensive care units (ICUs) are unvaccinated. In July of 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden stated: “Look the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated.”
These are more like political statements rather than statements based on science. The perception that the unvaccinated are responsible for the continuation of the pandemic has been constantly beamed out to the masses via mainstream media. Although fully vaccinated patients are still ending up in ICUs, most of them are unvaccinated. They could have been infected by either a vaccinated person or an unvaccinated person.
According to Dr. Günter Kampf, consultant hospital epidemiologist and Associate Professor for hygiene and environmental medicine at the University Medicine Greifswald, Germany:
The International Epidemiology Association’s Dictionary of Epidemiology defines a pandemic as “an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people. The definition has never been restricted to a specific part of the population like the unvaccinated, the elderly or the obese. The term “pandemic of the unvaccinated” is therefore not an epidemiological or scientific term but rather a political one.
The bottom line is, vaccination only offers partial protection, not full protection. This has been known since COVID vaccines went through phase three clinical trials, and many outbreaks within the public clearly show this. Vaccines protect against severe COVID and death from COVID, but vaccinated people can still transmit the virus.
This begs the question, for someone with a 99.997 percent survival rate, like children for example, how much more protection from death and hospitalization can the vaccine really provide? Data suggests a mild reduction in hospitalization at this age, but sample sizes are very small given very few children have severe cases of COVID.
Other data shows that if infected with COVID-19, children ages 0-9 have on average a chance of 0.1% or 1/1000 of being hospitalized and, for ages 11-19 a 0.2% or 1/500 chance of being admitted to the hospital (Herrera-Esposito, 2021). This is based on seroprevalence data from eight locations around the world: England; France; Ireland; Netherlands; Spain; Atlanta, USA; New York, USA; Geneva, Switzerland. The infection fatality rate for 0–9-year-olds is estimated to be less than 1 in 200,000 (less than 5 in 1 million) and 1 in 55,000 for 10–19 year-olds.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also confirmed that while the Delta variant is infecting more children, it is not causing increased disease severity. They also found that 0.1-1.9% of their child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalizations, and 0.00-0.03% of all child covid-19 case resulted in death.
We can also ask, why has the science of natural immunity been completely unacknowledged throughout this pandemic? A new CDC study found that 28 times more fully vaccinated patients ended up in hospitals compared to unvaccinated previously infected patients from June to September.
Are the people in the hospital healthy, or do they have underlying health conditions?
Early on in the pandemic, 94 percent of COVID deaths in the United States were in people with underlying health conditions.
Since this outbreak occurred, it’s now been firmly established in scientific literature that fully vaccinated COVID infected individuals can carry the same viral load as COVID infected unvaccinated individuals.
Recent data shows that in new COVID cases in a various US counties with differing vaccination levels, there is no discernible relationship between the percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID cases.
There are many examples, and it’s becoming a common occurrence.
Of the top five counties that have the highest percentage of population fully vaccinated (99.9–84.3%), the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies four of them as “high” transmission counties (17).
The largest evaluation of breakthrough infections to date comes from the United States. There, a total of 10,262 Covid-19 cases were reported in vaccinated individuals by April 30, 2021, of which 27% were asymptomatic, 10% were hospitalized, and 2% died (12). In Germany, the rate of symptomatic Covid-19 among the fully vaccinated (“breakthrough infections”) is reported weekly since July 21, 2021, and was 16.9% at that time among patients of 50 years and older (13).
This proportion is increasing week by week and was 57.0% on 20. October 2021, providing clear evidence of the increasing relevance of the fully vaccinated as a possible source of transmission. Similar findings on the number of Covid-19 cases among the fully vaccinated were reported from the UK (14).
Kampf then goes on to hypothesize that vaccinated people may even accelerate the spread of COVID. His reasoning for this is that because vaccinated individuals still spread the virus. Because one can still transmit the virus, vaccinated people who are now allowed to enjoy basic rights and freedoms like large gatherings in sports stadiums will transmit the virus just as the unvaccinated would.
If the virus protects oneself from severe symptoms and death from COVID, but can still transmit, how are vaccinated people protecting anybody else other than themselves?
“Vaccinated people usually behave in a more risk-taking way, they have more contacts, go to concerts and parties more often. They are no longer tested in Germany and are not quarantined. It is a carte blanche for an almost normal social life. If they become infected, they often have no or only mild symptoms and thus do not recognize their infection or recognize it too late. As a result, the expected wave among the vaccinated would hardly be visible. It is to be feared that infections in Germany will spill over from there to the currently 3.4 million unvaccinated people over 60”
Kampf then goes on to hypothesize that vaccination could be responsible for the emergence of COVID variants.
In the world of bacteria, Darwin’s principle of the survival of the fittest is known that any selection pressure caused by antibiotics and biocidal agents enhances tolerance, finally resulting in a cellular adaptive response which enables the cell to survive in a rather hostile environment (23). If this principle is transferred to viruses, it may well be that the vaccinated with a partial immunity for Covid-19 could have better contributed to the development of variants that can at least partially escape human immune responses (24).
Given the emergence of immunity-evading variants even before vaccines were broadly deployed, it is hard to implicate vaccines or vaccine deployment strategies as the major drivers of immune evasion (24). That is why it seems to be possible or even likely that the infected vaccinated can also be a pool for variants and thereby continue to contribute to the pandemic.
Kampf is not the first to make this suggestion, Nobel Prize winning French Virologist, Professor Luc Montagnier who helped discover HIV stated clearly that COVID vaccines are creating variants, not the unvaccinated. He also warned about the risks of trying to vaccinate everyone during a pandemic, as you risk secondarily causing harm by perpetuating antibody dependent enhancement.
Given past data on multiple SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV vaccine efforts have failed due to ADE in animal models (75, 81), it is reasonable to hypothesize a similar ADE risk for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and vaccines.
Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche, a vaccine expert who has a wealth of experience in the field, formerly of Bill and Melinda Gates’ Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) in Geneva as Senior Ebola Program Manager, shared his belief that the COVID-19 vaccine may create more variants of the virus and an increase in cases.
Eric T. Payne, MD, MPH, FRCP(C), Pediatric Neurocritical Care & Epilepsy, Alberta Children’s Hospital Assistant Professor of Pediatrics & Neurology, the University of Calgary explains,
Those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine presumably have generated antibodies that will detect this s protein of SARS-CoV-2 should it enter their body. While those previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 have antibodies to the s protein AND other parts of the virus, including the nucleocapsid (16). If the virus wants to replicate in these individuals it needs to mutate to evade destruction. However, those who did not receive a COVID-19 vaccine and did not become infected with SARS-CoV-2 presumably lack these antibodies and thus the virus does not need to mutate to enter host cells and replicate.
With widespread dissemination of COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic, we are placing enormous evolutionary pressure of SARS-CoV-2 to continue mutating to evade our immune system, gain cell entry, replicate, and possibly cause illness. And, we are now using very “leaky” vaccines, making viral evasion from our antibodies that much easier. Only the fit will survive. Consider the reasonable analogy of antibiotic resistance – this is driven by the widespread and inappropriate use of antibiotics, not by people avoiding antibiotics (18).
A group of international experts recently stated in the New England Journal of Medicine, “viral variants of concern may emerge with dangerous resistance to the immunity generated by the current vaccines.” Among their recommendations were: “avoid the use of treatments with uncertain benefit that could drive the evolution of variants; and consider targeted vaccination strategies to reduce community transmission.”
With all of this considered, it doesn’t seem accurate to refer to the pandemic as one that’s being driven by the unvaccinated. There’s a long history of outbreaks in fully vaccinated populations, we’ve seen this with measles, whooping cough, and more so it’s not really surprising that it’s happening with COVID as well.