With a new round of data out of Israel seemingly confirming what we have been reporting for weeks now, fresh questions are emerging about the efficacy of the mRNA vaccines (those produced by Pfizer and Moderna) and whether they're truly 90%+ effective, as advertised.
As the number of confirmed COVID cases topped 184MM, the Israeli health ministry shared preliminary data appearing to confirm that these vaccines are less effective at preventing infection via the Delta variant. Although the data must still be peer reviewed, the Israelis went so far as to proclaim that the true efficacy number is closer to 64%. To be sure, the vaccines continue to mostly prevent severe infection and death (though they're only 93% effective at this, less than the 100% number initially touted by their corporate parents).
Now, with President Joe Biden publicly addressing the administration's ongoing effort to combat COVID as case numbers continue to creep higher in the US, the CDC has chimed in - right on cue - to remind the world that the benefits of everybody taking the vaccine still far outweigh the risks posed by the rare (but sometimes deadly) side effects that have now also been documented.
As we reported, the FDA now recognizes that the rare heart inflammation seen in some patients, including members of the military, have been linked to mRNA vaccines. So, with criticism and skepticism directed at the US-made vaccines mounting, the CDC on Tuesday tried its hand at a little damage control.
The benefits of messenger RNA Covid-19 vaccines clearly outweigh the risks despite heart complications seen in a relatively small number of mostly young men, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Roughly 1,200 cases of myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart wall, were reported in people who received mRNA vaccines, the CDC said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Tuesday. But with about 296 million doses of mRNA vaccines having been administered as of June 11, the benefit is clear in all populations, including adolescents and young adults, the researchers reported.
For the Biden Administration, the stakes have never been higher. COVID cases are rising, and many are blaming Southern and western states with lower vaccination rates as a potential vulnerability that could ignite another wave of COVID.
Meanwhile, in the UK, PM Boris Johnson just confirmed that he plans to relax the last remaining COVID restrictions in England on July 19. But already, public health advisers and other "experts" are pressuring him to reconsider.
And in the US, the daily case numbers have started to creep higher, while the pace of vaccinations has slowed dramatically. Still, just under 70% of American adults have received at least one dose.
While the Biden Administration has already given employers the green light to pressure employees to get vaccinated, and will undoubtedly continue to do whatever it can to pressure more adults to accept the vaccine, Dr. Scott Gottlieb points out that most Americans will eventually acquire immunity either through natural infection, or the vaccine.
Given how transmissible Delta variant is, around 85% of population will end up with some level of immunity to Covid before it stops spreading at present rates. People have choice how they acquire immunity: some will acquire it through vaccination, others through natural infection https://t.co/ZVfGnCcTaM— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) July 4, 2021