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Breakthrough Data

COVID - Delta Variant
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Penna Dexternever miss viewpoints

The vaccine brought temporary relief from Covid anxiety. Now, as Covid’s Delta variant spreads, Americans — vaccinated and unvaccinated — have been shaken out of any comfort zone we thought we had attained.

Breakthrough cases were supposed to be rare. So, it was jarring when it dawned on us that they’re not. Breakthrough cases were also said to be mild and not readily spread. But the Centers for Disease Control’s recent report on the Delta outbreak shows that vaccinated individuals with the virus carried as much of it in their noses as unvaccinated individuals. And, as many young Covid victims land in hospitals, we have to wonder: Is the Delta variant more virulent?

Or could it be that there’s a lot more of it out there and it’s hitting some people hard, but is mild for most?

No one knows the breakthrough rate. According to its own statement, “As of May 1, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control transitioned from monitoring all reported vaccine breakthrough cases to ‘focus on identifying and investigating only hospitalized or fatal cases.’”

Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins points out that, “From the start, our mistake has been our strange reticence to recognize the reality of mild or symptomless Covid.” Perhaps it’s not so strange. Perhaps, for political reasons, those in charge of Covid policy really don’t want us to know how much is out there. After all, Mr. Jenkins explains, “overplaying the death risk, and underplaying natural immunity helped to rally support for lockdowns, masking and vaccine rollout compliance.”

Early in the pandemic, the CDC’s webpage stated that every American should expect to get the virus eventually. This advice disappeared. Holman Jenkins suggests that “Accentuating how much viral spread remained unobserved apparently did not fit the agenda.”

We need more data. Vaccination is not a one-size-fits-all blunt instrument. We must also learn more about how many Americans have contracted the virus and recognize the role natural immunity plays in this fight. penna's vp small

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