Adverse vaccination effects and effectiveness of vaccines in fighting COVID
Updated: Dec 7, 2021
By: Dalton Green
Are the vaccines effective?
An infection of a fully vaccinated person is referred to as a “vaccine breakthrough infection.” With the discovery of the new Covid-19 variant Omicron, President Biden stated earlier this week that the best protection from this new variant is getting fully vaccinated.
With the new threat of Omicron along with the COVID-19 strands that have already been circulating, it is natural for people to wonder how protected they are from the virus.
According to the CDC vaccine breakthrough cases are expected. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing most infections. However, like other vaccines, they are not 100% effective. Also, according to the CDC people who get vaccine breakthrough cases can be contagious. Because vaccines are not 100% effective, as the number of people who are fully vaccinated goes up, the number of vaccine breakthrough infections will also increase. However, according to the CDC the risk of infection remains much higher for unvaccinated than vaccinated people.
In Missouri 61,635 out of 3,150,505 (1.96%) people who are fully vaccinated have developed the infection. Of those fully vaccinated (712) 0.02% have died. Of those who are not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated there have been a total of 6,415 deaths which makes up 90% of all COVID-19 deaths in Missouri. This data suggests that while you can still contract COVID-19 while fully vaccinated the hospitalization and death rate are significantly lower of those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
There is also evidence showing that the vaccine has become less effective over time. In New York, the numbers show the vaccine effectiveness percentage in early May at 93%. However, the numbers now show that the vaccine effectiveness is down to 79% and starting to plateau. You can view that graph here.
Adverse effects of the vaccines
Despite these statics many people are still hesitant to get fully vaccinated. This could be because of the adverse effects the vaccine may have on any given person. According to data published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in Missouri alone there have been a total of 9,943 reported adverse effect incidents from the vaccine and a total of 160 deaths. You can view that report here. A list of the adverse results that have been confirmed include heart attacks, anaphylaxis, Bell's Palsy, shingles, miscarriages and as stated above, death.
Vaccination does not provide full immunity from COVID-19 and its variants
After viewing the data that is available regarding the COVID-19 vaccines many may wonder why to get vaccinated at all. On one hand, the CDC says the risk of infection, hospitalization, and death are all much lower in vaccinated compared to unvaccinated people. The CDC urges everyone ages 5 years and older to get fully vaccinated to protect themselves and those around them, including family members who are not able to be vaccinated from severe disease and death. But vaccinations carry risk of adverse reactions and perhaps an inflated sense of protection from acquiring and spreading the COVID-19 virus or its variants. Although President Biden said in a recent statement the public should not rely on the vaccination alone as he urged the public to continue wearing masks and social distancing, many believe the vaccinations alone are protecting them from both acquiring the disease and spreading it to others.
Missouri back in the "red zone"
There are currently 10,449 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Missouri with an average of 1,493 surfacing daily and an average of two deaths per day. Over the last week statewide, cases have gone up 17%, hospitalizations have increased by 27% and COVID-19 related deaths have risen by 47% - increases which some believe is attributable to Thanksgiving holiday gatherings. This puts Missouri back in the "red zone" with high transmission rates. Missouri ranks 41 out of 50 states for vaccination rates, with 50.8% of Missourians fully vaccinated.
We will continue to monitor the situation and report as new information emerges.