The Lancet Reads Tidewater Forum

Transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 among fully vaccinated individuals

A brief report in the prestigious medical journal comments on the impact of vaccination on community transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

[One] study showed that the impact of vaccination on community transmission of circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2 appeared to be not significantly different from the impact among unvaccinated people.

The report cites other studies in the same vein before concluding:

Thus, the current evidence suggests that current mandatory vaccination policies might need to be reconsidered, and that vaccination status should not replace mitigation practices such as mask wearing, physical distancing, and contact-tracing investigations, even within highly vaccinated populations.

According to The Lancet, Covid vaccines have efficacy for individuals, but that efficacy doesn’t translate into a reduction in community transmission.

30 thoughts on “The Lancet Reads Tidewater Forum

  1. From the article:
    “The scientific rationale for mandatory vaccination in the USA relies on the premise that vaccination prevents transmission to others, resulting in a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

    Uh, no. That is not the rationale. The rationale for mandatory vaccination is much simpler. If you ain’t got it, you can’t transmit it.

    So, the question is. . . Does vaccination prevent you from becoming infected. If the answer is Yes, then more vaccinations will result in less transmission to others. Recent data from the last two months of 2021 provides the answer. Yes, vaccination greatly reduces the probability of becoming infected. In November, the data showed the unvaccinated had 13x the infections than the vaccinated and boosted.

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    1. RE: “Uh, no. That is not the rationale.”

      I should have guessed. You possess a superior opinion to that of The Lancet writer.

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      1. “I should have guessed. You possess a superior opinion to that of The Lancet writer.”

        I stand by what I said. I think it is accurate. You can take it or leave it. I don’t care.

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      1. “Did you even read the article?”

        I quoted directly from it. Take that as a hint.

        The article is about transmission – vaccinated vs unvaccinated. The finding is that transmission from a vaccinated person with the virus is about equivalent to transmission from an unvaccinated person with the virus. I am not disputing that. It seems to be the case.

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          1. Yes, it does.

            There is no other realistic explanation for the dramatic difference in rates of infection between the vaccinated and the boosted even as the Omicron variant was above 95% of the total.

            And, again, “just limiting the severity of the disease” also reduces transmission to others – lower virus loads present for shorter periods of time.

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          2. Asymptomatic and mild cases do not get counted. We don’t know how many went uncounted.

            Most transmission occurs in the first five days of an infection.

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          3. That does NOT explain the data. Not even close. The only realistic explanation is that the vaccines block a lot of potential infections.

            You are struggling to dismiss compelling evidence based on imagined masses of virus carriers who are not sick. People with asymptomatic infections CAN spread the virus but they are not as good as people who are coughing, sneezing, and running noses. So once again, even if the ONLY benefit is less serious or no illness, vaccination slows the spread and protects other people.

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          4. You are making an assertion that you know that the vaccines prevent transmission.

            I have provided an alternative that fits the information available every bit as well.

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          5. “I have provided an alternative that fits the information available every bit as well.”

            I don’t buy that but even if you can make it fit then it is time for Occam’s Razor. The simplest explanation for the data is that vaccination blocks some significant percent of infections. No need to postulate hordes of dangerously infected people with no symptoms of any kind skewing the data.

            The transmission danger zone is in the one or two days before symptoms and the three or four days after symptoms. Are you postulating that the vaccinated who get infected but never get sick still follow that pattern? Are you postulating that these hordes of infected but not sick people cough, sneeze and ooze virus at the same level as those who fall ill? Doesn’t not getting sick mean that your body has stopped the viral outbreak that would have made you sick if it hadn’t been stopped?

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          6. It appears that Omicron almost completely evades the humoral(antibody) defense that is active during the transmission period.

            Vaccination stimulates IgG and IgM antibodies that protect your internal organs and blood vessels but not the IgA antibodies that are active in the upper respiratory tract.

            Serious illness is prevented mostly by cellular immunity that slows replication until the flood of new Omicron specific antibodies’ that the body releases in response to the infection comes online.

            But by then the transmission period is over. The spreading has already happened.

            Controlled studies show a very near equal viral load in the upper respiratory tract in those critical first days.

            What happens later has a big effect on the individual case, but transmission has already happened.

            So. at least with Omicron, vaccination has very little, if any, effect on transmission.

            But it will keep you from dying, so it’s still a goood idea.

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      2. RE: “The finding is that transmission from a vaccinated person with the virus is about equivalent to transmission from an unvaccinated person with the virus.”

        That is not the “finding.” The report surveys several studies to conclude that vaccine efficacy doesn’t justify mandatory vaccinations. The finding is that vaccination policies — based on current science — should be reevaluated.

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  2. “… vaccination status should not replace mitigation practices such as mask wearing, physical distancing, and contact-tracing investigations, even within highly vaccinated populations.”

    Since we here in the US are still fighting each other over the mitigation practices, maybe we should heed the advice of still masking up whether or not you have had the jabs.

    If I read this right, vaccinated and infected transmit COVID as well as unvaccinated and infected.

    Yet, vaccinated folks are many times less likely to get infected.

    So it seems to me that the bulk of infected are the unvaccinated, who are passing this around.

    Can’t transmit what you don’t have and vaccinated people are 13x less likely to get infected, 28x with a booster, I believe.

    In my mind, inferior as it might be, if we can keep people from getting infected, we can reduce transmissions since we have fewer infected.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “If I read this right, vaccinated and infected transmit COVID as well as unvaccinated and infected.”

      Not exactly, but this very confusion is the reason I shared the link.

      The report cites a study which shows that vaccination status has no significant effect on community transmission. It doesn’t matter whether 9 out of 10 people are vaccinated or 1 out of 10 people are vaccinated.

      This is a puzzling and non-intuitive observation, but other studies suggest an explanation. Community transmission is driven by viral loads “in the upper airways of the lungs and culturable virus are similar in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.”

      These two observations taken together suggest that vaccination policies need to be re-evaluated, because “vaccination status should not replace [other] mitigation practices.”

      To escape the confusion, you need to see that community transmission is a phenomenon in its own right that needs to be studied by its own rules. You can’t extrapolate from one person’s likelihood of infection to community transmission.

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      1. Community transmission is dependent upon how many are infected in the community.

        If no one has the virus and the gates are locked so no one else gets in, then transmission is zero.

        If everyone has the virus and one person sneaks in, he will probably get COVID.

        If half the people are not infected, his chances, for simplicity sake, are 50% assuming random associations.

        So keeping infections down so only the unvaccinated and the breakthrough vaccinated, will reduce the guests chances of exposure.

        To me it is not a matter of who is infected, vaccinated or not vaccinated, that matters as much as how many are actually infected in a community.

        Am I wrong (again)?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. RE: “So keeping infections down so only the unvaccinated and the breakthrough vaccinated, will reduce the guests chances of exposure.”

          The fly in your ointment is that vaccination doesn’t keep infections down. As I wrote, “Community transmission is driven by viral loads ‘in the upper airways of the lungs and culturable virus are similar in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.'”

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          1. “The report cites a study which shows that vaccination status has no significant effect on community transmission. It doesn’t matter whether 9 out of 10 people are vaccinated or 1 out of 10 people are vaccinated.”

            Absolute nonsense. There is no such finding in any of the studies. You are clearly seeing what you really, really want to see.

            The article and the supporting studies report that vaccinated people WITH INFECTIONS are just as contagious as unvaccinated people with infections. It says NOTHING about the probability of becoming infected – vaccinated vs unvaccinated.

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          2. Here’s the quote from the report: “[One] study showed that the impact of vaccination on community transmission of circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2 appeared to be not significantly different from the impact among unvaccinated people.”

            You should also study this statement in the report: “A recent investigation by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of an outbreak of COVID-19 in a prison in Texas showed the equal presence of infectious virus in the nasopharynx of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.”

            I hope you see the light.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Viral loads in both vaccinated and unvaccinated may be the same IF they are both infected. I get that.

            But the vaccine is effective in keeping people from getting infected in the first place. Particularly compared to the infection rates in the unvaccinated.

            Liked by 2 people

          4. RE: “But the vaccine is effective in keeping people from getting infected in the first place.”

            Is that a fact? You are referring to the breakthrough infection rate. Dr. Tabor notes (above in this thread) that not all breakthrough infections get reported in the U.S.

            Hence the puzzle: You can’t extrapolate community transmission from individual probabilities of infection, and the breakthrough infection rate is unknown.

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          5. “But the vaccine is effective in keeping people from getting infected in the first place.”

            No, it isn’t. It is effective in preventing them from becoming seriously ill, but not in preventing them from becoming infected and passing it on.

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          6. https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/see-the-numbers/covid-19-in-virginia/covid-19-cases-by-vaccination-status/

            Apparently, the infection rates among vaccinated are lower in VA. Are we saying that infected or not the viral loads are the same for everyone?

            So who is putting the loads on the hospitals? Everyone?

            If that is the case, then should we have mandates for masking so that the unvaccinated are better protected from at least the vaccinated. Keep the pressure off the healthcare system so that other emergencies and elective procedures are not affected.

            Liked by 2 people

          7. The data you cite covers 1/17/21 to 1/22/2022.

            90% of that time was before Omicron was present in VA

            Additionally, people who don’t get sick enough to go to the doctor aren’t counted. Vaccinated people don’t get as sick, so their cases are drastically undercounted.

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          8. “I hope you see the light.”

            Back at you.

            The entire discussion is about transmission and the findings are that it is about the same whether the infected individuals are vaccinated or not. You seem confused about the use of the term “community transmission.” In this context it refers to transmission to the community, not community spread in general. Your summation that it matters not at all the ratio of vaccinated to unvaccinated is completely and dangerously wrong.

            Take your prison evidence that the viral load is the same whether the person is vaccinated or not vaccinated. That does NOT refer to the people who are NOT infected. They have the same viral load too – none.

            The evidence could not be more clear – even with Omicron in circulation you are much less likely to become infected if you are fully vaccinated. And uninfected people have zero “community transmission.”

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        2. “It is effective in preventing them from becoming seriously ill, but not in preventing them from becoming infected and passing it on.”

          That is bizarre.

          Is it so hard to comprehend that vaccination failing to prevent infection in SOME or even MANY cases does not imply that vaccination fails to prevent infection in ALL cases? Do you really believe that the spread would be the same if everyone were vaccinated versus a case where no one was vaccinated? That is what you are stubbornly asserting.

          Your claim flies in the face of common sense and now mountains of data. Common sense says that the same mechanisms that keep the disease mild would also act in many cases to stop an exposure from growing into an infection. And, of course, the data. Spin all you want. It is compelling.

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