Headlines in the StarTribune and the New York Times today say “Virus variant’s potency is ‘jarring’” and “CDC report upends view of delta among the vaccinated.” The first paragraph says, “fully immunized people with so-called breakthrough infections of the variant may spread the virus to others just as easily as unvaccinated people, the CDC said in a report published Friday.”
First, note the word “may.” This is pure speculation. But I don’t doubt that they do spread the virus. If by “breakthrough infection” you mean someone who is vaccinated who nevertheless is infected and becomes symptomatic, that person probably is just as infectious as an unvaccinated person who is infected and symptomatic. The key is being symptomatic. Symptomatic infected people have been contagious (infectious to others) and asymptomatic have not. The vaccine would not be expected to change that; it would just mean fewer vaccinated people become symptomatic. The boogeyman delta variant is irrelevant to that.
Vaccinated people are at essentially no risk of death and are at little risk, maybe 20% or 30% risk, of even becoming symptomatic if infected. Many vaccinated people are probably infected, but they would not know it because they never become ill, and therefore they also are not infectious to others. So in other words, the vaccine gives 100% protection against death, over 90% protection against serious illness, and probably 70% protection against becoming ill at all and therefore infectious.
And to the extent vaccinated people are still infectious, why do they need to wear masks to protect the unvaccinated? The unvaccinated chose to take that risk, as is their right. Why are the vaccinated required to wear masks (pretending for the moment that masks make any difference anyway) to protect people who chose not to be vaccinated and accept the risk?
The CDC and the media are obviously hell bent on keeping this “crisis” going and preventing us from returning to normal life. They are clutching for any excuse to continue the mask mandates and the lockdowns. But supposedly they want everyone to get vaccinated. Well if that is your goal, it is not helpful to imply, falsely, that the vaccines make no difference or that they do not work against the delta variant. They work just fine against the delta variant. They give nearly 100% protection against death. And they provide strong protection against becoming ill and infectious, just not complete protection in that regard, whether we are talking about the original COVID strain or subsequent variants (and pretty much all strains have been variants because evolution does not stand still).
If the CDC and media are going to pump out crap like this, they cannot complain when people choose not to get the vaccine because they get the idea that vaccines make no difference against the delta variant and are therefore useless because the delta variant is the primary strain out there now. That is pretty much what they are telling us. You have to read down to paragraph five in the stories and the CDC statements or be an immunologist to figure out that is not the case.