With all of the sensational media headlines about mutant strains of the coronavirus…
Israeli data shows South African variant able to ‘break through’ Pfizer vaccine
The South African variant of the coronavirus is notably more adept at “breaking through” the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine than other variants are, Israeli scientists have found, in a first-of-its-kind real-world study. Israel has used the Pfizer vaccine almost exclusively to vaccinate millions of citizens, with a version by Moderna, based on similar innovative mRNA technology, used minimally. A team from Tel Aviv University and the Clalit healthcare organization sequenced the swabs of 150 Israelis who tested positive for COVID-19 despite having been vaccinated.
“Based on patterns in the general population, we would have expected just one case of the South African variant, but we saw eight,” Prof. Adi Stern, who headed the research, told The Times of Israel. “Obviously, this result didn’t make me happy.” She said that the results show that the South African variant, compared to the original strain and the British variant, “is able to break through the vaccine’s protection.” However, she said that the sample size is too small to put a figure on its increased ability. “We can say it’s less effective, but more research is needed to establish exactly how much,” she said. <Source>
Beyond the headlines, from the research paper…
The main caveat of our study was the small sample size of both the WT and B.1.351 variants. These small samples sizes are a product of (a) the dramatic increase in frequency of the B.1.1.7 variant (first detected in Israel in mid-December 2020) (Fig. 1A), and (b) the low frequency of the B.1.351 variant in Israel . In fact, in our latest samples obtained in late February and early March 2021, we noted fixation of the B.1.1.7 variant, but this interpretation requires caution as our sample size was low (Fig. 1A). Furthermore, caution is required from over-interpreting the odds ratios obtained, as the absolute numbers we found, in particular for B.1.351 infections, are very small.
Our study design was not intended to deduce vaccine effectiveness against either variant, since we observe VOCs conditioned on infection, and do not measure absolute infection rates in the vaccinated or control population. Thus, we can only cautiously speculate on vaccine effectiveness against the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 strains from these dates. For those wanting to read the paper pre-print, it can be found here.
So where is Dr. Fauci, reading the report, interpreting the data, and informing the public?
Fauci: Israeli COVID-19 study misleading on vaccine effectiveness
Fauci explained that the while the S. African variant can break through the vaccines, they are still effective at preventing serious illness and death. In an interview with FOX Television Stations also on Monday, Fauci explained that the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines still look to be effective at preventing serious illness and death. "So what might happen is that when you get these new variants, some of them may not be protected against when you’re talking about mild-to-moderate disease, but at the same time, people are not going to get severely ill and wind up dying," Fauci told Fox. <Source>
Nothing is misleading about the paper, the researchers, or their work. And misinformation comes solely from the media outlets seeking to create sensationalism to attract audience attention. Or Dr. Fauci pushing a political agenda.
Put in context by a well-credentialed Brit with statistics expertise…
Professor Francois Balloux
I joined the UCL Genetics Institute (UGI) as a professor of Computational Systems Biology in 2012 and became Director of the Institute in 2015.
Founded in 1826 in the heart of London, UCL is London's leading multidisciplinary university, with more than 13,000 staff and 42,000 students from 150 different countries.
Once again, the mainstream media is trying to assist the progressive socialist democrats and their continuing power grab.
Whether you opt-in or opt-out of the vaccine program, remember you are an adult and have the right to assess your own appetite for risk. Personally, I opted-in because I am at the highest risk level and believe that, while I might contract the virus, it might be less severe or less deadly in my particular case. Because of the near-exclusive use of the Pfizer product in Israel and the abundance of quality Israeli research, I chose Pfizer over Moderna and never considered any AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
It’s up to you whether to panic and stress out over something you cannot control or take prudent precautions to mitigate your risk and that of family members, friends, colleagues, and community members.
We are so screwed when we can’t trust our government or the mainstream media.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell