In news that was basically ignored by American media outlets, the chief scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO) told reporters this week there was “no evidence” to suggest that individuals who have been vaccinated against the Covid-19 pandemic could safely move around the globe without fear of transmitting the virus.
Wait … what?
“I don’t believe we have the evidence on any of the vaccines to be confident that it’s going to prevent people from actually getting the infection and therefore being able to pass it on,” said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan.
According to Latika Bourke of The Sydney Morning Herald, Swaminathan provided this comment in response to a question about Australia’s aggressive travel ban/ quarantine/ lockdown programs.
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“We need to assume that people who have been vaccinated also need to take the same precautions till there’s a certain level of herd immunity,” Swaminathan (above) added.
Hold up … but what about claims from Pfizer and Moderna that their vaccines were more than ninety percent successful against Covid-19?
“A close look at the research released by Pfizer and Moderna shows the studies haven’t actually tested whether the vaccines actually prevent transmission of the virus; the goal of the trials was to see whether vaccinated patients presented with Covid symptoms at a rate that was substantially less frequent than individuals who hadn’t been vaccinated,” our friends at Zero Hedge noted. “That’s pretty much it.”
For some informed background on the vaccine, we turn to Dr. Zuban Dumania – a.k.a. ZDoggMD – whose commentary on Covid-19 matters we have featured in previous posts.
Dumania was initially quite skeptical of the vaccine’s development – worrying the process would be politicized – but he has since sung the praises of government and private sector actors who collaborated as part of U.S. president Donald Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed.”
According to Dumania, tests on vaccine efficacy have thus far been geared “mostly to look at symptomatic disease.” In other words, how good are they at preventing symptoms of the virus.
The remaining question?
“How good are they at people who are carrying it without symptoms?” Dumania asked.
According to him, there is “signal” – or meaningful data – from vaccine trials which suggests the shots are also effective at reducing and potentially eliminating transmission.
“There is signal in the trials that it’s actually pretty good – especially Moderna’s,” Dumania said. “(It) may stop asymptomatic infection as well, to a degree – and that means the end of the pandemic, because if you’re vaccinated you’re not going to silently spread the thing, you’re not going to get an asymptomatic infection.”
Obviously, that would contradict the claim made by Swaminathan.
To hear Dumania’s latest thoughts on the vaccine, take a look at this recent clip from his website …
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Our view on all of this?
As we noted yesterday, “there is far too much opaqueness surrounding this virus.” And much of that opaqueness we believe is unnecessary … perhaps even deliberately so.
Or as one of our longtime readers recently told us, it is hard to find consensus in the Covid-19 science because “both parties are weaponizing the information.”
So true …
And truly unfortunate … because our goal in assessing the data we do have on Covid-19 (as well as the data we need) ought to be focused on mitigating risk in maximizing public health. Not driving agendas.
Until we get reliable data, we will continue to see uniformed divisiveness.
Stay tuned … we will continue to keep our eyes open for information on the extent to which the Covid-19 vaccines are effective at stopping asymptomatic transmission. Furthermore, we will continue to push local governments to collect, track and publish data indicating the extent to which individuals are infected … and potentially contagious.
Ultimately, our goal is to offer readers as informed a perspective as we possibly can on the risks associated with this virus – which continues to poses a significantly lower threat to younger, healthier Americans.
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(VIA: GETTY IMAGES)