“We Don’t Understand What’s Really Happening” – The CDC Is Under-Counting ‘Breakthrough’ COVID Cases

Authors: BY TYLER DURDENWEDNESDAY, AUG 25, 2021 – 01:04 PM

A growing number of public health officials working at the state level are worried that the federal government isn’t collecting enough accurate data about “breakthrough” infections, yet the Biden Administration has pushed ahead with plans to dole out booster shots, as well as other COVID policies.

According to Politico, 49 states are now regularly sending CDC information on hospitalized breakthrough patients. But more than a dozen have told Politico that they do not have the capacity to match hospital admission data with patients’ immunization records, forcing states to rely on hospital administrators to report breakthrough infections.

The result is data that is often aggregated, inaccurate and missing critical details like which vaccine the consumer received . Instead, those states rely on hospital administrators to report breakthrough infections. The resulting data is often aggregated, inaccurate and omits critical details for teasing out trends, such as which vaccine a person received and whether they have been fully vaccinated, a dozen state officials said.

The fact that the CDC and public health departments across the country are still struggling to collect data on breakthrough infections is almost embarrassing, considering we’re more than 18 months into the pandemic at this point, and scientists have repeatedly warned about the necessity of being prepared for the Omega Death Variant which is right around the corner, according to Dr. Fauci’s latest fearmongering blitz.

“I think it would be really challenging [for the CDC] to interpret the results or to interpret the data when you have only some jurisdictions reporting [breakthrough infections],” said Theresa Sokol, lead epidemiologist for Louisiana’s state public health department, which is working closely with the CDC on studies of breakthrough infections. “I know that there are some jurisdictions that don’t even have access to their vaccination data. They don’t have the authority or their permission.”

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to collecting data on breakthrough infections is the balkanized nature of state health-care systems. States can’t communicate with other states. For years, states have pleaded with the federal government to upgrade these systems to no avail.

Last year, the CDC allocated a small amount of money (described by Politico as “tens of millions of dollars”) to help states upgrade their systems. But the CDC admits it will take years for the necessary upgrades to be made.

“Nothing has changed since the pandemic began,” one senior Biden health official said. “We’re still dealing with this patchwork system — and it continues to fail us.”

Of particular concern for health officials now is how rapidly the Delta variant spreads, whether it is reducing the effectiveness of vaccines and whether it causes more severe disease. Tracking breakthrough infections is a critical step toward arriving at all of these assessments.

To complement data on hospitalized cases from the 50-state reporting network, the CDC is conducting a smaller study with a subset of states to examine all of their breakthrough infections, including mild cases that don’t send people to the hospital. The states participating in this smaller study have the ability to match lab reports with immunization records, but they don’t maintain their own databases of hospitalization data. ;

“We report what we have, but we know that it’s limited because it’s based on a direct report from a provider — as opposed to taking a data set of all hospitalizations and matching that against our vaccine registry,” said Sokol, the Louisiana epidemiologist. “We’re not able to do that for hospitalization. We rely on individual reports from hospitals. And some report well, others do not. So we know that it’s not complete.”

[…]

“We don’t have a clear understanding of what the data actually says about the Delta variant, transmission and boosters,” one of those officials said.

To be sure, deliberately under-counting breakthrough infections has its advantages: for example, the Biden Administration can mask the number of breakthrough infections reported, making the vaccines appear more effective than they actually are.

CDC Reports Show Unvaccinated Way More Likely To Be Hospitalized For COVID-19 Despite Drop In Vaccine Effectiveness

Authors: SEBASTIAN HUGHES CONTRIBUTOR August 24, 20216:52 PM ET

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Tuesday showed vaccinated individuals are far less likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19, even though immunity appears to decrease over time.

Approximately 3% of vaccinated people who caught COVID-19 between May 1 and July 25 in Los Angeles County had to be hospitalized, compared to 8% of the unvaccinated, according to the CDC report. Only 0.5% of those who were vaccinated had to be placed in the ICU, as opposed to 1.5% of the unvaccinated.

The vaccinated were five times less likely to test positive and 29 times less likely to be hospitalized than the unvaccinated in the county, the report stated. A report released earlier in August by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health estimated vaccinated hospitalizations to be four and 14 times less likely, respectively.

Out of 43,127 COVID infections, 25% were among the vaccinated, 3% were among the partially vaccinated and 71% were among the unvaccinated, which indicates the effectiveness of the vaccines has moderately waned over time, according to the CDC.

A separate report released Tuesday showed the effectiveness of the vaccine in frontline healthcare workers had decreased to 66%, but didn’t specify how quickly effectiveness decreases. Another report released Aug. 18 showed vaccine effectiveness had decreased in New York from 92% in early May to 80% by late July.

Cases and deaths in the U.S. have surged because of the delta variant. About 93% of cases in the country can be attributed to it, the CDC has estimated. (RELATED: What Will It Take To Get Back To Normal? Here’s What The Experts Say)

The CDC recommended vaccinated individuals wear masks in areas of substantial or high transmission in July and announced on Wednesday that booster shots would become available to most people.

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” on Monday that the virus could be under control by spring 2022 if most people get vaccinated.

“You have either the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated, those who have been infected and have cleared the virus will have a degree of protection, and we’re recommending that those people also get vaccinated because the degree of protection that you could induce in someone who has been infected, who has then recovered and then vaccinated, is an enormous increase in the degree of protection,” Fauci told CNN.

Asthmatics at no higher risk getting or dying from COVID-19, assessment of studies consisting of 587,000 people shows

Authors: February 19, 2021Source:Taylor & Francis Group

Summary:

A review of 57 studies shows people with asthma had a 14 percent lower risk of getting COVID-19 and were significantly less likely to be hospitalized with the virus.

A new study looking at how COVID-19 affects people with asthma provides reassurance that having the condition doesn’t increase the risk of severe illness or death from the virus.

George Institute for Global Health researchers in Australia analysed data from 57 studies with an overall sample size of 587,280. Almost 350,000 people in the pool had been infected with COVID-19 from Asia, Europe, and North and South America and found they had similar proportions of asthma to the general population.

The results, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Asthma, show that just over seven in every 100 people who tested positive for COVID-19 also had asthma, compared to just over eight in 100 in the general population having the condition. They also showed that people with asthma had a 14 percent lower risk of acquiring COVID-19 and were significantly less likely to be hospitalized with the virus.

There was no apparent difference in the risk of death from COVID-19 in people with asthma compared to those without.

Head of The Institute’s Respiratory Program, co-author Professor Christine Jenkins said that while the reasons for these findings weren’t clear, there were some possible explanations — such as some inhalers perhaps limiting the virus’ ability to attach to the lungs.

“Chemical receptors in the lungs that the virus binds to are less active in people with a particular type of asthma and some studies suggest that inhaled corticosteroids — commonly used to treat asthma — can reduce their activity even further,” she said.

“Also, initial uncertainty about the impact of asthma on COVID-19 may have caused anxiety among patients and caregivers leading them to be more vigilant about preventing infection.”

Lead author Dr Anthony Sunjaya added that while this study provides some reassurance about the risks of exposure to COVID-19 in people with asthma, doctors and researchers were still learning about the effects of the virus.

“While we showed that people with asthma do not seem to have a higher risk of infection with COVID-19 compared to those without asthma and have similar outcomes, we need further research to better understand how the virus affects those with asthma,” he said.

For More Information: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/02/210219091850.htm

Risk for COVID-19 Infection, Hospitalization, and Death By Age Group

Authors: CDC

Rate ratios compared to 18- to 29-year-olds1

 0-4 years old5-17 years old18-29 years old30-39 years old40-49 years old50-64 years old65-74 years old75-84 years old85+ years old
Cases2<1x1xReference group1x1x1x1x1x1x
Hospitalization3<1x<1xReference group2x2x4x6x9x15x
Death4<1x<1xReference group4x10x35x95x230x600x

All rates are relative to the 18- to 29-year-old age category. This group was selected as the reference group because it has accounted for the largest cumulative number of COVID-19 cases compared to other age groups. Sample interpretation: Compared with 18- to 29-year-olds, the rate of death is four times higher in 30- to 39-year-olds, and 600 times higher in those who are 85 years and older. (In the table, a rate of 1x indicates no difference compared to the 18- to 29-year-old age category.)

For More Information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/investigations-discovery/hospitalization-death-by-age.html