Demand for ivermectin has surged despite it being an unproven treatment for COVID-19.ByJoseph Guzman | Aug. 31, 2021https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.478.1_en.html#goog_1550167755Volume 20%00:1701:01More Videos00:35Rand Paul: ‘Hatred for Trump’ blocking research into Ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment00:58In ‘horrifying and amazing’ video, a giant tortoise attacks, devours baby bird02:26Study says new Lambda variant could be vaccine-resistant02:50Trita Parsi- Other Major, U.s.-backed Middle East Powers Are Just As Interventionist As Iran00:55OPINION: In Afghanistan, President Biden had to play the losing hand his predecessors dealt him00:49The signs you have the delta variant are different than original COVID-1901:39Briahna Joy Gray- Voters Are ‘Torn’ Over Ohio Special Election03:39Zaid Jilani: ‘I Don’t Think’ Anyone Will Try To Defund The Police After Milley’s Comments00:33NBC News reporter accosted during live coverage of Hurricane Ida00:59Kennedy family erupts over release of assassin who killed Robert F KennedyClose
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During a meeting with dozens of his constituents Friday, Paul claimed researchers are unwilling to take Ivermectin seriously as a COVID-19 treatment because of their dislike for the former president.
“The hatred for Trump deranged these people so much, that they’re unwilling to objectively study it,” Paul reportedly told his constituents.
“So someone like me that’s in the middle on it, I can’t tell you because they will not study ivermectin. They will not study hydroxychloroquine without the taint of their hatred for Donald Trump,” Paul said.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says hatred of former President Trump is hindering research into whether a drug used to treat parasitic infections in animals and humans can treat COVID-19, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently said it has received several reports of people requiring hospitalization after “self-medicating with Ivermectin intended for horses” to treat COVID-19, and warned people against doing so.
“You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, ya’ll. Stop it,” the health agency tweeted last week.
Health officials say ivermectin intended for human use and medication used on livestock is significantly different, with the latter containing high levels of the drug that can be toxic to people.
And while ivermectin made for human consumption has been used for decades to treat parasitic worms and other conditions, the drug has not been approved to treat COVID-19, although several ongoing clinical trials involving ivermectin as a possible treatment are underway.
Despite this, demand for the drug has surged across the country among people infected with the coronavirus in recent weeks, with some pharmacists reporting a shortage of the drug, according to The New York Times.
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The phenomenon is similar to last year’s polarizing debate on the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which was touted by Trump during his presidency as a treatment for the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization concluded the drug had little effect or no effect on preventing illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19.
During a meeting with dozens of his constituents Friday in Cold Spring, Ky., Paul claimed researchers are unwilling to take the drug seriously as a COVID-19 treatment because of their dislike for the former president, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“The hatred for Trump deranged these people so much, that they’re unwilling to objectively study it,” Paul reportedly told his constituents.
“So someone like me that’s in the middle on it, I can’t tell you because they will not study ivermectin. They will not study hydroxychloroquine without the taint of their hatred for Donald Trump,” Paul said.
The senator said he was unsure if ivermectin works because there has yet to be enough research, but told the Cincinnati Enquirer he keeps an open mind.
He also reportedly railed against mask and vaccine mandates but encouraged people to get vaccinated.
“I think I’m in the middle ground of the vaccines,” he told the local news outlet. “CNN invites me on all the time. They have announcers calling me an ‘ass’ on TV. Then they have doctors saying I’m thorougly anti-vaccine. You heard me, I’m not against the vaccine. I’ve already recommended if you’are at risk to take it…It’s still your choice if it’s a free country,” he reportedly said.
· GET THE SHOT AND FOR THOSE WHO HAVE – I SALUTE YOU FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING.
After reading Lauri Garrett’s book The Coming Plague in (1995) and after diligently reading the articles for the last two years in New Scientist and Scientific America on Covid and after refreshing my history lessons on the great influenza epidemic that began in 1918, I absolutely support vaccinations and the wearing of masks.For those who choose not to, because of whatever reasons you care to choose, I don’t care to hear them. Take the risks and be neglectful of others especially those in the high risk category if you wish to be so selfish.Children are dying from a combination of Covid, irresponsibility, ignorance and just plain stupidity. Yes there is a government conspiracy. It’s called trying to save lives and to support health care workers and children. The same conspiracy has happened before with Smallpox and Polio when there were the same objections.Not vaccinated and did not get Coviid? well lucky for those who took that route. Not everyone has been so lucky. You can drive without a seat belt or ride without a helmet and be perfectly safe until your skull is shattered because of your decision. Will there be boosters? Most likely and there will be more viruses and even more vaccines as we head into a future of increased zoonotic transmission of viruses and the escalating release of long dormant pathogens from melting permafrost.As eco-systems collapse as species are diminished we will see more of this.We ignored Ebola, Hanta Virus West Nile and Zika etc primarily because those diseases did not overly affect White people. Covid is the first of a new wave of global pandemics that affect everyone.Vaccines are simply bandaids, the problem will persist until we address the cause i.e. wet markets, factory farms, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and the destruction of eco-systems and the diminishment of species.The unvaccinated are assisting the viruses to mutate and for that reason I fully support mandatory vaccinations.I remember the polio scare and the resistance then to the polio vaccine. The bottom line is this. when was the last time you saw a child with braces on their legs, in wheelchairs or iron lungs because of polio? The vaccine worked then and vaccines continue to work now.Look at a world of 8 billion people and compare the situation to a grass or forest fire. The more fuel, the faster and more intense the fire. The unvaccinated are the fuel that feeds the virus allowing it to spread and mutate.If feel feel inclined or motivated to angrily respond, to insult me or to vent an ignorant anti-vax rant, they should not even bother. They should just unfriend or block me. I am done with the idiocy, the denial of reality and with the willful ignorance of science.I will continue to listen to virologists and epidemiologists and qualified people who actually know what they are talking about.
Peter Weber, Senior editorMon, August 16, 2021, 8:57 PM·2 min readIn this article:
Francis CollinsAmerican geneticist and director of the National Institutes of Health
The Biden administration will announce as soon as Wednesday that most eligible Americans who received the COVID-19 vaccine will need a booster shot eight months after getting their second injection, The Associated Press and The Washington Post reported Monday night, citing at least four people familiar with the decision. U.S. health officials have for months said the approved vaccines remain effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death, but new data from Israel and elsewhere suggest the Delta variant and perhaps the passage of time have rendered the vaccines less effective.
“I think Delta changed everything,” one person familiar with the decision tells the Post.
The Food and Drug Administration approved a booster shot for immunocompromised people last week, and National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins said Sunday that the first groups offered booster shots next would probably be “health care providers, as well as people in nursing homes, and then gradually moving forward” to older Americans and other groups more vulnerable to the coronavirus. Those groups also got first shot at the vaccine, putting them closer to the eight-month window.
“There is a concern that the vaccine may start to wane in its effectiveness,” Collins said. “And Delta is a nasty one for us to try to deal with. The combination of those two means we may need boosters.” The shots would not be offered until at least mid-September, when the FDA is expected to approve Pfizer/BioNTech’s application for boosters. More than a million Americans have already gotten unapproved booster shots.
The World Health Organization has asked wealthier countries to hold off on offering booster shots until at least October, arguing it is more ethical and effective to share doses with countries that need vaccine supply. The Biden administration, which has begun sending more than 110 vaccine doses to those countries, said it has enough supply still to deliver boosters to Americans if that’s what health official recommend.
Across the internet, a cottage industry has sprung up to accommodate people who say they won’t get vaccinated for either personal or religious reasons.TAP TO UNMUTE
Aug. 10, 2021, 10:18 AM PDT / Updated Aug. 11, 2021, 4:59 AM PDTBy The Associated Press
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — As the delta variant of the coronavirus sweeps across the United States, a growing number of colleges and universities are requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for students to attend in-person classes. But the new mandate has opened the door for those opposed to getting the vaccine to cheat the system, according to interviews with students, education and law enforcement officials.
Both faculty and students at dozens of schools interviewed by The Associated Press say they are concerned about how easy it is to get fake vaccine cards.
Across the internet, a cottage industry has sprung up to accommodate people who say they won’t get vaccinated for either personal or religious reasons.
An Instagram account with the username “vaccinationcards” sells laminated COVID-19 vaccination cards for $25 each. A user on the encrypted messaging app, Telegram, offers “COVID-19 Vaccine Cards Certificates,” for as much as $200 apiece.
An increasing number of inquiries to these sites and similar ones appear to be from those who are trying to get fake vaccination cards for college.
A Reddit user commented on a thread about falsifying COVID-19 vaccination cards, saying, in part, “I need one, too, for college. I refuse to be a guinea pig.”
On Twitter, one user with more than 70,000 followers tweeted, “My daughter bought 2 fake ID’s online for $50 while in college. Shipped from China. Anyone have the link for vaccine cards?”
According to a tally by The Chronicle of Higher Education, at least 675 colleges and universities now require proof of COVID-19 inoculations. The process to confirm vaccination at many schools can be as simple as uploading a picture of the vaccine card to the student’s portal.
In Nashville, Vanderbilt University places a hold on a student’s course registration until their vaccine record has been verified unless they have an approved medical accommodation or religious exemption.
The University of Michigan says it has a system in place to confirm employee and student vaccinations. A spokesman for the college told the AP the school has not encountered any problems so far with students forging their COVID-19 vaccination record cards.
But Benjamin Mason Meier, a global health policy professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, questions how institutions can verify those records.
“The United States, unlike most countries which have electronic systems in place, is basing its vaccination on a flimsy paper card,” he said.
Meier tweeted last week that he spoke with several students who were worried about the accessibility of fraudulent vaccine cards and that they knew a fellow student who had submitted one to the university.
“There need to be policies in place for accountability to make sure that every student is operating in the collective interest of the entire campus,” he said.
In a statement to the AP, UNC said it conducts periodic verification of documents and that lying about vaccination status or falsifying documents is a violation of the university’s COVID-19 community standards and may result in disciplinary action.
“It’s important to note that UNC-Chapel Hill has not found any instances of a student uploading a fake vaccine card. Those claims are simply hearsay at this point,” the school said.
But other university staff and faculty have expressed their concern over the alleged forgery of vaccine cards. Rebecca Williams, a research associate at UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, said while she is concerned by these claims, she isn’t surprised.
“This is why I think the development of a reliable national digital vaccine passport app is very important for the sake of all the organizations and businesses that want to require proof of vaccination for employees, students, or business patrons,” Williams said.
The AP spoke with several students across the country who did not want to be identified but said they were aware of attempts to obtain fake cards.
Some school officials acknowledge that a foolproof system is impossible.
“As with anything that potentially requires a certification, there is the possibility for an individual to falsify documentation,” said Michael Uhlenkamp, a spokesman for the chancellor’s office at California State University. The school system, which is the largest in the nation, oversees about 486,000 students each year on 23 campuses.
Dr. Sarah Van Orman, the chief health officer at the University of Southern California and COVID-19 task force member for the American College Health Association, said college campuses are especially challenging environments to control the spread of COVID-19 since tens of thousands of students move into campus from all over the world. But even if students falsify their vaccination status, it may have limited impact, she said.
“I think that the numbers of students who would do that would be so very small that it wouldn’t affect our kind of ability to get good community immunity,” Orman said.
In March, the concern over fake COVID-19 vaccination cards prompted the FBI to issue a joint statement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services urging people not to buy, create or sell fabricated vaccine cards.
The unauthorized use of the seal of an official government agency such as HHS or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a federal crime that carries a possible fine and a maximum of five years in prison.
In April, a bipartisan coalition of 47 state attorneys general sent a letter to the CEOs of Twitter, Shopify and eBay to take down ads or links selling the bogus cards.
Many of the sites have blacklisted keywords related to fake cards, but places to buy the documents are still popping up on messaging apps, chat forums and the dark web.
Sellers on websites such as Counterfeit Center, Jimmy Black Market, and Buy Express Documents list COVID-19 vaccine cards, certificates and passports for sale, some costing €400 Euros or about $473.49.
An advertisement on the website Buy Real Fake Passport reads vendors can produce fake vaccination cards by the thousands, if not tens of thousands, based on the demand.
“It is hiding under our noses. If you want it, you can find it out,” said Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of scam-detecting software Fakespot. “If we are seeing signs where things like Lollapalooza and other festivals are getting fake cards to gain entrance, the trend is just going to continue into these universities.”
In July, the U.S. Department of Justice announced its first federal criminal fraud prosecution involving a fake COVID-19 immunization and vaccination card scheme. Juli A. Mazi, 41, a naturopathic physician in Napa, California, was arrested and charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of false statements related to health care matters.
Court documents allege she sold fake vaccination cards to customers that appeared to show that they had received Moderna vaccines. In some cases, the documents show Mazi herself filled out the cards, writing her own name, and purported Moderna “lot numbers” for a vaccine she had not in fact administered. For other customers, she provided blank CDC COVID-19 vaccination record cards and told each customer to write that she had administered a Moderna vaccine with a specified lot number.
Requiring vaccinations to attend class at colleges and universities has become a contentious political issue in some states. Public colleges in at least 13 states including Ohio, Utah, Tennessee and Florida cannot legally require COVID-19 vaccinations due to state legislation, but private institutions in those same states can.
Among the states introducing and passing bills barring educational institutions from mandating COVID-19 vaccines, infringement on individual rights or liberties is often cited as the main concern.
But according to a statement released by the American College Health Association and other educational organizations, these restrictions impede on universities’ abilities to operate fully and safely.
“The science of good public health has gotten lost in some of the decisions that have been made in some places,” Orman said. “It has not always been held up by our political leaders.”
Some college students have taken to social media platforms like Twitter and TikTok to voice their outrage over other students possessing fraudulent vaccine cards.
Maliha Reza, an electrical engineering student at Pennsylvania State University, said it is mind-boggling that students would pay for fake vaccination cards when they could get the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost.
“I’m angry about that, like there is more anger than I could describe right now,” Reza said. “It’s dumb considering the vaccine is free and it is accessible across the country.”
A Biden administration source revealed to Fox News on Saturday that the very public callout of Facebook followed months of frustration with the platform for failing to stamp out “dangerous” information about the vaccinations that have spread online.
The White House has been seeking help from Facebook and other social media sites since February on stopping misinformation from going viral, such as the myth that getting the shot will cause infertility.
While Facebook has made positive public statements on how they’ve partnered with the government and taken aggressive action to curb vaccine misinformation, the White House believes that the Big Tech company has fallen short.
“They’ve been withholding information on what the rules are, what they have put in place to prevent dangerous misinformation from spreading [and] how they measure whether it’s working,” a Biden administration official told Fox News.
The tensions reached a boiling point amid the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, vaccine hesitancy among young people and polls showing the majority of unvaccinated people believe myths about the vaccine.
As coronavirus cases are on the rise and vaccination rates have slowed in the United States, the White House launched this week an effort to crack down on misinformation, starting with a warning from U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on Thursday that bogus information about coronavirus is an “urgent threat” to public health.
“We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation. We’re working with doctors and medical experts…who are popular with their audience with accurate information,” she said. “So, we’re helping get trusted content out there.”
Biden took the effort one step further Friday by claiming inaction by Facebook and other platforms to take down false information is costing people their lives to a preventable illness.
“The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated, and they’re killing people,” Biden said.
The White House comments drew a quick rebuke from Facebook.
And while the White House is having a public spat with the Big Tech giant, some Republicans and critics are accusing the White House of being too cozy with Facebook in their efforts to take down posts they deem as problematic.
“Democrats are all about the First Amendment except when they don’t like what’s being said,” Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, told Fox News Saturday. Gooden just recently formed a House caucus aimed at reining in Big Tech.
The claim: Spike protein of COVID-19 vaccines is causing new Delta variant
In recent weeks, many states began relaxing coronavirus restrictions as COVID-19 cases dropped and vaccination rates crept toward President Joe Biden’s target of partially vaccinating 70% of American adults by July 4.
But some on social media are claiming cases fromthe new strain aren’t due to the virus but shedding from COVID-19 vaccines.
“The new ‘vARiAnT’ is nothing more than the VX spike pr0teins inf*cting those vxd and unvxd,” claims a tweet shared in a June 27 Instagram post. Both Twitter and Instagram accounts are owned by the same user, who USA TODAY has reached out to for comment.
Neither is possible. The COVID-19 vaccines simply help the body develop immunity against the virus, including against the Delta variant. Get the Checking the Facts newsletter in your inbox.
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Vaccine spike proteins cannot cause disease on their own
Vaccine shedding can occur in rare cases with some types of vaccines, but not with the ones currently available for COVID-19.
“As none of the current COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use in the USA contain live SARS-CoV-2 virus, viral shedding is not an issue for these vaccines,” Dr. Matthew Laurens, an infectious disease specialist and vaccine researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, previously told USA TODAY.
The vaccines authorized in the U.S. contain instructions for the spike protein either in the form of messenger RNA (a type of genetic code ordinarily used by our bodies to make proteins) or via a weakened cold virus stripped of its ability to replicate.
Regardless of the delivery system, the spike protein cannot cause disease on its own.
When a coronavirus enters your body, usually through breathing in virus-laden droplets from other infected people, the infection unfolds like this: The virus binds to a protein on the host cell surface, enters the host cell, replicates, destroys the host cell as new viral particles are made and dumped into the bloodstream.
Delta variant is more contagious, but vaccines do help
Emerging in India this year, the Delta variant is the newest variant of concern – what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling a group of coronavirus strains that appear to be more transmissible and result in more severe disease – especially for those who haven’t been vaccinated, experts say.
This poses a grave concern and threat to poor countries with little to no vaccines, as well as vulnerable areas in the southern U.S. where vaccination rates severely lag behind the Northeast and West Coast.
“A variant like (Delta) that has more transmissibility will lead to more hospitalizations and more deaths among a population that has low vaccination coverage,” Dr. Henry Walke, director of the CDC’s division of preparedness and emerging infections, told NBC News.
The key protection against this contagious strain is being fully vaccinated.
A May study from the U.K.’s Public Health England showed two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were 88% effective against symptomatic disease from the Delta variant, and even more successful at preventing hospitalization and death. The study, however, found one dose of the Pfizer vaccine was only 33% protective.
We rate the claim that the spike protein of the COVID-19 vaccines is the cause of the new Delta variant FALSE, based on our research. The Delta variant is a genetically unique version of COVID-19 that was not created by vaccine shedding. Vaccine shedding is a real phenomenon for other vaccines, but it is not possible with the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines since they do not contain live virus. The spike protein contained in the COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. is not at all capable of causing disease by itself.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the case of a 13-year-old Saginaw County boy who died in his sleep three days after getting his second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in mid-June.
The county health department confirmed the investigation, telling the Free Press that the medical examiner’s office conducted an autopsy and the death was reported to the state health department as well as the CDC.
“The investigation as to whether there is a correlation between his death and vaccination is now at the federal level with CDC,” said a joint statement issued by Saginaw County Health Department Medical Director Dr. Delicia Pruitt and Health Officer Christina Harrington.
With Covid vaccination penetration in the US likely to fall short of Joe Biden’s 70% by Fourth of July target, pandemic analysts are warning that vaccine incentives are losing traction and that “two Americas” may emerge as the aggressive Delta variant becomes the dominant US strain.
Efforts to boost vaccination rates have come through a variety of incentives, from free hamburgers to free beer, college scholarships and even million-dollar lottery prizes. But of the efforts to entice people to get their shots have lost their initial impact, or failed to land effectively at all.
“It’s just not working,” Irwin Redlener at the Pandemic Resource and Response Initiative at Columbia University, told Politico. “People aren’t buying it. The incentives don’t seem to be working – whether it’s a doughnut, a car or a million dollars.”
In Ohio, a program offering five adults the chance to win $1m boosted vaccination rates 40% for over a week. A month later, the rate had dropped to below what it had been before the incentive was introduced, Politico found.
Oregon followed Ohio’s cash-prize lead but saw a less dramatic uptick. Preliminary data from a similar lottery in North Carolina, launched last week, suggests the incentive is also not boosting vaccination rates there.Advertisement
Public officials are sounding alarms that the window between improving vaccination penetration and the threat from the more severe Delta variant, which accounts for around 10% of US cases, is beginning to close. The Delta variant appears to be much more contagious than the original strain of Covid-19 and has wreaked havoc in countries like India and the United Kingdom.
“I certainly don’t see things getting any better if we don’t increase our vaccination rate,” Scott Allen of the county health unit in Webster, Missouri, told Politico. The state has seen daily infections and hospitalizations to nearly double over the last two weeks.
Overall, new US Covid cases have plateaued to a daily average of around 15,000 for after falling off as the nation’s vaccination program ramped up. But the number of first dose vaccinations has dropped to 360,000 from 2m in mid-April. A quarter of those are newly eligible 12- to 15-year-olds.
Separately, pandemic researchers are warning that a picture of “two Americas” is emerging – the vaccinated and unvaccinated – that in many ways might reflect red state and blue state political divides.
Only 52% of Republicans said they were partially or fully vaccinated, and 29% said they have no intention of getting a vaccine, according to a CBS News/YouGov poll. 77% of Democrats said they were already vaccinated, with just 5% responding that were resisting the vaccine.
“I call it two Covid nations,” Peter Hotez, a vaccine researcher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told BuzzFeed News.
Bette Korber, a computational biologist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, said she expected variant Delta to become the most common variant in the US within weeks. “It’s really moving quickly,” Korber told Buzzfeed.
On Friday, President Biden issued a plea to Americans who have not yet received a vaccine to do so as soon as possible.
“Even while we’re making incredible progress, it remains a serious and deadly threat,” Biden said in remarks from the White House, saying that the Delta variant leaves unvaccinated people “even more vulnerable than they were a month ago”.
“We’re heading into, God willing, the summer of joy, the summer of freedom,” Biden said. “On July 4, we are going to celebrate our independence from the virus as we celebrate our independence of our nation. We want everyone to be able to do that.”
WATCH: Highlights from Biden’s speech on coronavirus lockdown anniversary
In his first prime-time address President Joe Biden offered hope to Americans announcing his plans to make all adults vaccine-eligible by May 1 and able to celebrate July 4 with their loved ones.
The sheriff’s deputy had also captioned a TikTok post, which he shared on his Facebook profile, with a vaccine-hesitant message.”I’ll get it later on after y’all start growing apendages [sic] out of y’alls foreheads,” he wrote.
Trujillo shared an Instagram post in July 2020 that suggested he refused to wear masks, according to a screenshot shared by MailOnline. “Before you shame me in public for not having a mask, ask yourself one simple question,” the post said. “Will this mask stop an uppercut?”
Denver Sheriff Elisa Diggins announced that Trujillo’s passing would be considered a “line of duty” death on Thursday evening, The Denver Channel reported.
The country’s declining covid-19 case rates present an unrealistically optimistic perspective for half of the nation – the half that is still not vaccinated.
As more people receive vaccines, covid-19 cases are occurring mostly in the increasingly narrow slice of the unprotected population. So The Washington Post adjusted its case, death and hospitalization rates to account for that – and found that in some places, the virus continues to rage among those who haven’t received a shot.
The rosy national figures showing declining case numbers led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to loosen mask recommendations two weeks ago and President Joe Biden to advise people to take off their masks and smile.
But adjustments for vaccinations show the rate among susceptible, unvaccinated people is 73% higher than the standard figures being publicized. With that adjustment, the national death rate is roughly the same as it was two months ago and is barely inching down. The adjusted hospitalization rate is as high as it was three months ago. The case rate is still declining after the adjustment.
Unvaccinated people are getting the wrong message, experts said.
Related: Advice for parents as kids get vaccinated against COVID-19 1:13 4:09 Scroll back up to restore default view.
“They think it’s safe to take off the mask. It’s not,” said Lynn Goldman, dean of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. “It looks like fewer numbers, looks like it’s getting better, but it’s not necessarily better for those who aren’t vaccinated.”
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States with high rates among unvaccinated people
The adjusted rates in several states show the pandemic is spreading as fast among the unvaccinated as it did during the winter surge. Maine, Colorado, Rhode Island and Washington state all have covid-19 case spikes among the unvaccinated, with adjusted rates about double the adjusted national rate. The adjusted rates of Wyoming, West Virginia, Oregon, Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania are slightly lower than the highest states.
Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia have adjusted rates below the national average. In the region, however, lower vaccination rates in the Black community have concentrated cases there to an extraordinary degree. Before vaccines, Black people were about one third of new covid-19 patients in Maryland and half in the Distrit. In the latest data, Black people are just under half of the new cases in Maryland and more than 80% in the District.
Oregon’s current surge is driven in part by a covid-19 variant known as B.1.1.7, which is 50% more contagious, said Tom Jeanne, a deputy state epidemiologist and a senior health adviser, in an interview.
It is characterized by outbreaks traced to social gatherings with unvaccinated people and no masks.
“They’re at very high risk for infection,” Jeanne said.
Washington state officials say they are caught between applauding the optimism that comes with vaccination and warning everyone who isn’t vaccinated that it’s still dangerous.
“Things are getting safer for those who are vaccinated,” the state’s secretary of health, Umair A. Shah, told The Post. “For those who are unvaccinated, they remain at risk. We have to make sure that nuanced message is getting to our community.”
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States with high death rates
In addition to cases, several states still have relatively high death rates.
Coronavirus vaccines are virtually perfect in preventing deaths, so the decline in deaths nationally hides the steady covid death rate among unvaccinated people.
Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maine, Florida and Illinois all have adjusted death rates about 50% higher than the national adjusted rate.
Looking at the death rate is not a good measure of the current spread of the pandemic, experts said, because it is a “lagging indicator” – people dying are usually infected at least a month earlier, which means deaths don’t reflect current community spread of the disease. The steady adjusted death rate, however, shows that unvaccinated people are not yet getting safer.
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People more likely to end up in the hospital
Experts often point to hospitalization rates as a critical measure of the pandemic, because they reflect people getting very sick and aren’t dependent on how much coronavirus testing a community is doing. When current hospitalizations are spread across only the unvaccinated population, the District and Michigan have rates about twice as high as the adjusted national rate. Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida and Rhode Island have rates about 50% higher than the adjusted national hospitalization rate.
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Tale of two societies
Unvaccinated young adults in Maryland have the same infection rate as they had in the January surge, according to a state analysis. Even worse, the risk of hospitalization among the infected has more than doubled, possibly because of widespread coronavirus variants, said Ted Delbridge, executive director of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems.
Washington state has been publicizing the extreme threat of hospitalization for unvaccinated people. It said unvaccinated seniors are 11 times as likely to get hospitalized than seniors who got the shot. For unvaccinated people age 45 to 64, the chance of covid-19 hospitalization is 18 times higher.
Shah, the state secretary of health, worries people are being left behind while others feel the pandemic is past.
“I hope this does not become a tale of two societies,” he said. “The people who are vaccinated and are protected can resume their lives, taking off their masks.
“The people who are not vaccinated are the ones who are not wearing a mask or washing their hands. Those are the very people who often times will socialize and be around similar like-minded people. You’re going to have the pandemic continue in those clusters.”
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About this report: The Post adjusted covid-19 rates for cases, deaths and hospitalization over time by combining Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data on cases, hospitalization and vaccinations. The Post used a rolling seven-day average of daily cases, deaths and hospitalization. For vaccination, The Post used the number of people who had received at least one shot as of each date.
For events like covid-19 infection, rates are usually calculated by dividing the number of cases by the number of people in the population. For example, if there are 12 cases among a population of 100 people, the rate would be 12 people per 100. The Post reduced the denominator to exclude most vaccinated people. So if 20 people got vaccinated, that would mean there were 12 cases out of the remaining 80 unvaccinated people, for an adjusted rate of 15 cases per 100 people.
Vaccination is not perfect in preventing infections, however, so The Post did not subtract the entire population of vaccinated people. Data shows vaccines are about 90% effective in preventing cases among people who have received the shot. Cases among vaccinated people are called breakthrough cases. To be conservative, The Post estimated that up to 15% of the vaccinated population could still be infected.
So, in the example above, instead of removing all 20 vaccinated people, The Post removed 17. That would leave 12 cases among 83 people, for an adjusted rate of 14.5 cases per 100 people.
The Post calculated the adjusted rates of cases, deaths and hospitalization for the nation and each state since the start of vaccination in December. Covid-19 case and death rates released by states are sometimes subject to time lags. State also sometimes review older cases and issue updated figures that reflect a backlog of old cases rather than a surge on that day.