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What a misleading article and an unethical manipulation of data.

Very few Jefferson County residents were vaccinated in February. Nationwide, two-thirds of cases in 2021 occurred before April, when just 15 percent of the country was fully vaccinated.

Let's look at data after eligibility requirements opened to all in mid-April in Washington state and the potential of full vaccination was present by mid-late May. Oh, oops, but by May, the CDC decided not to track PCR positive tests of the vaccinated unless they presented symptoms. And of course, this is prior to the surge of the Delta variant, which has become the predominant strain nationally and locally just in the past few weeks.

The data of this game-changing variant are only now catching up with reality, and we already know, per the CDC, that the vaccinated carry as great a viral load of Delta as the unvaccinated. Try again, Leader and JCPH. Tell us the percentage of Covid cases of vaccinated v unvaccinated since July 1. You recently stopped reporting how many of these recent cases are vaccinated/unvaccinated and it's been an obvious omission. Why the change? The vaccines were not designed to prevent transmission, but to lessen the severity of the outcomes and we know this is working- it's a reason for optimism and hope. But the Delta variant has reset the goal posts. Studies released in recent days from the UK, Israel, Singapore- which saw their Delta surges in the spring and have significantly higher vaccinations rates than the US -indicate that mRNA vaccine protection has gone from 95% pre-Delta to as low as 50% with Delta. The Mayo Clinic released a pre-print study on Wednesday that shows is may be as low as 42 percent.

The mRNA vaccines are one tool in a vast toolbox that we are still constructing; they offer protection and mitigation but they are not the panacea that pieces such as this present them to be. They cannot prevent exposure to a virus that is mutating constantly. Time will get us to vaccine-derived and naturally-derived immunity- the mRNA vaccines significantly lessen the risk of severe illness. But by releasing and printing press releases of this nature, you, JCPH and The Leader, are misrepresenting relative risk. You are putting the vaccinated at risk by hiding the truth behind distorted data. It is little better than lying. At a time when trust in public health officials and the 'free" press is at an all-time low, why would you choose to make it worse?

From: Jefferson County Public Health: Nearly 90 percent of COVID cases are unvaccinated residents

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