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For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 02, 2021 06:01PM
Thanks to Sarcany for posting the Wikipedia entry for the variants -- there was a link on that page to this one, which I'd not seen before. It has pretty good explanations about the different variants and the effect(s) they might have:

[www.forbes.com]

... it's a bit dated, and specifically about the Indian "double mutant" strain, but much of what's there applies to the other strains too.

From the article:

"It is still early days in understanding the importance of the arrival of the Indian variant in the United States. The B.1.617 variant has all the hallmarks of a very dangerous virus. If indeed it is this variant that is driving the unprecedented exponential increase in infections in India, the potential for trouble here in the United States is real and immediate. We must do all that is possible to identify its spread and to contain it."

Oh, and something else, from the Wiki, that I'd suspected might be going on:

"Researchers have suggested that multiple mutations can arise in the course of the persistent infection of an immunocompromised patient, particularly when the virus develops escape mutations under the selection pressure of antibody or convalescent plasma treatment,[160][161] with the same deletions in surface antigens repeatedly recurring in different patients.[162]"




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2021 06:09PM by PeterB.
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 02, 2021 06:03PM
Thanks. That’s exactly what I need now. Oh well…
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: deckeda
Date: May 02, 2021 06:20PM
With these variants there’s no way not to have one or more surges in the U.S. this year which will be worse in some ways. Even with “perfect” vaccination numbers (no thanks, asshat Republican men!) we’d still have issues.

This time last year I suffered from frequent anxiety and I know I’m not alone. As 2020 dragged on we learned mitigation in the form of distancing and masks work. In other words we learned not everything we touched was out to kill us.

I’m not having last year’s feelings now, but nor am I settled because of these variants. The less-than-a-guaranteed nature of being fully vaccinated once seemed to functionally be “a guarantee” in a practical sense, but these more easily transmittable variants no doubt mean that my box of crappy paper masks isn’t gonna cut it this year.
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: May 02, 2021 06:40PM
Only 1.6% of the Indian population is fully vaccinated

Modi got arrogant and dropped the ball on fighting COVID


They are not seeing breakthrough infection in vaccinated people. Nor is the US. Extremely, extremely rare.

If people would get the shot we COULD end this.
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 02, 2021 07:34PM
Quote
Lemon Drop
They are not seeing breakthrough infection in vaccinated people. Nor is the US. Extremely, extremely rare.

You missed the news from Washington.

Breakthroughs are still "rare," but becoming more common.

Sorry.

I know you're hopeful.

This was a few weeks ago...

[coronavirus.wa.gov].

Update on vaccine breakthrough cases in Washington state

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is reporting a total of 217 COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases among vaccinated individuals in Washington state as of April 3, 2021. That is an increase from the 102 cases we first reported on March 30, 2021. Breakthrough cases have now been identified in 24 of Washington’s 39 counties.

Vaccine breakthrough occurs when a person tests positive for COVID-19 two weeks or more after receiving the full course of an approved COVID-19 vaccine. Large-scale clinical studies found that COVID-19 vaccines prevented most people from getting COVID-19 illness. However, the vaccines are not 100% effective. This means a very small number of fully vaccinated people will still get sick with COVID-19. Scientists note that breakthroughs are expected with any vaccine.

To date, more than 1.7 million people have been fully vaccinated in Washington state. The breakthrough cases represent a small portion, about .01 percent, of the fully vaccinated population.

DOH is investigating a total of five suspected deaths of individuals who experienced vaccine breakthrough. The people who died were between 67-94 years old and all had multiple underlying conditions. Four were residents of long-term care facilities.

In Washington state, the median age of those with confirmed vaccine breakthrough has shifted downward since the first cases were reported, with more people in the 40-59 year old demographic compared to previous weeks. Some breakthrough cases sent for sequencing showed evidence of variants.








Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2021 07:34PM by Sarcany.
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: May 02, 2021 07:41PM
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
Lemon Drop
They are not seeing breakthrough infection in vaccinated people. Nor is the US. Extremely, extremely rare.

You missed the news from Washington.

Breakthroughs are still "rare," but becoming more common.

Sorry.

I know you're hopeful.

This was a few weeks ago...

[coronavirus.wa.gov].

Update on vaccine breakthrough cases in Washington state

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is reporting a total of 217 COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases among vaccinated individuals in Washington state as of April 3, 2021. That is an increase from the 102 cases we first reported on March 30, 2021. Breakthrough cases have now been identified in 24 of Washington’s 39 counties.

Vaccine breakthrough occurs when a person tests positive for COVID-19 two weeks or more after receiving the full course of an approved COVID-19 vaccine. Large-scale clinical studies found that COVID-19 vaccines prevented most people from getting COVID-19 illness. However, the vaccines are not 100% effective. This means a very small number of fully vaccinated people will still get sick with COVID-19. Scientists note that breakthroughs are expected with any vaccine.

To date, more than 1.7 million people have been fully vaccinated in Washington state. The breakthrough cases represent a small portion, about .01 percent, of the fully vaccinated population.

DOH is investigating a total of five suspected deaths of individuals who experienced vaccine breakthrough. The people who died were between 67-94 years old and all had multiple underlying conditions. Four were residents of long-term care facilities.

In Washington state, the median age of those with confirmed vaccine breakthrough has shifted downward since the first cases were reported, with more people in the 40-59 year old demographic compared to previous weeks. Some breakthrough cases sent for sequencing showed evidence of variants.

Is this sarcasm??

Only 217 cases out of how many millions vaccinated in the state??

That is fracking fantastic!!

And as I said breakthrough infection is extremely rare.

I'm not "hopeful" I'm well grounded in reality, not fear.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2021 07:43PM by Lemon Drop.
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 02, 2021 08:25PM
Quote
Lemon Drop
Is this sarcasm??

Only 217 cases out of how many millions vaccinated in the state??

That is fracking fantastic!!

Again, sorry. Facts in a vacuum:

A month ago, the national rate was 0.007-0.008% (roughly 8 in 100,000). The CDC issued a report earlier this month with data through late March.

In Washington it's now 0.01% (1 in 10,000). In California it's running 0.02% (2 in 10,000). And Wisconsin it's at 0.03% (3 in 10,000).

'Could just be regional variation. And it's still awesome - better than the 95% efficacy we're supposed to expect from the mRNA vaccines.

But not "extremely rare."

And it's possible that the breakthroughs will increase in an exponential progression along with mutations/variants.

So, yeah: Be hopeful.

But keep wearing your mask.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2021 08:28PM by Sarcany.
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: May 02, 2021 08:34PM
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
Lemon Drop
Is this sarcasm??

Only 217 cases out of how many millions vaccinated in the state??

That is fracking fantastic!!

Again, sorry. Facts in a vacuum:

A month ago, the national rate was 0.007-0.008% (roughly 8 in 100,000). The CDC issued a report earlier this month with data through late March.

In Washington it's now 0.01% (1 in 10,000). In California it's running 0.02% (2 in 10,000). And Wisconsin it's at 0.03% (3 in 10,000).

'Could just be regional variation. And it's still awesome - better than the 95% efficacy we're supposed to expect from the mRNA vaccines.

But not "extremely rare."

And it's possible that the breakthroughs will increase in an exponential progression along with mutations/variants.

So, yeah: Be hopeful.

But keep wearing your mask.

95% efficacy does not mean that 5% of vaccinated people are expected to get COVID.

You're not comparing apples and apples with your math. .

Breakthrough infection is extremely rare.
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 02, 2021 08:53PM
Quote
Lemon Drop
95% efficacy does not mean that 5% of vaccinated people are expected to get COVID.

You're not comparing apples and apples with your math. .

Breakthrough infection is extremely rare.

"Efficacy" is not a precise term of art. It's a shorthand, defined differently in different contexts.

But to an epidemiologist, 95 percent efficacy means that after you’re fully vaccinated (2-4 weeks after your 2nd shot of mRNA vaccine), you’re 95 percent less likely to be infected when compared to an unvaccinated person.

Breakthroughs should occur in about 5% of the vaccinated population (and it may yet play out that way over time). That they don't (as yet) is impressive.

...There are a lot of caveats here. A lot of public places still require masks. We haven't been vaccinating all that long, and the biggest ramp-up occurred just in the last couple of months, so vaccinated people haven't had so much opportunity to be exposed. And we're probably not going to catch a lot of the asymptomatic infections. ...And we've almost certainly undercounted the people who died from reinfection because people assumed that what killed them couldn't be COVID.

Each of these factors is likely to play out, with the breakthrough rates increasing over time.

I'm not telling you not to be hopeful.

But "extremely rare" is not an accurate appraisal. And it's going to be less accurate with the passage of time.



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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: sekker
Date: May 02, 2021 09:24PM
There is some recent lab work testing immunity from patients who had not seen the new variants, and their antibodies DO work - even against the 'double mutant' from India.

Get vaccinated if you can, and wear a mask!

If you cannot, bless you - and stay at home when you can.
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 02, 2021 11:57PM
I only see bad things happening with vaccinated people pretending they are immune and resuming travel like the pandemic is over .

Five fully vaccinated people have died. Expect that to increase by 100 times after someone immune compromised gets infected by a breakthrough case. The only thing we have going for us is there are three different vaccines currently approved. We need to have the same companies working on updating the vaccines every time a mutation becomes a top contender for the next wave.



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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 03, 2021 12:44AM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
I only see bad things happening with vaccinated people pretending they are immune and resuming travel like the pandemic is over .

Five fully vaccinated people have died. Expect that to increase by 100 times after someone immune compromised gets infected by a breakthrough case. The only thing we have going for us is there are three different vaccines currently approved. We need to have the same companies working on updating the vaccines every time a mutation becomes a top contender for the next wave.

That "someone" (bolded above) could very well be me. (Not right at the moment, I'm thinking of in future, if I were not to be anywhere near as careful as I am.)

My real concern is that the fact that we are getting breakthrough infections (albeit at a very, very low rate), plus people like myself who will not mount an especially good response to any vaccine, means we are effectively giving the virus more time to "cook". sekker is right that antibodies from patients who had not seen the new variants do work again them, BUT... it's apparently a matter of degree, the efficacy drops with most of the variants. [en.wikipedia.org] ...

And I also agree, it'd be nice if people understood that getting vaccinated does not suddenly mean you can engage in any kind of behavior. We are having mask-burning parties down here in NOLA, and I suspect such things are happening elsewhere too. This despite the fact that we only have about 25% of the state fully vaccinated, with about 45% of the state residents saying that they are NOT planning on getting vaccinated.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 03, 2021 05:32AM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
I only see bad things happening with vaccinated people pretending they are immune and resuming travel like the pandemic is over .

Five fully vaccinated people have died...

Five deaths were noted as under investigation in the article from Washington state's DOH.

The CDC has reports of 132 breakthrough deaths as of April 26th. (As stated in their report, the actual figure is likely to be much higher due to under-reporting.)
[www.cdc.gov]



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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Ted King
Date: May 03, 2021 07:25AM
Is there any evidence of breakthrough cases tending to have less severe symptoms or is the severity about the same as unvaccinated cases?
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: May 03, 2021 07:39AM
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
Lemon Drop
95% efficacy does not mean that 5% of vaccinated people are expected to get COVID.

You're not comparing apples and apples with your math. .

Breakthrough infection is extremely rare.

"Efficacy" is not a precise term of art. It's a shorthand, defined differently in different contexts.

But to an epidemiologist, 95 percent efficacy means that after you’re fully vaccinated (2-4 weeks after your 2nd shot of mRNA vaccine), you’re 95 percent less likely to be infected when compared to an unvaccinated person.

Breakthroughs should occur in about 5% of the vaccinated population (and it may yet play out that way over time). That they don't (as yet) is impressive.

...There are a lot of caveats here. A lot of public places still require masks. We haven't been vaccinating all that long, and the biggest ramp-up occurred just in the last couple of months, so vaccinated people haven't had so much opportunity to be exposed. And we're probably not going to catch a lot of the asymptomatic infections. ...And we've almost certainly undercounted the people who died from reinfection because people assumed that what killed them couldn't be COVID.

Each of these factors is likely to play out, with the breakthrough rates increasing over time.

I'm not telling you not to be hopeful.

But "extremely rare" is not an accurate appraisal. And it's going to be less accurate with the passage of time.



NO epidemiologist expects 5% of vaccinated people to get COVID. EVER. If that were the expected rate there would be no reason to get vaccinated.

The extremely low rate of breakthrough infection is normal, it will obviously increase over time as people have more exposure but again that is normal and expected and nothing to get people in a lather about.
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 03, 2021 08:34AM
Quote
Lemon Drop
NO epidemiologist expects 5% of vaccinated people to get COVID. EVER. If that were the expected rate there would be no reason to get vaccinated.

All other things being equal between the vaccinated and unvaccinated, that's just what they would expect.

There are other benefits: Of those with breakthrough infections, most will have mild symptoms, won't need hospitalization, and won't die from it. (Much of which undoubtedly contributes to our undercounting breakthroughs.)

It would take a heck of a fool to skip the vaccine just because it's "only" 95% effective.



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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 03, 2021 08:59AM
Quote
Ted King
Is there any evidence of breakthrough cases tending to have less severe symptoms or is the severity about the same as unvaccinated cases?

From what I've read (in the Wiki, the Forbes article, and elsewhere), it does seem that the news on that front is pretty good ... in breakthrough cases, the symptoms do tend to be less severe.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: deckeda
Date: May 03, 2021 10:50AM
They should poll people who have been fully vaccinated:

Q: Say you live in a snowy area, snow is currently on the ground and you just got a 4WD or AWD vehicle that has new snow tires. Do you:

1) Drive as if there were no snow.
2) Drive as if snow exists.
3) There is no #3 response.

(When I lived in a snowy area the responses were often #1, with the 4WD and AWD vehicles being the ones tossed into the ditch.)
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: May 03, 2021 07:11PM
Quote
Lemon Drop
Only 1.6% of the Indian population is fully vaccinated

Modi got arrogant and dropped the ball on fighting COVID


They are not seeing breakthrough infection in vaccinated people. Nor is the US. Extremely, extremely rare.

If people would get the shot we COULD end this.

I know at least one, possibly 2 breakthrough people. It happens way more than you think.



C(-)ris
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Sam3
Date: May 04, 2021 04:00AM
My wife knows of at least 50 breakthrough cases amongst nurses, RT's and docs at the hospital where she works. She didn't know the severity of any of them, however.





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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: May 04, 2021 08:13AM
Quote
Sam3
My wife knows of at least 50 breakthrough cases amongst nurses, RT's and docs at the hospital where she works. She didn't know the severity of any of them, however.

Has that been reported to your state officials because it would be an extreme anomaly if 15% of your states reported breakthrough cases are from one facility.

Michigan's breakthrough infection rate, described as "extremely rare" is . 01%. So unless 500,000 vaccinated people work at hospital, 50 is a very unexpected number of cases.

Please check my math.

[www.wxyz.com]

Good info from CDC here
[www.cdc.gov]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/04/2021 08:48AM by Lemon Drop.
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 04, 2021 12:36PM
Quote
Lemon Drop
Michigan's breakthrough infection rate, described as "extremely rare" is . 01%. So unless 500,000 vaccinated people work at hospital, 50 is a very unexpected number of cases.

Please check my math.

[www.wxyz.com]

Checked: This came just two days after the story you cited.
[www.woodtv.com]

MDHHS says it has counted 2,108 cases of people contracting the virus 14 days after their final dose. That’s only about .07% of the more than 2.9 million people who have finished their vaccine course. Of the 2,108 breakthrough cases, 41 people were hospitalized and 22 died.



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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: JoeH
Date: May 04, 2021 12:43PM
That "extremely rare" is based on reported cases. Unless someone suspects they or a patient did catch COVID and there is a test, then a mild case might be written off as a cold. And an estimated 1 in 6 "common colds" are from other coronavirus varities.

They may never know the full extent of breakthrough cases. The 95% effective means that up to 5% could come down with the virus anyways, but how many actually will depends entirely on being exposed enough to catch it. If most people around the 5%er are immunized, wearing masks, and following other precautions against spreading, then few of those will come down with the virus.
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: May 04, 2021 02:58PM
Quote
JoeH
That "extremely rare" is based on reported cases. Unless someone suspects they or a patient did catch COVID and there is a test, then a mild case might be written off as a cold. And an estimated 1 in 6 "common colds" are from other coronavirus varities.

They may never know the full extent of breakthrough cases. The 95% effective means that up to 5% could come down with the virus anyways, but how many actually will depends entirely on being exposed enough to catch it. If most people around the 5%er are immunized, wearing masks, and following other precautions against spreading, then few of those will come down with the virus.


No. That is not what 95% efficacy rate means.

Please google vaccine efficacy.
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: May 04, 2021 03:00PM
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
Lemon Drop
Michigan's breakthrough infection rate, described as "extremely rare" is . 01%. So unless 500,000 vaccinated people work at hospital, 50 is a very unexpected number of cases.

Please check my math.

[www.wxyz.com]

Checked: This came just two days after the story you cited.
[www.woodtv.com]

MDHHS says it has counted 2,108 cases of people contracting the virus 14 days after their final dose. That’s only about .07% of the more than 2.9 million people who have finished their vaccine course. Of the 2,108 breakthrough cases, 41 people were hospitalized and 22 died.

So 71,000 vaccinated people would need to work at the hospital Sam3 cited if they have 50 breakthrough cases.

Which are extremely rare. As expected.
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 04, 2021 05:03PM
Thrushes are extremely rare around here. I only see 50 or 60 a day.



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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: May 04, 2021 10:29PM
Quote
Lemon Drop
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
Lemon Drop
Michigan's breakthrough infection rate, described as "extremely rare" is . 01%. So unless 500,000 vaccinated people work at hospital, 50 is a very unexpected number of cases.

Please check my math.

[www.wxyz.com]

Checked: This came just two days after the story you cited.
[www.woodtv.com]

MDHHS says it has counted 2,108 cases of people contracting the virus 14 days after their final dose. That’s only about .07% of the more than 2.9 million people who have finished their vaccine course. Of the 2,108 breakthrough cases, 41 people were hospitalized and 22 died.

So 71,000 vaccinated people would need to work at the hospital Sam3 cited if they have 50 breakthrough cases.

Which are extremely rare. As expected.

Yes, but in a hospital you might be exposed multiple times a day by higher virus loads than in normal circumstances. I can absolutely see a higher number of breakthrough cases in a hospital setting.



C(-)ris
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: May 05, 2021 08:19AM
Quote
C(-)ris
Quote
Lemon Drop
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
Lemon Drop
Michigan's breakthrough infection rate, described as "extremely rare" is . 01%. So unless 500,000 vaccinated people work at hospital, 50 is a very unexpected number of cases.

Please check my math.

[www.wxyz.com]

Checked: This came just two days after the story you cited.
[www.woodtv.com]

MDHHS says it has counted 2,108 cases of people contracting the virus 14 days after their final dose. That’s only about .07% of the more than 2.9 million people who have finished their vaccine course. Of the 2,108 breakthrough cases, 41 people were hospitalized and 22 died.

So 71,000 vaccinated people would need to work at the hospital Sam3 cited if they have 50 breakthrough cases.

Which are extremely rare. As expected.

Yes, but in a hospital you might be exposed multiple times a day by higher virus loads than in normal circumstances. I can absolutely see a higher number of breakthrough cases in a hospital setting.

In one study in SoCal hospital workers had a .05% breakthrough rate. Slightly higher than in clinical trials but still very small and expected numbers. 7 people out of 15000 vaccinated workers.

[www.beckershospitalreview.com]
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: May 05, 2021 02:06PM
Everyone has their "science" they choose to believe. In true internet fashion, my science is more true than your science.
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Re: For those (like me) who are interested in the science, more about the variants
Posted by: kj
Date: May 05, 2021 02:36PM
"This is called vaccine efficacy For example, Pfizer/BioNTech reported an efficacy of 95% for the COVID-19 vaccine. This means a 95% reduction in new cases of the disease in the vaccine group compared with the placebo group."

So 5% of the number of people who get covid in the control group, will get it in the vaccinated group.

If there are 1000 people in each group, and 100 get covid in the control group, 5 will get covid in the vaccinated group (treatment group) if the vaccine has 95% efficacy. So 5/1000ths of the people in the vaccine group will get covid, not 5% of them. I understand why they do it this way, but it's confusing. I literally have to write it down to get it right.
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