A white Bengal tiger is rare, but becoming infection after a vaccination is not.

I research a lot of headlines before deciding what to write about each day. I avoid the pandemic news, but sometimes there are overwhelming reasons to dive into a story and find out what else is there.

Remember several months ago when states were setting daily records for new cases of COVID-19, but there was no corresponding increase in daily deaths? Headlines catch attention and hook a person into reading a story. I run my headlines for my articles through an app to determine the appeal and interest.

My headline today changed quite a bit from my original thought to the final product. It is part of catching an eye of a reader to spend a moment and decide if something is worth reading.

Rare Breakthrough Cases

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/rare-breakthrough-cases-of-covid-19-are-occurring-in-vaccinated-people. I saw this headline today (see link for full article). We know that vaccines are good protection for around 95% of people. Five percent of those vaccinated will come down with the disease based on the clinical trials. I do not consider five percent to be rare.

The people in the 5% group should not be hospitalized or be at high risk of death. The vaccine affords some level of protection. Even vaccines reported having 75% efficacy can afford people decent protection. No vaccine is 100% effective. Why is there a vaccine for a disease that 99% of people survive anyway?

Regardless, this editorial keeps harping on the rare occurrences of vaccinated people becoming infected. I think that is the norm, not the rare ‘breakthrough’ reported in the article. There were no analytical statistics associated with the story. It was strictly qualitative. I wrote a commentary a week or so ago covering this exact topic – the post-vaccinated infection rate.

My Article – Same Theme

https://wp.me/p4ztmz-1iO is a link to that analysis. The short story is around 1% of vaccinated front-line healthcare workers have come down with the virus. A vaccine has 95% effectiveness for the public, yet vaccinated healthcare workers in the midst of infected patients daily had a 1% infection rate.

I do not consider one percent to be ‘rare,’ but it does tell us the vaccine is working. Will the percent infected go up when a person has a compromised immune system? Probably. It might go to two or three percent, but the reality is that two or three percent will likely not have to go to the hospital.

What about variants? The story so far is that the current vaccines are effective against the known variants. Is a 95% vaccine protective at the 95% level against a variant? Probably not. One data set I examined a short while ago shows the variant was twice as transmittable, and the symptoms were more noticeable, but the death rate was not appreciably different.

Yes, I am sure a viral variant will come along and change the death rate from around 1% to 2% or even 3%. The vaccines will still provide a level of protection compared to no vaccine.


Be careful of headlines. They catch your eye and lure you into reading the ‘rest of the story.’ Sometimes the story does not have a leg to stand on when it comes to cold, hard facts.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com



2 Responses

  1. Interesting to hear 1:20 was described as rare, in relation to protection from COVID-19.
    In contrast, I was just listening to UK BBC news, where blood clots following the AZ vaccine were also described as rare, after 30 people were affected following 18m vaccines (1:600,000).

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