The data clearly show that the vaccine helps people more than previous interventions, including mask mandates, and that the risk of dying from COVID-19 for the vaccinated is extremely low.
The CDC should follow the science, be transparent, and base all guidance on the data.
Given such concerns, the CDC investigated the delta variant’s spread last month. In a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released on July 30, a number of researchers examined COVID-19 spread last month during a variety of festivities in Barnstable County, Massachusetts.
The authors made a number of claims, including that 74% of those who tested positive for COVID-19 after the festivities were fully vaccinated.
Among the 469 who tested positive, 74% indeed had been vaccinated. However, as we discussed in our report, the data that this estimate is based on are not representative of the Barnstable attendees, let alone of the entire country. Therefore, it would be a mistake to use those estimates to make inferences of the broader American population.
Second, there’s a more fundamental question the authors neglected to look at: Infection rates in the broader context of the number of people who actually attended the festivities, both vaccinated and unvaccinated.
We also examined this question, making a variety of assumptions on available data and information. Assuming an attendance of 60,000, as has been suggested by a number of people, and a vaccination rate of 90% of attendees, we found the following infection rates.
So, there you have it, under all such assumptions, less than 2% of the vaccinated attendees caught COVID-19. Irresponsible reporting suggesting that 74% of those vaccinated caught the virus, however, needlessly causes panic and will only increase vaccine hesitancy.