A recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conference appears to have been a “superspreader event,” with at least 181 vaccinated attendees testing positive for COVID-19.
During the last week of April, about 1,800 CDC staffers and other medical professionals gathered in a hotel in Atlanta, where the CDC is headquartered, “for a conference focused on epidemiological investigations and strategies,” the Epoch Times reported.
On April 27, the last day of the conference, several individuals notified organizers that they had tested positive for COVID-19, prompting health officials to investigate the extent of the outbreak. The CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health assembled a rapid assessment team to survey attendees to determine how many of them had tested positive.
“The goals were to learn more about transmission that occurred and add to our understanding as we transition to the next phase of COVID-19 surveillance and response,” the CDC said in a May 26 statement.
Approximately 80 percent of the 1,800 attendees filled out the survey, and among those, 181 said they tested positive for COVID-19. Virtually all of the respondents—99.4 percent—said they had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. The full extent of the outbreak is not known because approximately 360 people did not respond to the survey.
Of those who reported testing positive, 52 percent reported no known prior COVID-19 infection. Thirty percent of those who tested positive for COVID had apparently worn a mask during the conference. According to the CDC, “70 percent of respondents reported not wearing a mask” as the conference “coincided with a period of low COVID-19 Community Levels, where masking is not recommended in CDC guidance.”
Forty-nine (27 percent) of the respondents who tested positive for COVID reported needing antiviral medications to help them get over their infection.
Officials did not specify how many doses of the vax the COVID-positive respondents had received, nor how many had gotten the updated bivalent shots.
No unvaccinated attendees appear to have gotten sick, according to the official numbers.
Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, described the conference as a “superspreader event.”
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) May 27, 2023
Another health professional noted that the outbreak shows that the coronavirus is still a threat. COVID-19 is “still capable of causing big outbreaks and infecting many,” said Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
The CDC said the survey results “underline the importance of vaccination for protecting individuals against severe illness and death related to COVID-19” because none of the people who reported they tested positive reported going to a hospital.
No clinical trial efficacy data are available for the bivalent shots, even though they were first cleared nine months ago. They provide little protection against infection, according to observational data, though officials maintain they protect against severe illness. That protection is short-lived, according to studies, including non-peer-reviewed CDC publications.
The most recent publication, released on May 26, showed poor effectiveness against hospitalization from the Pfizer and Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccines, which replaced the old vaccines earlier this year.
Among adults without “documented immunocompromising conditions,” the protection was 62 percent between seven and 59 days but went to 47 percent before plunging to just 24 percent after 120 days.
Among adults with “documented immunocompromising conditions,” the effectiveness peaked at just 41 percent, hitting 13 percent after 120 days.
Researchers did not provide the effectiveness estimates among all adults, or the combined population of those with and without “documented immunocompromising conditions.” They also did not provide the unadjusted vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates, or estimates before adjusting for certain variables.
“Both the crude VE and adjusted VE should be reported so that big discrepancies are evident to the reader and questioned,” David Wiseman, founder and president of Synechion, told The Epoch Times.
Vaccine effectiveness against severe illness—defined as admission to intensive care, or death—peaked at 85 percent among people deemed immunocompetent, but fell to 33 percent after 120 days, Epoch Times reported. Among immunocompromised individuals, vaccine effectiveness reportedly peaks at 53 percent.
However, according to some researchers, the cost of injecting healthy people—especially children—with a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 shot outweighs any claimed benefits. Scientists who analyzed data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database and more than 10 other regulatory surveillance and self-reporting systems found a “dramatic uptick in adverse events associated with the COVID-19 vaccine,” especially related to cardiovascular and fertility health—such as myocarditis and menstrual abnormalities.
“Our meta-analysis of both national and international vaccine adverse events emphasizes the importance of re-evaluating public health policies that promote universal mass injection and multiple boosters for all demographic groups,” said the authors of a peer-reviewed study published this month in the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research.
At least 270,227,181 people or 81 percent of the population have received at least one COVID injection. Overall, 230,637,348 people or 70 percent of the population are considered fully vaccinated.