The CDC said that people who got vaccinated against COVID-19 are at a higher risk of infection from new variants of the virus.
Social media users shared a claim alleging that the CDC said that people who got vaccinated against COVID-19 are at a higher risk of infection from new variants of the virus.
Misbar’s team investigated the claim and found it to be misleading. Social media users have misinterpreted the statement of the CDC.
The CDC Said That BA.2.86 May Infect People With Immunity To COVID-19
According to the Risk Assessment Summary for SARS CoV-2 Sublineage BA.2.86 published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on August 23, the new variant may be more capable of causing infection to people with existing immunity to COVID-19, either from vaccinations or prior infections, not that the vaccinated people are at a higher risk compared to the unvaccinated.
However, the CDC still recommends getting vaccines as the current assessments are not certain and may differ according to new tests by scientists. The statement also mentioned that the COVID-19 vaccine will be updated in order to be effective at reducing severe disease and hospitalisation caused by the BA.2.86.
Misinformation About COVID-19 Vaccine
Although the COVID-19 pandemic ended, conspiracy theories and myths are still circulating all over the internet regarding vaccines. Most of these theories were later determined as rumours and false conspiracy theories.
In June 2020, the Australian government formed a multi-disciplinary team to review the rumours spread between 2019 and 2020. The results came out as follows: 91% were rumours and 9% were conspiracy theories from 52 countries.
These theories contributed to the acceptance of conspiracies among the public. According to a study of conspiracy beliefs about the COVID-19 vaccine by BMC published in April, after the pandemic, the level of conspiracist beliefs is higher than before the pandemic. These rumours have an independent effect on the vaccination uptake of COVID-19 vaccination, along with future vaccinations.
Severity Of The New Variant
BA.2.86 was first spotted in Denmark on July 24. Then, it was spotted in the U.S. and Canada in August. It is reported to have additional mutations compared with other detected omicron sub-variants. Contrary to COVID-19, scientists have said that the new variant is unlikely to cause dangerous symptoms leading to death.
According to Andrew Pekosz, a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Johns Hopkins University, the new variant does not seem to be vastly different from the previous circulating viruses in the U.S. for the past three to four months.
Nonetheless, it is too soon to know how transmissible BA.2.86 is and whether it might cause severe illness or not. Scientists are closely monitoring the hospitalisation rates to determine the severity of this variant.