In November 2020, Pfizer announced that its COVID-19 vaccine was 95% effective in preventing symptomatic disease. This was a major breakthrough in the fight against the pandemic, and the vaccine was quickly rolled out around the world.
However, there was one important caveat to Pfizer’s announcement: the vaccine was not effective at preventing asymptomatic infection. This means that people who were vaccinated could still get COVID-19 and spread the virus to others, even if they did not show any symptoms.
Pfizer was aware of this limitation when it announced the vaccine’s efficacy. In fact, the company’s press release specifically stated that “the vaccine was not tested to determine its efficacy against asymptomatic infection or transmission.”
Despite this knowledge, Pfizer and other vaccine manufacturers continued to promote their products as a way to stop the spread of COVID-19. This led to widespread public confusion about the vaccines’ effectiveness, and many people believed that getting vaccinated would protect them from getting sick or spreading the virus.
In reality, the data was clear. The vaccines were only partially effective at preventing serious illness and death. They did not stop people from getting COVID-19, and they did not stop them from spreading the virus.
This lack of efficacy has become increasingly clear in recent months. The Delta and Omicron variants have spread rapidly around the world. Both of these variants are highly transmissible, and they can easily infect people who are vaccinated.
In fact, a recent study found that the Pfizer vaccine is only 33% effective at preventing symptomatic infection from the Omicron variant. This means that vaccinated people are still at risk of getting COVID-19, even if they have been boosted.
The data is clear: the COVID-19 vaccines do not stop the spread of the virus. They are only somewhat effective at preventing serious illness and death.
This is an important distinction that needs to be made clear to the public. People should not be misled into thinking that getting vaccinated will protect them from getting sick or spreading the virus.
The vaccines are a valuable tool in the fight against COVID-19, but they are not a silver bullet. We need to continue to take other measures to protect ourselves from the virus. Measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, and getting tested regularly.