Study: 99.75% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients weren't vaccinated - Axios

Vaccination has made a tremendous difference decreasing serioius illness and hospitalization.

The Good News

The Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday released a study showing that 99.75% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 between Jan. 1 and April 13 were not fully vaccinated, according to data provided to Axios.

Why it matters: Real-world evidence continues to show coronavirus vaccines are effective at keeping people from dying and out of hospitals. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been found to be 95% and 94% effective, respectively, at preventing symptomatic infections.

Details: The study also looked at 47,000 Cleveland Clinic employees who had received one shot, both shots or no shots at all.

The Cleveland Clinic found that 99.7% of its employees who were infected with the coronavirus were not vaccinated, and 0.3% of infections occurred in those who were fully vaccinated.
The study found that in this group, mRNA vaccines were more than 96% effective in protecting against coronavirus infections.

Vaccines are complicated. Here’s what you need to know about how they work to prevent deadly diseases; the different kinds of vaccines; and why herd immunity matters.

The Bad News

Despite the paradigm shift in vaccine manufacturing which involved an entirely new process using messenger RNA, several things diminished the rollout of the covid19 vaccine.

A coincidental major national election intensified disagreements between political parties who are already deeply divided on most things.  An "infodemic" of misinformation and disinformation has helped cripple the response to the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: High-powered social media accelerates the spread of lies and political polarization that motivates people to believe them. Unless the public health sphere can effectively counter misinformation, not even an effective vaccine may be enough to end the pandemic.

How to protect yourself in the infodemic?

Driving the news: This month the WHO is running the first "infodemiology" conference, to study the infodemic of misinformation and disinformation around the coronavirus.

What they're saying: While fake news is anything but new, the difference is the infodemic "can kill people if they don't understand what precautions to take," says Phil Howard, director of the Oxford Internet Institute and author of the new book "Lie Machines."

Beyond its effect on individuals, the infodemic erodes trust in government and science at the moment when that trust is most needed.

A study by the Reuters Institute found 39% of English-language misinformation assessed between January and March included false claims about the actions or policies of authorities.

The infodemic has spread nearly as widely as the pandemic itself in the U.S.

As early as March, about half of surveyed Americans reported they had encountered at least some completely made-up news about the pandemic.
38% of Americans surveyed by Pew in June said that compared to the first couple of weeks of the pandemic, they found it harder to identify what was true and what was false about the virus.
In that same survey, roughly a third of Americans exposed to a conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 outbreak was intentionally unleashed by people in power said that they saw some truth in it.
How it works: Misinformation and disinformation have always been a destabilizing feature of infectious disease outbreaks. But several factors have made the situation worse with COVID-19.

An evolving outbreak: COVID-19 is new, and as scientists have learned more about the virus, they've had to change recommendations. That's how science works, but "if you're distrustful of authorities, an expert taking a position different than it was three days ago just confirms your bias," says Joe Smyser, CEO of the Public Good Projects.

Social media: While experts give some credit to companies like Facebook and Twitter for their efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus misinformation, the reality is that platforms built on engagement will often end up as conduits of conspiracy content, which Howard notes tends to be unusually "sticky." A review by the Reuters Institute of 225 pieces of misinformation spread by political figures and celebrities made up only 20% of the sample but accounted for 69% of engagement.

Disinformation warfare: In June, the European Commission issued a joint communication blaming Russia and China for "targeted influence operations and disinformation campaigns around COVID-19 in the EU." And those campaigns are effective — in a recent study, Howard found disinformation from Russian and Chinese state sources often reached a bigger audience on social media in Europe than reporting by major domestic outlets.
Political and media polarization: "In our hyper-polarized and politicized climate, many folks just inherently mistrust advice or evidence that comes from an opposing political party," notes Alison Buttenheim of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Conservatives are particularly vulnerable — an April study found Americans who relied on conservative media were more likely to believe conspiracy theories and rumors about the coronavirus.
Public health experts must take an active role in combating the infodemic, says Timothy Caulfield, research director of the University of Alberta's Health Law Institute.

One example is the "Nerdy Girls," an all-female team of experts who spread accurate information about the pandemic on social media in a way that aims to "engender trust," says Buttenheim, one of the group's members. 

(Who are the Nerdy Girls ?)   Those Nerdy Girls, a volunteer team of female PhDs, MDs, and DOs curating COVID-19 content for the greater good. We love facts. For educational purposes; nothing here substitutes for advice from your healthcare provider. Stay safe, stay sane.

Individuals can do their part by practicing information distancing as well as social distancing. "If you can just nudge people to pause before they share on social media, you can actually decrease the spread of misinformation," says Caulfield.

Study: 99.75% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients weren't vaccinated - Axios: The study found that 0.3% of infections occurred in people who were fully vaccinated.