F Rosa Rubicondior: Anti-Vaxxer, Covidiot News - Why Vaccination Is a Good Thing

Friday 15 April 2022

Anti-Vaxxer, Covidiot News - Why Vaccination Is a Good Thing

COVID-19: Vaccination greatly reduces infectious viral load - Press Release - UNIGE

Yet more evidence, if any were needed, of the efficacy and desirability of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 was provided today in a paper published by a Swiss team from the Université de Genève (UNIGE) and the Hôpitaux universitaires de Genève (HUG). The results of their study were published in Nature Medicine a few days ago.

The team have shown that vaccinations reduce the viral load and thus the infectivity of vaccinated people who are unfortunate to become infected.

The press release from the Université de Genève explains:
Measuring the viral load of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 is one of the main factors in evaluating the infectiousness of COVID-19 patients. Viral load can be influenced by the infecting SARS-CoV-2 variant as well as the vaccination status of the patient. A research team from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) measured the infectious viral load of nearly 600 symptomatic patients to detect possible differences between the original virus, Delta and Omicron sublineage BA.1, as well as according to vaccination status. They discovered that Delta causes a higher viral load than the original virus and the Omicron variant. For Delta and Omicron breakthrough infections, vaccination drastically reduces the viral load. In the case of Omicron, however, the decrease was only observed after three doses of vaccine. Furthermore, Omicron’s very high infectiousness is seemingly related to factors other than viral load alone. These results, to be read in the journal Nature Medicine, highlight the benefit of vaccination for public health in addition to individual protection against the severe form of the disease, and remind us that variants of the virus must be closely monitored to prevent further massive outbreaks.

This test is very effective in identifying infected people, but does not indicate whether they are infectious, that is, capable of transmitting the virus to other people. However, the notion of contagiousness is essential for deciding on collective prevention measures, such as periods of isolation.

For the Omicron cohort, contrary to what can be assumed given its rapid spread, the infectious viral load was overall lower than that of the Delta cohort. This is immunologically consistent: many vaccines require 3 doses spaced several months apart to induce a sustained immune response, such as that against Hepatitis B virus

Professor Isabella Eckerle, Senior author
Faculty of Medicine,
Université de Genève (UNIGE), Genève, Switzerland
The diagnosis of COVID-19 consists of a PCR test performed on a nasopharyngeal or salivary swab. PCR tests can only detect the presence of viral RNA, but do not indicate whether the virus is still intact and able to spread. The measurement of the infectious viral load necessarily involves culturing the virus for several days in a biosafety level 3 laboratory, a procedure impossible to perform routinely.

We were able to reanalyze samples from previous waves of the disease. We measured the infectious viral load of 3 cohorts of patients during the first 5 symptomatic days to compare the viral load caused by the original virus (118 samples, spring 2020), the Delta variant (293 samples, fall 2021) and the Omicron variant sublineage BA.1 (154 samples, winter 2022), as well as, for the last two cohorts, whether a significant difference could be detected in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

Benjamin Meyer, co-lead author
Centre for Vaccinology
Department of Pathology and Immunology
University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
Lower viral load due to vaccination

Since the beginning of the pandemic, samples taken at the HUG screening centre have been kept for research purposes, with the authorisation of the persons concerned.

We still don’t know, [why Omicron is so infectious] but our data suggest that other infectious mechanisms are at play. It is now clear that the mutations of Omicron strongly differentiate it from other variants, allowing it to partially escape the vaccine, and diminish the effectiveness of some antiviral treatments used so far.

Pauline Vetter, co-lead author
Clinic director at the HUG-UNIGE Center for Emerging Diseases. Geneva, Switzerland “
Overall, the infectious viral load for the Delta cohort was significantly higher than that of the cohort with the original virus. However, people infected by Delta who received two doses of mRNA vaccine had a significantly lower infectious viral load than unvaccinated people.

Overall, the infectious viral load for the Delta cohort was significantly higher than that of the cohort with the original virus. However, people infected by Delta who received two doses of mRNA vaccine had a significantly lower infectious viral load than unvaccinated people.

However, vaccination has been shown to be useful in limiting the occurrence of severe symptoms and most likely also the transmission of the virus. Indeed, in countries where the population, especially the elderly, is poorly vaccinated, Omicron has proven to be just as deadly.
The teams paper in Nature Medicine is behind a paywall, however, it can be read here. In it, the authors say:
Full vaccination (defined as >2weeks after reception of 2nd dose during primary vaccination series) significantly reduced infectious VL [Viral Load] for Delta breakthrough cases compared to unvaccinated individuals. For Omicron breakthrough cases, reduced infectious VL was only observed in boosted but not in fully vaccinated individuals compared to unvaccinated subjects. In addition, infectious VL was lower in fully vaccinated Omicron- compared to fully vaccinated Delta-infected individuals, suggesting that other mechanisms than increased infectious VL contribute to the high infectiousness of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron. Our findings indicate that vaccines may lower transmission risk and therefore have a public health benefit beyond the individual protection from severe disease.
In other words, being vaccinated and boosted is not only good for the individual but good for society a a whole in that it reduces the infectivity of the different strains on the virus. This makes it even more strange that evangelical Christians, who purport to love their fellow Man, are so hostile to the idea of being vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 virus and wilfully spread lies intended to deter their gullible followers from getting vaccinated.

Throughout the pandemic, religious extremists, and not just Christian fundamentalist, have been in the forefront of campaigns against measures to mitigate it and conserve medical services. Sevices in places of worship which refused to close or adopt social distancing measures or even mandate face masks, were amongst the most serious super-spreader events.

Whatever inspiration their religion is giving them, it doesn't seem to be inspiring any sense of collective or social responsibility or even concern for the health and welfare of their fellow Man. As the pandemic has starkly revealed, the entire rationale of religious fundamentalism seems to be a sense of self-importance, the supremacy of the self above others and exaltation of selfishness.

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