FactCheck.org

Video Twists Advice on Delta Variant and Vaccination

 

SciCheck Digest

An epidemiologist recommended that people get the COVID-19 vaccine because some evidence suggests an unvaccinated person who gets the delta variant is “twice as likely to require hospital treatment” than someone infected with the alpha variant. But a Facebook video twists that advice to claim that he said vaccinated people would be twice as likely to be hospitalized.

Full Story

Studies indicate that currently available vaccines are largely effective against the delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19. But a video circulating on Facebook wrongly tells viewers the opposite.

The video is part of a series of similar webcasts from Jen DePice, a Philadelphia-area chiropractor who has used Facebook to advocate against the vaccines. Another video in the series, for example, is pinned to the top of her organization’s page with this message: “JUST SAY NO…to the Jab!🗽❌💉“

The video we’ll address here has been viewed 48,000 times and has garnered comments such as, “Best news as I’ve not been VAC & have no plans to be.”

In the video, DePice claims that those who are exposed to the delta variant are “twice as likely to require hospitalization if the person was vaccinated.”

There is no support for this statement, and, as we noted, studies have shown the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the U.S. are largely effective against the delta variant.

Although DePice says that her claim is based on research “from Harvard,” we could find no such study, and she didn’t respond to a message on her Facebook account asking for further details.

However, it appears that she misrepresented an interview with a Harvard University professor.

The post accompanying the video links to an interview Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health posted with William Hanage, an associate professor of epidemiology.

In that July 8 interview, Hanage said (emphasis added), “Delta’s greater virulence means that unvaccinated people who become infected will be sicker and the burden on the health care system will be greater. Evidence suggests, for example, that an unvaccinated person with Delta infection is roughly twice as likely to require hospital treatment than a person infected with the previously dominant variant.”

Hanage’s point is supported by a Scottish study published in June that found the risk of hospitalization was about twice as high for those with the delta variant compared with those with the previously dominant alpha variant, but the finding was preliminary.

As we’ve explained, it’s not yet settled whether the delta variant causes more severe disease than other versions of the virus. Public Health England, for example, posted an assessment on July 23 saying that the delta variant appeared to increase the risk of hospitalization relative to alpha, but that there was a “low” level of confidence about this.

But, as far as DePice’s claim is concerned, it appears that she has misrepresented what Hanage said about what group is at higher risk to be hospitalized.

She also failed to convey what Hanage said about the value of vaccination against COVID-19 generally.

Hanage clearly advised in that interview: “Get vaccinated if you are not already.”

He explained that the high transmissibility of the delta variant means that the virus can spread faster than the rate of vaccination around the world. This variant also appears to produce high viral loads early in infection, he said, “which may mean that it’s even more infectious during the period when people don’t yet realize they’re infected.”

A July study from China that has yet to be peer reviewed found that the viral load for those infected with the delta variant was 1,000 times higher than for those who had the original strain of the virus.

Hanage also noted in the interview that the delta variant appears to be more able to cause “so-called breakthrough infections in vaccinated people.” But, he said, the resulting infections are “comparatively mild.”

In the U.S., the delta variant accounted for 83% of COVID-19 cases for the two weeks ending July 17, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated. And on July 16, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said at a press briefing that more than 97% of those who were hospitalized were unvaccinated.

As we said, the vaccines appear to be effective against the delta variant, but several studies have emphasized the importance of getting the full dosage of the vaccine if two shots are required, as is the case for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Editor’s note: SciCheck’s COVID-19/Vaccination Project is made possible by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The foundation has no control over our editorial decisions, and the views expressed in our articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the foundation. The goal of the project is to increase exposure to accurate information about COVID-19 and vaccines, while decreasing the impact of misinformation.

Sources

Sakay, Yasemin Nicola. “Here’s How Well COVID-19 Vaccines Work Against the Delta Variant.” Healthline.com. 22 Jul 2021.

Bernal, Jamie Lopez, et al. “Effectiveness of Covid-19 Vaccines against the B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant.” New England Journal of Medicine. 21 Jul 2021.

Feldscher, Karen. “The danger of the Delta variant.” T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 8 Jul 2021.

Sheikh, Aziz, et al. “SARS-CoV-2 Delta VOC in Scotland: demographics, risk of hospital admission, and vaccine effectiveness.” The Lancet. 14 Jun 2021.

Li, Baisheng, et al. “Viral infection and transmission in a large, well-traced outbreak caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant.” medRxiv. 23 Jul 2021.

Reardon, Sara. “How the Delta variant achieves its ultrafast spread.” Nature. 21 Jul 2021.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID Data Tracker — Variant Proportions. Accessed 26 Jul 2021.

Walensky, Rochelle. “Press Briefing by White House COVID-19 Response Team and Public Health Officials.” Whitehouse.gov. 16 Jul 2021.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Select list(s) to subscribe to


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker