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Cosmic Vaccine Irony

A new study indicates vaccinated Americans might be more susceptible to Omicron than those who remain unvaccinated.

It’s Monday morning, and by the end of the week the capitol city will begin operating under a vaccine passport system. The new mandate will require patrons to show proof that they have gotten sufficient Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson shots before entering most public areas in the district, including restaurants, bars, gyms, and areas of public entertainment. Churches, grocery stores, and museums remain exempt under the new mandate, which will take effect on January 15 and is purported to stop the spread of the latest Covid-19 variant, Omicron.

We’ve heard a lot of rhetoric about vaccines in the last year. From the Democrats’ gunshot opener that they wouldn’t take any drug produced under the Trump administration, to the golden era of vaccines are safe and effective at preventing transmission, with a pit stop at free donuts if you get just get the shot, please, we’ve finally arrived once again at the you must be a granny-hater phase, except this time it applies to all ages. In the words of Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan last week, defending mandating the Covid-19 vaccine for hospital employees, “‘Basically, the one thing you can’t do is kill your patients.'” Presumably, if you don’t take the shot, that’s precisely what you’re doing.

Unfortunately for Justice Kagan, a new study on the vaccine’s effectiveness against the Omicron variant shows exactly the opposite. Not only did the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines show no statistically significant positive effect against Omicron after 30 days, their effect even went negative after 90 days. According to this preprint study of Danish nationwide databases of vaccine effectiveness, vaccinated people were more susceptible to infection by Omicron than were unvaccinated people within three months of taking the shot.

While the vaccines did offer more lasting protection against Delta, according to this study, the current “booster shot” offered by the big three pharmaceuticals is simply another dose of the original strand—in other words, old software for a new malware attack. And, as the Wall Street Journal points out, the mandates don’t require a booster.

Putting aside our concerns with mandates—and there are many—if you’re requiring a vaccine to prevent a transmissible disease, the lowest bar for that vaccine must be its ability to prevent at least some transmission. (This isn’t rocket science.) The Covid-19 vaccine no longer does that. We hardly even need a study to demonstrate this. Case numbers are climbing above pre-vaccine heights, and most Omicron cases have been among vaccinated people. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Wollensky herself has admitted the shots do not prevent transmission.

Does this mean we can expect a return to sanity? I wouldn’t count on it. Public officials won’t use this as an opportunity to change course, even if we are coming up on election year, until they have a new bogeyman to blame. When you can’t point your finger at the unvaccinated for all pandemic-related problems, you may have to stop and notice your other three fingers are pointed the opposite direction.