Must We Segregate the Unvaccinated from the Vaccinated?

Governments around the world have encouraged and enforced a new form of segregation based on vaccine status. This is not only dangerously inhumane; there is no scientific basis for this.

There seems to be an underlying presumption here that the unvaccinated are unclean (regardless of natural immunity) and their presence will spread disease. What if, however, existing studies reveal that there is little to no difference between the COVID vaccinated and unvaccinated in terms of becoming infected, harboring the virus (viral load in the oral and nasopharynx), and transmitting it?

As it relates to Omicron, two recent small but interesting preliminary studies show that 80% of the omicron cases were double vaccinated. Wilhelm et al. reported on reduced neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant by vaccine sera and monoclonal antibodies. “in vitro findings using authentic SARS-CoV-2 variants indicate that in contrast to the currently circulating Delta variant, the neutralization efficacy of vaccine-elicited sera against Omicron was severely reduced highlighting T-cell mediated immunity as essential barrier to prevent severe COVID-19.”

Further, the CDC has reported on the details for 43 cases of COVID-19 attributed to the Omicron variant. They found that “34 (79%) occurred in persons who completed the primary series of an FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine ≥14 days before symptom onset or receipt of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result.”

As it relates to the vaccinated and unvaccinated being similar in terms of infection, viral load, and transmission capacity, and thus no underlying evidence to separate them societally, we specifically focus on and present (and based largely on Delta variant data) the body of evidence.

1) Salvatore et al. examined the transmission potential of vaccinated and unvaccinated persons infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in a federal prison, July-August 2021. They found a total of 978 specimens were provided by 95 participants, “of whom 78 (82%) were fully vaccinated and 17 (18%) were not fully vaccinated…clinicians and public health practitioners should consider vaccinated persons who become infected with SARS-CoV-2 to be no less infectious than unvaccinated persons.”

2) Singanayagam et al. examined the transmission and viral load kinetics in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals with mild delta variant infection in the community. They found that (in 602 community contacts (identified via the UK contract-tracing system) of 471 UK COVID-19 index cases were recruited to the Assessment of Transmission and Contagiousness of COVID-19 in Contacts cohort study and contributed 8145 upper respiratory tract samples from daily sampling for up to 20 days) “vaccination reduces the risk of delta variant infection and accelerates viral clearance. Nonetheless, fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have peak viral load similar to unvaccinated cases and can efficiently transmit infection in household settings, including to fully vaccinated contacts.”