Editor’s Note: In response to “Why the vaccinated should still wear masks,” a guest column by Max Yeh published by the Sun on July 19, reader Patty Kearney of Truth or Consequences submitted the following comment: “I don’t say this in disagreement over the wisdom of wearing masks indoors. However, I’d appreciate it if anyone offering medical or scientific information would cite the reliable sources—medical journal, medical school web site, etc.—from which they derived that information, allowing readers to double-check or learn more. Could this become a policy at the Sun?” Here is Yeh’s answer.
Thanks, Patty, for the policy suggestion. In the column, I used no references because I thought most of it was based on a logical extension of what we as lay people generally understand about vaccines. But looking back, I see there are informational gaps that could be filled in.
For a generalized summary of how vaccines enlist antigens, antibodies, T-cells or memory cells, etc., to do what I called “pre-prepare” the immune system, one can look at the explanations by the World Health Organization or the U.S.’s Centers for Disease Control.
On the progression of COVID-19 in vaccinees who catch the disease (Covid Vaccine Breakthrough Infections), I relied mostly on a pre-publication (not peer reviewed) internet posting. This is an Israeli study of viral loads in vaccinees testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 viruses using the Cycle threshold number resulting from the nucleic acid test. The Ct number is inversely related to the quantity of viruses identified in the test: the larger the Ct, the smaller the viral load. This study was peer reviewed and revised and published in the journal Nature.
On viral loads and vaccination see “Single dose of a mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is associated with lower nasopharyngeal viral load among nursing home residents with asymptomatic COVID-19,” read this.
On my assumption that vaccination reduces the severity, duration, and outcome in breakthrough cases, look at:
UCLA and UCSD data on infections among vaccinated health workers;
Arizona study of breakthrough cases;
real-world data on effectiveness of two dose vaccines;
and source of my claim that the window of transmission is very small for vaccinated people.
For anyone willing to research scientific studies on the pandemic, the source is Google Scholar. All the medical journals in English are free and available on Google Scholar with the usual Google search engine. In addition, Google Scholar includes Medrxiv, which is where all pre-publication postings from all over the world are available, many dozens of new studies on Covid every day ranging from molecular chemistry to sociology.