The claim: CDC says a new COVID-19 variant is more contagious among vaccinated people than unvaccinatedAn Aug.
29 Instagram post (direct link, archive link) shows an illustration of a virus next to a photo of a man receiving a shot.“#REPORT: CDC says new COVID variant is more contagious among vaccinated people than those unvaccinated,” reads text included in the post.The post received more than 300 likes in a day.
Another version of the claim shared on Instagram received over 3,000 likes in three days.Follow us on Facebook!
Like our page to get updates throughout the day on our latest debunksOur rating: FalseThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not made such an announcement.
The post distorts a line in CDC guidance that says the new variant may be more capable than past strains of infecting people who have prior immunity – either from an infection or vaccination.CDC compares variants, not vaccination statusThe CDC announced in August that it was tracking a new COVID-19 variant, BA.2.86, which has since been nicknamed Pirola.
It published a risk assessment on the new variant on Aug.
23.The Instagram post appears to be misinterpreting a line from that risk assessment, which states, “BA.2.86 may be more capable of causing infection in people who have previously had COVID-19 or who have received COVID-19 vaccines.”The document does not say the variant is more contagious among vaccinated people than the unvaccinated.
Rather, the CDC is simply warning that people with prior immunity might be more susceptible to the BA.2.86 variant than other past strains.Fact check: COVID-19 vaccine data from VAERS misrepresented (again) to overstate risksThe CDC makes that clear in another part of the publication, explaining that the new variant “raises concerns of greater escape from existing immunity from vaccines and previous infections compared with other recent variants.”The new variant has been detected in the U.S.
and four other countries.
The first U.S.
case was confirmed in Michigan in August, the Detroit Free Press reported.The CDC is only aware of a few appearances of the variant and is still determining how it compares to other COVID-19 strains, CDC spokesperson Scott Pauley said in an email to USA TODAY.
He said researchers have not yet found any evidence that it causes more severe illness.There also is no credible evidence that vaccinated people are more vulnerable to any type of COVID-19 infection than unvaccinated people.
To the contrary, the CDC reported in February that people vaccinated against COVID-19 were 14 times less likely to die from an infection than the unvaccinated.
The CDC has consistently said the vaccines help protect against severe disease, hospitalization and death in adults, children and teens.Updated COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be available in the fall, public health officials say, and work is underway to determine how effective they will be against the new variant, Pauley said.“CDC’s current assessment is that this updated vaccine will be effective at reducing severe disease and hospitalization,” Pauley said.USA TODAY reached out to the social media users who shared the post but did not immediately receive responses.The Associated Press also debunked the claim.Our fact-check sources:Scott Pauley, Aug.
30, Email exchange with USA TODAYCDC, Aug.
23, Risk Assessment Summary for SARS CoV-2 Sublineage BA.2.86CDC, March 23, COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness UpdateCDC, Feb.
10, COVID-19 Incidence and Mortality Among Unvaccinated and Vaccinated Persons Aged ≥12 Years by Receipt of Bivalent Booster Doses and Time Since Vaccination — 24 U.S.
Jurisdictions, October 3, 2021–December 24, 2022USA TODAY, Aug.
28, What to know about COVID Pirola: How new BA.2.86 variant is differentUSA TODAY, Aug.
23, Timing and cost of new vaccines vary by virus and health insurance status.
What to knowDetroit Free Press, Aug.
29, First US case of new COVID-19 variant identified in Michigan labThank you for supporting our journalism.
You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or e-newspaper here.Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: False claim COVID-19 variant is worse for vaccinated | Fact check View comments