EDITORIAL: Biden has COVID-19, but that doesn't mean his vaccines didn't work

·2 min read

Jul. 21—President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and was experiencing "very mild symptoms," the White House said.

But wait? Isn't Biden vaccinated?

Indeed he is. Biden is fully vaccinated after getting two doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine shortly before taking office, a first booster shot in September and an additional dose March 30.

So why did he get COVID-19 if he is vaccinated?

It's remarkable that this question popped up almost immediately after the White House announcement, and even more so that it has lingered as long as the virus itself has in this country.

The COVID-19 vaccinations weren't designed to guarantee that people, even those who are vaccinated, won't get infected with the virus. Instead, they reduce the risk that someone who is infected will become seriously ill with or die from COVID-19.

Here's the truth, directly from the experts:

—"COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death." — the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

—"A COVID-19 vaccine might protect you from getting COVID-19; prevent you from becoming seriously ill, becoming hospitalized or dying due to COVID-19; (or) limit the spread of COVID-19." — Mayo Clinic website.

—"I remind people that the vaccines are like wearing a seat belt: Seat belts don't prevent you from getting into a car accident, but it's the best thing you can do to reduce the risk of serious injury and to keep yourself alive." — Dr. Carlos del Rio, via the American College of Physicians' Internist newsletter.

—"For many physicians and other scientists, the full approval (of the Pfizer vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration) is useful, but not essential to their decision-making, since the vaccine has been shown in 'real world' use to be highly effective, very safe, and continues to show robust protection against serious COVID-19 disease, hospitalization and death, including protection against these severe outcomes with the delta variant." — Dr. Chris Beyrer, professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, via the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine website.

—"Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have an approximate 95% efficacy rate and are highly effective in preventing severe disease. ... AstraZeneca estimates a 90% efficacy rate from a specific 2-dose schedule. Janssen's clinical trials showed an 85% efficacy rate in preventing hospitalization and complete protection against death caused by SARS-CoV-2 after one dose, and up to 94% efficacy after a booster dose is administered." — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website.

Nearly everyone 6 months and older is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Get yours, or your booster, today.