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Why vaccination does not mean immunization

Vaccine Dose - WEYI.PNG (photo credit - Mid-Michigan NOW)
Vaccine Dose - WEYI.PNG (photo credit - Mid-Michigan NOW)
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FLINT, Mich. (WEYI) — Vaccination does not guarantee immunity from COVID-19, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

MDHHS revealed that 246 fully vaccinated people in Michigan have contracted the virus. Those individuals represent about 0.01 percent of the 1.8 million people who have been fully vaccinated in the state.

RELATED ARTICLE: MDHHS releases new data on hospitalizations and deaths after being fully vaccinated

Dr. Debra Furr-Holden, an epidemiologist and Associate Dean for Public Health Integration at Michigan State University, said vaccination will decrease the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 and any potential of spreading it.

She warned that people should not let their guard down.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that vaccination and immunization are not the same.

Vaccination is “the act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease,” according to the CDC.

While, immunization “is a process by which a person becomes protected against a disease through vaccination.”

“Most people develop a robust immune response after getting vaccinated,” but there are those who do not, said Dr. Shahrokh Shabahang, chief innovation officer of Aditx Therapeautics, Inc., or Aditxt.

“Why those individuals don’t? They could just be nonresponders to any vaccination protocol,” he added.

Shabahang said, in addition to continuing to test people for COVID-19, it is important to know who has developed an immune response and who has not.

Aditxt, a biotech and life sciences company that focuses on immune system health, uses technology called the AditxtScore for COVID-19 to give people answers about their immunity.

“Most people are vaccinated, but they have no idea whether the vaccination protocol immunized them or not; because you don’t get tested afterward,” said Shabahang.

He said immunosuppresive drugs, which are used in the treatment of autoimmune disorders, could prevent vaccines from working.

What does vaccine efficacy mean?

“Some people think that may mean each individual is 95 percent protected.”

Shabahang said that percentage refers to the population that responds to the vaccine and becomes immune to the virus.

“If you’re one of those... 95-percentile individuals in the Moderna or Pfizer group, you have protection. If you’re in the five percent group, you have no protection; because you’re a nonresponder.”

It is one of several reasons that Furr-Holden believes getting vaccinated is not a pass to stop taking precautions.

“The vaccine is giving some people a sense of false security,” she said.

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Aditxt announced that HealthBar will offer AditxtScore for COVID-19 at locations across Michigan.

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