COVID breakthrough cases, deaths continue among vaccinated Vermonters

Despite continued claims from the Scott administration that COVID-19 is “a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” data from the Health Department continues to show significant deaths and hospitalizations among the fully vaccinated.

To date, there have been 438 hospitalizations and 157 deaths reported among the 37,561 “breakthrough” cases involving vaccinated individuals, according to the state COVID-19 Data Summary released Feb. 3.

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DO THE SHOTS PROTECT?: The Scott administration continues to characterize COVID-19 as “a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” even as recent data from the Health Department shows significant deaths and hospitalizations occur among the vaccinated.

Despite this trend, the state continues to say more vaccines mean fewer people get sick. According to the Health Department’s COVID-19 modeling document released on Feb. 1, the Health Department suggests that those who are not fully vaccinated are 10 times more likely to die from COVID-19.

“Across the US, the average weekly chance of a boosted person dying of Covid was about one in a million according to the most recent available CDC data (the chance an average American will die in a car crash is 2.4 per million), but older and unvaccinated Vermonters face increased risk from the virus. For the latter group, state data continues to show the risk of death is ten-fold that of boosted Vermonters,” the document states.

However, the Vermont Health Department Spokesperson Ben Truman told True North on Monday that the Health Department does not currently know how frequently persons from each group — the vaccinated and the unvaccinated — are receiving COVID tests.

“As for the number of people testing positive, the exact figures are getting harder to determine because of the increased use of self-testing and the voluntary nature of reporting those results,” Truman wrote in an email.

Federal and state policies offer different protocols for testing the unvaccinated versus the vaccinated. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) continues to advise that unvaccinated workplace employees get weekly COVID tests as a condition of employment. In contrast, those who are vaccinated who can forgo testing.

At the state level, the Vermont Department of Health guidelines give different protocols for the vaccinated and the unvaccinated on testing after suspected contact with a COVID-positive individual. For those who are up-to-date on their shots, the policy is not to quarantine, and testing is optional. Those who are not fully vaccinated should quarantine and have at least one negative PCR or LAMP test, or two negative antigen tests.

Another factor that may further muddy comparisons of the vaccinated versus the vaccinated deals with the criteria for categorizing a partially vaccinated person. For example, the state’s definition of “fully vaccinated” says a person must have received at least two COVID vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson shot — and at least 14 days must have passed. If someone gets sick or hospitalized during that two-week stretch, the incident is recorded as an “unvaccinated” case.

Truman told True North that the state does not track data on how often Vermonters test positive or are hospitalized within that two-week time interval.

Not all of the vaccine studies conclude more shots deliver better outcomes with COVID. On Dec. 29, 2021, the GatewayPundit reported on two new studies that apparently show COVID vaccines actually end up causing more illness than they prevent.

“After just three months, fully vaccinated individuals begin to experience sharp negative protection. Researchers found that those who received the Pfizer vaccine were an astounding 76.5% more likely to have a breakthrough infection than their unvaccinated counterparts once 90 days had passed — those who received Moderna’s were 39.3% more likely,” the report states.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Public domain

23 thoughts on “COVID breakthrough cases, deaths continue among vaccinated Vermonters

  1. In the category of what to believe and not believe: this morning, 2-9-2022, Geoff Brumfiel, a senior editor and correspondent on NPR’s science desk, broadcast a report that claimed, UNEQUIVOCALLY, that Ivermectin does not work as a treatment for Covid and recommended that doctors prescribing it have their license to practice medicine ‘investigated’.

    Even the National Institutes for Health (NIH) reports on two of its web sites this morning, “There is insufficient evidence for the COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel to recommend either for or against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19.” I repeat, “for or against”. And in another NIH randomized control trial, it was found that “A five-day course of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 may reduce the duration of illness”.

    And yet National Public Radio chose to broadcast this report, making no mention of these National Institutes for Health studies.

    If there is anything that comes of this pandemic/epidemic, it should be that we remember what people, especially those in authority, say they know and don’t know. Because, clearly, some are not telling the truth. And I suspect we’re going to hear a lot more ‘I’m unaware’ equivocations in the coming weeks and months.

    I’m not going to come to a verdict at this time, because, according to National Public Radio at least, the jury is still out on Ivermectin. But Mr. NPR senior science editor Geoff Brumfiel, I know who you are an what you’ve broadcast.

  2. If only viruses existed, and the PCR test tested for something that existed.

    Oh I wish I was a little fishy fifth…

    The emperor has no clothes.

    Humpthy Dumpty sat on a wall…

    The Boy who cried Wolf.

    Henny Penny.

    Or, in the words of JC:
    “Listen to the Word, understand knowledge, love life, and no one will persecute you and no one will oppress you other than yourselves.” (NHC1, 8,27-9,23)

  3. Pandemics have long been the scourge of mankind. More deadly than war.

    To their credit, public health officials and leaders, including President Trump, recognized the need to develop an effective vaccine as one tool to mitigate the effects of Covid-19. These efforts have been incredibly successful, and vaccines are now available that have met the stringent tests of other vaccines we take for tetanus, polio, measles, etc. and are now fully approved for adult use.

    Do they completely protect one from getting sick and dying of Covid-19? Of course not. What they were intended to do is lessen the chances of hospitalization and severe illness. This they have done.

    Governor Scott has critics on the left and right in regard to his handling of this pandemic. He has, to the dismay of some, rejected the use of continued Emergency Powers and relied on providing access to vaccines, persuasion and guidance rather than broad mandates to meet this crisis. I am grateful of his thoughtful leadership and prefer it to that of longtime vaccine conspiracy promoter Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

    • Re: “Do they completely protect one from getting sick and dying of Covid-19? Of course not. What they were intended to do is lessen the chances of hospitalization and severe illness. This they have done..”

      Says who?

      No pun intended.

      • Speaking ‘of longtime vaccine conspiracy promoters’, Mr. Freitag, I recall from a while back, when the analysis of the Covid lockdowns was beginning to surface, you commented that claims by a certain other commenter, that increased suicide and drug use resulted from the lockdowns, were conspiracy theories too.

        What goes around comes around.

        • Mr. Eshelman,
          Memory like conspiracy theories are funny things. If you can provide what I commented on, my own comments and the dates. That would be helpful. Once this actual information is provided, then if it is actually needed, would be more than willing to admit any mistake on my part.

          • I thought you might take a bite of the apple.

            Gov. Scott defends lockdowns as COVID cases rise
            TNR / November 18, 2020

            In response to the 11-19-20 comment by Laura Stone:
            “John Frietag, go do some reading about what suicide rates are doing right now.”

            “Go read about the drug over doses and the mental health crisis we have going on and the system that is NOT AT ALL Prepared to deal with such levels of this.”

            You responded as follows.
            John Freitag

            November 19, 2020 at 1:38 pm
            “Gosh Laura Stone, I am afraid I am spending more time in my woodlot and putting up wood for next winter and than watching Fox or reading Trump’s tweets. I admit as well that I am pretty limited, being grounded in my community where I stay more active in town, civic and church affairs, than paying attention to the conspiracies theories swirling about. “

      • Mr. Eshelman,
        If you can find any evidence where there are greater numbers of fully vaccinated people in the hospital and ICU’s due to Covid-19 compared with unvaccinated, I would love to see it.
        As with many health decisions it is all about what provides us the best odds for continued health. Vaccines have made a real difference over the years in this regard.

        • Ahh. the usual deflection.

          No evidence = Evidence

          I asked you “Says who?”

          Do your own home work.

        • Apparently, you spent so much time in your woodlot and doing your civic duties that you have no idea what’s really going on in the world. I can see from your past responses that you do not read any links that are posted from expert or reliable investigative sources pertaining to vaccine injuries or deaths. Other than being a cheerleader for the governor and pumping up your chest because of community involvement, you really have no idea what you are trying to defend.

          • Dano,
            Appreciate you and others providing different takes on what is going on. I do read a variety of sources (including the links you and others provide). I then, as I am sure you do, fact check and try to choose what is most accurate. We of course are allowed to come up with different conclusions. The good thing is unlike some other news sources, we can express our opinions here and hopefully pick up some insights from others.
            In that regard I would have to give credit to Laura Stone and say that 15 months ago she was indeed very perceptive about the cost of the lockdowns in terms of mental health and drug overdoses.
            It is something that has been highlighted a great deal recently and is another reason why Governor Scott ended the state of emergency in June of last year despite continued heavy criticism from the Democratic leadership and some in the more liberal orientated press who would have preferred continued restrictive mandates.

    • RFK, Jrs main stance is that vaccine harms have been covered up. He is not anti-vaccine. There’s a very long history of injury cover-ups. His point is that we should acknowledge these injuries and work to make safer vaccines, and compensate the victims. Instead, we’re brushing these severe injuries under the rug.

      John, you’re dreaming if you think these vaccines have come anywhere close to being certified safe to the degree that other vaccines have. Vaccine studies take ten years, and that’s for normal vaccines that use attenuated viruses. These Covid vaccine are a completely new technology and they don’t cause the body to create antibodies as a first-order effect, as traditional vaccines do. What the Covid vaccines do is cause the body to produce toxic spike proteins as a first-order effect, but we don’t know exactly where these proteins are produced or how much in any one individual– we’re guessing and assuming.

      Right. Israel is one of the most heavily vaccinated countries and cases and deaths are soaring. What’s wrong with this picture?

      • Jim,
        I appreciate how much time and energy you have put into your position on this issue and respect the conclusions you have reached for yourself. We will continue to disagree on this one.

        One thing to note: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been campaigning against other vaccines since 2005, more than a decade before Covid-19. He has long promoted the scientifically discredited theory that vaccines cause autism.

        • Do you mean like the discredited notion that taking the vaccines will ‘flatten the curve’ in a couple of weeks?

          Or that the vaccines are 95% effective at preventing people from getting and spreading Covid?

          Or that children 18 years of age and younger are at sufficient risk of hospitalization and death from Covid to justify being given an experimental vaccine devoid of long-term studies on their immune systems?

          Or like the discredited notion that forcing young children to wear masks for long periods doesn’t pose as much danger to their health (physical and mental) as their risk of dying from Covid?

          Never mind the ‘conspiracy theories’ that lockdowns increase suicides and drug overdoses.

          Go ahead and ‘continue to disagree’, Mr. Freitag. But please understand this: you can run but you can’t hide.

          • Mr. Eshelman,
            Not at all looking to run or hide. Just looking for honest back and forth exchange of views and information in a search for better understanding.

            In this regards, while I may be wrong, I never recalled hearing Governor Scott not Health Commissioner Levine ever saying that:
            ” the taking of vaccines will flatten the curve in a matter of weeks” or
            “vaccines are 95% effective at preventing people from getting and spreading Covid”
            If Scott and Levine have ever said this, could you provide when and where they made these comments?

            What I have heard in multiple press conferences by the Governor and his team is that vaccines are the most effective tool we have to help control the spread of Covid 19 and, if you are fully vaccinated, effective in most cases at mitigating the worst outcomes should you contract the virus.

        • Mr. Freitag, you are incorrigibly dishonest.

          Show me where I made the claim that either Governor Scott or Doctor Levine said: ”taking of vaccines will flatten the curve in a matter of weeks”, or “vaccines are 95% effective at preventing people from getting and spreading Covid”.

          As the discussion thread clearly shows, we were discussing your characterization of RFK Jr’s ‘scientifically discredited theory that vaccines cause autism.” Were we not?

          I simply put your remark in the context of several other ‘scientifically discredited theories’. I didn’t say who promoted them.

          On the other hand, on December 14, 2020, not long after your other notorious ‘conspiracy theory’ remarks about suicides and drug overdoses, Gov. Scott and Dr. Levine did put out a press release that in so many words at least implied that they knew how effective the vaccines were. At least one would hope they knew.

          14 DECEMBER 2020
          “The doses were sent as part of the initial nationwide shipments that followed the Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine issued by the FDA on December 12.”

          “This is a pivotal moment, one that marks the beginning of the end of the pandemic,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD. “As I’ve said before, however, this is just the start of a long process to receive and administer enough vaccine to bring COVID-19 under control. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of everyone keeping up their efforts to protect themselves and prevent spread of the virus. This is a time for great optimism and even greater vigilance to make it all happen.”

          And when a diligent and thoughtful person might check out Gov. Scott’s and Dr. Levine’s justification for making these recommendations (something you persistently would never do), they find the following from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

          Among adults aged 65–74 years, effectiveness of full vaccination for preventing hospitalization was 96% for Pfizer-BioNTech,

          And who said ’flatten the curve’? Well, for starters, if you would do your own research for a change, you’d hear it from U. S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, from President Trump, from Anthony Fauci, and others.

          Tell me, as long as you’re transfixed with what Gov. Scott and Dr. Levine said, show me where they ever cautioned that the vaccines weren’t effective. Show me where they ever contradicted the two-weeks-to-flatten-the-curve sentiment.

          Show me where you cautioned everyone that these claims were bogus, … in the same way you criticized RFK Jr’s remarks.

          You can’t. Because, contrary to your assertions, you won’t accept responsibility for anything you do and say. As I said before, Mr. Freitag – you, sir, are a pretender.

          • Mr. Eshelman,

            Because a fellow citizen, who believes, as I think you do, that the Democrat and Progressive parties in Vermont have swung way too far to the left and is a proponent of smaller and fiscally sound government, has a different point of view on vaccines than yourself, does not make one “incorrigibly dishonest” or a “pretender”.

            Finding what is best for our State, (and ourselves for that matter) can be a rocky path. I certainly do not have all the answers, make mistakes, enjoy hearing and respect other opinions. I often learn from them and adjust what I think.

            The benefit of free speech, one of the greatest gifts of our republic, is that we can not only say what we think but can listen to what others are saying as well, even if we decide not to agree.

          • Mr. Freitag, expressing an opinion is one thing. Misrepresenting what someone else says is another. Even now, you continue to deflect and obfuscate… which you are free to do based on our free speech tenants. But you will also be held to account for what you say, whether or not you later admit to saying it.

  4. Ive been saying this stuff for over a year. Been called so many names. Got banned from Christmas at inlaws. The data has been there all along. We are all being lied to by the health authorities. Research the data, use your head and shut off the news

  5. It’s because we’ve been lied to. It’s really bad in Israel too!

    And of course David Martin below

    I printed his pdf and sent it to our high government officials yesterday.

    Had a friend die last week from massive heart attack….another relative had a stroke after they recieved the clot shot……

    There are two people calling all the shots on this in Vermont. They better do some quick research and see the light, otherwise it’s not going to be the path they anticipated, it won’t be a hero’s welcome, that’s for sure.

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