Iran’s herd immunity flop is very bad news for these US states

Andy Rice / Bloomberg via Getty

Andy Rice / Bloomberg via Getty

There is a state in Iran There seems to have been more COVID case Than there are people. In other words, in some of the most affected areas, many people may have been infected with COVID. Twice..

It’s not just bad news for Iran’s 84 million people. For example, bad news for 3 million people. Mississippi And at 5 million Alabama.. Experts believe that Iran is vulnerable to reinfection due to inadequate vaccination and excessive reliance on fragile natural antibodies from past infections to protect people. ..

But many other places in the world are making the same mistakes. If natural antibodies do not prevent reinfection in Iran, there is no reason to believe that they will do the same in other under-vaccinated areas. “We need to worry,” Cindy Prince, an epidemiologist at the University of Florida, told The Daily Beast.

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It is difficult to say exactly how bad COVID is in Iran. Experts emphasize that official statistics from Tehran’s authoritarian government are at best incomplete and, in the worst case, manipulated.

Officially Over 129,000 He has died of COVID in Iran since the first case was detected in Iran in February 2020. This is 155 per 100,000, which is a lower official rate than 230 per 100,000 in the United States. Aggregated..

Iran’s numbers are arguably underestimated, Magical Moradi Lake, a professor of community medicine at the Iran University of Medical Science, told The Daily Beast. “There is a gap between real and official numbers,” said Moradi-Lakeh.

The government reported 1,284 COVID deaths in the first month of the pandemic in Iran, but Moradi-Lakeh and some colleagues Calculated “mortality”In short, it was an unexpected death and came up with a more accurate number than they claim. As many as 5,180 COVIDs died in the same month.they Repeated exercise Over the next few months, I found another big underestimate.

In other words, perhaps, if you believe in the study, it is possible that many times more Iranians are dying from COVID than the government reports. Tehran officials seem desperately trying to hide their donkeys as the virus is devastating the country.

The infection rate is so high that some states seem to have been infected. More often than people.. By mid-September, 11 of Iran’s 31 states had a prevalence of over 100%, according to an analysis by Mahan Ghafari and his colleagues studying viral evolution at Oxford University.

It is clear why the infection can exceed the population of a particular community. “People infected with COVID-19 at the start [or] middle [part] Ariel Karlinsky, a researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who studies global mortality, told The Daily Beast.

Vaccination, or lack thereof, is an important part of the reinfection puzzle. Iran is poorly vaccinated compared to many other industrialized countries. Officially, 46% of the population is fully vaccinated. 58% in the US, 69% in France, standard setting 83% in Singapore..

However, as with official COVID deaths, official vaccination numbers can be misleading. This is because Iran is promoting some of the world’s least effective vaccines for political reasons. In January, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei banned Western vaccines, including highly effective messenger RNA vaccines from US companies Pfizer and Modana.

“They are completely unreliable,” Hamenei said. Said, Without providing proof of his claim. “If they could make a vaccine … why do they want to give it to us? Why don’t they use it themselves?”

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In fact, billions of people around the world are vaccinated in the West. The safety record is great.

However, the ban on Hamenei was not about the effectiveness of the vaccine. It was a political motivation. Instead of the best Western vaccines, Iran imported vaccines from countries that are more in line with its fraudulent foreign policy. That is, Russia and China.

The problem is the Russian Sputnik V vaccine Not thoroughly tested.. And the Chinese Sinovac vaccine is probably less effective than the major Western vaccines. The Iranian government is also developing its own vaccine, But recently abandoned one of them Due to lack of orders. “The government’s response was disastrous,” Hadi Gaemi, managing director of the Iranian Human Rights Center based in New York, told The Daily Beast.

Khamenei eventually retreated somewhat and allowed the import of the AstraZeneca vaccine made in the United Kingdom. However, there was damage.

Iran has given about 93 million doses of vaccine, but the resulting poor quality of jabs is inadequate. “Although not ideal, people are accepting the vaccine brands currently available as a better option than without vaccination,” said Moradi-Lakeh.

Iran’s COVID blunder is affecting the world, including the United States. Iran actually has much in common with the US states with the lowest vaccination rates, such as Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Idaho. All of these states have vaccination rates in their mid-40s.

If Iranians are re-infected at a high rate, do Mississippi also have problems? Prins thinks so. “In states where vaccination coverage is narrow, there are concerns about weakened immunity.”

It is becoming increasingly clear that natural antibodies from past infections with SARS-CoV-2 will decline after about 6 months. In contrast, the best vaccines last much longer. “Long-term immunity from natural infections is inferior to vaccination,” Elias Sayua, a professor of neurosurgery and pediatrics at the University of Florida and director of the school’s pediatric cancer immunotherapy initiative, told The Daily Beast. rice field.

The vulnerability of natural antibodies could undermine the hope that the community may achieve population-level “herd immunity” against COVID through a combination of past infections and half-hearted vaccination. “Given what we know about viral and breakthrough infections, it seems unlikely that herd immunity will be achieved,” Sayour said.

If you live in a state with a low vaccination rate When The low number of cases of COVID may be due to the fact that many of our neighbors were infected with COVID and still have some natural antibodies during the summer wave of infection with delta mutants. There is sex. However, if vaccination is still delayed despite the decline of these antibodies, cases may surge again, as in Iran.

And, like Iran, COVID hits some people over and over, so there may even be more total cases than people.

In the United States, at least there is a simple fix. There is no ban on the best vaccines as in Iran. High quality jabs are free and readily available nationwide.

The crisis in Iran’s reinfection “really increases the need for vaccinations for infected people,” Prince said.

For more information, see The Daily Beast.

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