Eight individuals from the state of Maine have died after being fully vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). The Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (MeCDC) confirmed the eight fatalities – which included people vaccinated while receiving end-of-life care. People who contract the Wuhan coronavirus 14 days after their final vaccine dose are counted as breakthrough cases.
The Pine Tree State reported a total of 387 breakthrough COVID-19 infections as of June 4. A MeCDC spokesperson explained that the eight people’s deaths “met the criteria to be COVID-19-related after fully vaccinated.” However, they clarified that the eight died “with COVID-19” and not “of COVID-19.”
The eight Mainers joined the 535 vaccine breakthrough deaths – out of more than 3,000 cases that required hospitalization – recorded by the federal CDC. According to the federal public health agency, these breakthrough COVID-19 cases are expected and “occur in only a small percentage of vaccinated people.”
Arthur Mitchell was among those eight Maine residents who died after contracting COVID-19 post-vaccination. His daughter Margaret Staggs told WGME 13 about her father’s passing. She said that Mitchell got his second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on March 8. “[He] counted out his two weeks to be fully vaccinated [and] was very excited about that,” Staggs added.
Margaret continued that their entire family relaxed after a year of restrictions after everyone was fully vaccinated. However, her father tested positive for COVID-19 four weeks later – alongside her and her husband. She remarked that they were “one of those [people] that became [COVID-19] positive” after their vaccination. “We probably all took a deep breath and let our guard down a little bit,” Staggs said.
Mitchell’s oxygen levels dwindled, which called for him to be hospitalized. Despite being on a ventilator for four days, his condition did not improve. Hospital staff permitted Staggs to be by her father’s side to bid him farewell on May 6. “It was really hard to realize that he was going to lose that battle,” she said.
Despite working as a nurse herself, Staggs acknowledged that the vaccine’s benefits are “never 100 percent.” She ultimately remarked: “Just remember that not everybody is going to go back to the normal they knew before, because [the pandemic has] affected too many people.” (Related: Alaska woman contracts COVID-19 again despite being vaccinated.)
The vaccines themselves are much more dangerous than the disease they aim to prevent
Mitchell received the Moderna vaccine before his untimely demise. The Boston-based drug company’s COVID-19 vaccine is one of three candidates the Food and Drug Administration approved for emergency use in the U.S. It is also one of two vaccines that use a messenger RNA (mRNA) vector – the other being the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
However, a number of studies have elaborated on the dangers of these mRNA vaccines. Back in April 2021, Israeli researchers found that people who receive these vaccines have a higher risk of contracting coronavirus variants of concern. Researchers from Tel Aviv University and Israeli healthcare provider Clalit Health Services examined COVID-19 test results from both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Israel used the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on the majority of its population, alongside a small percentage of Moderna doses.
They found that Israelis fully vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine were eight times more likely to catch the South African B1351 strain. Meanwhile, those who received at least one dose had a higher chance of catching the British B117 variant. The researchers noted that the prevalence of the British strain was no different in Israelis who got both doses of the vaccine.
Lead researcher Dr. Adi Stern said: “We found a disproportionately higher rate of the South African variant among people vaccinated with a second [Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine] dose, compared to the unvaccinated group. Based on patterns in the general population, we would have expected just one case of the South African variant – but we saw eight.” She added that based on her team’s findings, the B1351 strain can bypass vaccine-induced immunity “to some extent.” (Related: Covid-19 injections are spreading new “variants” of coronavirus.)
A March 2021 study by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers found that the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine diminishes when faced with the South African strain. They analyzed blood samples taken from vaccinated Israelis and how the samples held up to different coronavirus variants. They found that the vaccine produces high antibody levels against the original coronavirus strain and the B117 variant. However, it only moderately neutralized the B1351 variant.
Lead researcher Dr. Ran Taube said: “Our findings show the [Pfizer/BioNTech] vaccine is less effective against the South African strain, but the efficacy still exists.” He and his colleagues noted that their study’s findings “call for a close attention of variant spread, and a [possibility] for new vaccine with improved neutralizing potency against SARS-CoV-2 variants.”
Follow VaccineDeaths.com to find out more news about deaths caused by breakthrough COVID-19 infections.