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Yankees’ COVID-19 outbreak raises public health questions

The coronavirus outbreak among vaccinated players and crews has “” the New York Yankees and has been the CDC’s attention this week.So far, eight people, including short-term Gleyber Torres, have been tested. Positively more than 14 days after the complete vaccination.

Due to the team’s high levels of vaccinated personnel, the Yankees did not miss any games while facing this outbreak, and seven out of eight were asymptomatic. Still, a coincidental case of post-vaccination positives may have the same effect on the rest of the baseball season as the broader public.

Immunology and virology experts who spoke with Yahoo Sports on Thursday were not surprised that people who had been fully vaccinated were tested positive, especially considering affected personnel. All of the Yankees received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but they identified important questions to fully understand the impact of the outbreak.

The Yankees cleared MLB̵

7;s 85 percent threshold for reduced protocols at the end of April and manager Aaron Boone said their traveling group members were unvaccinated. But baseball players are not in a safe bubble and.

“The problem is that we treat this as if our family or work or our social group is a herd,” explains Dr. Benjamin Neuman, professor of biology and GHRC chief virologist at the University of Texas A&M. “But the herd is everyone, and herd immunity means that everyone has to be. [vaccinated]. ”

Given the decline in the number of patients and hospitalizations, it is clear that vaccination is working. But the herd’s immunity is still far away. At the same time, “a lot of small exposures can lead to progress,” Neiman said.

However, a single development led to eight patients in the highly vaccinated population that was the focus of public health concerns.

St. Petersburg, Florida - May 11: New York Yankees' Gleyber Torres # 25 looks during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on May 11, 2021 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice / Getty Images)

Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres was in COVID-19 IL after testing positive even after receiving the vaccine completely. (Photo by Douglas P.DeFelice / Getty Images)

Dr. John P. Moore, professor of microbiology and immunology at the Weill Cornell College of Medicine, suspects that all successful cases are the result of exposure to an unvaccinated source of infection. Is it the same thing? “Or did one Yankee get infected and pass it on to someone else?”

“It is not too unexpected for vaccine recipients to get asymptomatic or low-grade infections, especially with J&J, because approximately 70 percent of J&J is known to be effective against mild disease,” he said. supplement (In clinical trials, J&J was 66.3 percent effective in preventing a positive COVID-19 test.)

“But the unexpected thing was that the recipient of the infected J&J vaccine was passed on to someone else,” Moore said.

Moore wanted to know exactly which order the virus was spreading among the Yankees. It was published recently in New York City.

“And we know these strains change the equation in terms of how well a person defenses and how long that defense lasts, as all vaccines were made against the original version of the virus in 2019 and the virus is fully functional. already It is difficult and transforming itself around the world, ”Neiman said.

Both experts expressed concern that the Yankees had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. For baseball teams whose operations are dependent on clean negative outcomes, they would recommend the team to pursue one of the mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer), which have been shown to be effective in percentages and percentages, according to the CDC.

Neuman stressed that in clinical trials, even the J&J vaccine performed better at different doses, and that the decision to market one vaccine was a better strategy. (Adds a significant level of flexibility for vaccination and)

“It is more likely that you will have this problem with people who received J&J vaccines than those who received the mRNA vaccine, because that is what the vaccine efficacy trials have shown,” Moore said. You’re putting your players on the playing field, that means you have to get a negative test and you’re more likely to get a negative test with a potent vaccine. ”

In baseball, this case could be a preview of the problem that would arise for other clubs easing their protocol after reaching the 85 percent threshold with a J&J shot.

This does not mean that people receiving J&J are significantly more at risk from COVID-19. Even in the case of the Yankee outbreak, the vaccine has proven valuable and effective in mitigating the violence. Seven of the eight Yankees who tested positive also did not experience any symptoms, and Phil Nevin, the first third base coach to test positive and the only one to feel sick, was now asymptomatic as well.

For most people who need a vaccine to protect them from COVID-19 illness, hospitalization and death, J&J is an ideal choice. In fact, Friday only counted fully vaccinated patients with positive results for COVID as “progressive” patients if they were hospitalized or died. It means that the current Yankees will not count.

But since the Yankees have been rigorously tested (Boone was tested at least three times Thursday), there is a better chance of understanding how COVID-19 is spread between vaccinated individuals. Which brings us back to that important question: Are all infected Yankees caught from shared sources, not vaccinated, or fully vaccinated individuals passed on to each other?

“I want to know what’s going on,” Moore said, “because it’s interesting not just from the sports fan’s perspective, even though I like the sport. But it is interesting from a broader public health perspective to find out what’s going on. “

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