It’s important to remember the early promises surrounding Covid-19 vaccines. Back then, there was a narrative that these vaccines would serve as a complete shield against the virus. Claims were made that they would halt infection, transmission, and illness, painting a rosy picture of their effectiveness. However, as time went on, the reality began to unfold.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky boldly stated on MSNBC in March 2021 that “vaccinated people do not carry the virus; don’t get sick.” This assertion was later proven to be overly optimistic. Similarly, President Biden was presented with what seemed like an ironclad guarantee in July 2021: “If you’re vaccinated, you won’t get COVID-19.”
The vaccine manufacturers themselves boasted about their products’ ability to prevent infection. Initial data from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech in late 2020 claimed around 95% efficacy in preventing Covid-19. These numbers were seen as promising and created a sense of hope.
CDC studies in June 2021 added to the growing body of evidence suggesting a significant reduction in infection risk for fully vaccinated individuals. Even in 2021, reports from BMJ stated that Moderna and Pfizer vaccines not only prevented symptoms but also infections.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, media outlets reported high efficacy rates for Pfizer’s vaccine, emphasizing its effectiveness even in older adults, with no major safety concerns. Pfizer itself touted its vaccine as 100% effective in preventing Covid-19 in adolescents, further fueling hopes.
Pfizer’s announcement in March 2021 claimed that their vaccine was extremely effective against both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases. Even into 2023-2024, the FDA still asserts that the newest versions of the vaccines prevent Covid-19, despite evidence to the contrary.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a prominent figure in the pandemic response, made statements in December 2020 and October 2021, claiming up to 95% effectiveness in preventing Covid-19. These declarations reflected the prevailing narrative at the time.
However, as time went on and more data emerged, it became clear that the vaccines were not foolproof shields against infection or transmission. The early promises did not align with the evolving reality of the Covid-19 vaccines.