Why Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates Are Now Pointless/ Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD


Why Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates Are Now Pointless 

Executive Summary:

Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates Are Now Pointless:

Covid-19 vaccines do not keep people from catching
the prevailing Delta variant and passing it to others

September 9, 2021
Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD1

Nina Pierpont is a graduate of Yale University (BA in biology), with a MA and PhD from Princeton University in population biology/evolutionary biology/ecology, and the MD degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She has been a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons. She is currently in private practice in upstate New York, specializing in behavioral medicine.


  1. 1)  Excellent scientific research papers published or posted in August 2021 clearly demonstrate that
    current vaccines do not prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

  2. 2)  Vaccines aim to achieve two ends:

    1. To protect the vaccinated person against the illness.

    2. To keep people from carrying the infection and transmitting it to others.

      1. If enough people are vaccinated or otherwise become immune, it is hoped that
        the disease will stop circulating. We call this herd immunity.

      2. On the way to herd immunity, there is an assumption that people who are
        immunized can form safe clusters or groups within which no one is carrying or
        transmitting the virus.

  3. 3)  Unfortunately, this last assumption (2.b.ii) is no longer true under the new variant of SARS-CoV-
    2, Delta (B.1.617.2), which now accounts for essentially all cases worldwide.

  4. 4)  Delta is more infectious than the Alpha strain (B.1.1.7) that prevailed in the UK from January to
    May 2021 (and in the US from March to June 2021), meaning that Delta is passed more readily
    person-to-person than the previous dominant strain.

 (see section 5, below).

b. From its origin in India, Delta has soared to nearly complete domination of COVID-19

viral strains everywhere in a matter of months, because it spreads so easily and infects
both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

  1. 5)  New research in multiple settings shows that Delta produces very high viral loads (meaning, the
    density of virus on a nasopharyngeal swab as interpreted from PCR cycle threshold numbers).

    1. Viral loads are much higher in people infected with Delta than they were in people
      infected with Alpha.

    2. Viral loads with Delta are equally high whether the person has been vaccinated or not.

    3. Viral load is an indicator of infectiousness. [13,14] The more virus one has in the nose

      and mouth, the more likely it is to be in this individual’s respiratory droplets and

      secretions, and to spread to others.

  2. 6)  Due to evolution of the virus itself, all the currently licensed vaccines (all based on the original

    Wuhan strain spike protein sequence) have lost their ability to accomplish vaccine purpose 2(b),

    above, “To keep people from carrying the infection and transmitting it to others.”

  3. 7)  Vaccine mandates are thus stripped of their justification, since to vaccinate an individual no

    longer stops or even slows his ability to acquire and transmit the virus to others.

  4. 8)  Under Delta, natural immunity is much more protective than vaccination. All severities of

    COVID-19 illness produce healthy levels of natural immunity.

The Documentary Evidence:

Here are three studies whose findings and data support the above statements:

(A) The first is by the Massachusetts Department of Health and the CDC, published August 6, 2021
in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. An outbreak of COVID-19 occurred in
Provincetown, Massachusetts in July 2021 during two weeks of heavily attended indoor and
outdoor public gatherings. The study focuses on the 469 cases among Massachusetts residents
who were in attendance. [1] All successfully gene-sequenced isolates (120) were the Delta

346 of the cases in Massachusetts residents (74%) occurred in fully vaccinated people who had
received a 2-dose course of the BioNTech/Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or a single dose of the
Johnson & Johnson. Vaccine coverage at this time among all Massachusetts residents was 69%.
This suggests that vaccinated people became infected just as frequently as unvaccinated people
in this outbreak.

We do not know the vaccination percentage among actual festival attendees who were
Massachusetts residents, but we can assume given the demographics of the festival that it was
the state average (69%) or higher. We also do not know the total number of Massachusetts
residents who attended. Both of these numbers would be needed to determine actual values
for vaccine efficacy in this outbreak.

However, we cannot brush the high percentage of vaccinated people in the infected sample
under the carpet quite as easily as the authors do, when they say, “As population-level
vaccination coverage increases, vaccinated persons are likely to represent a larger proportion of
COVID-19 cases” (p. 1061). This is true, but we would still, if vaccine is protective, find
vaccinated cases to be underrepresented in an illness sample compared to the number
vaccinated in the whole population of attendees. As best we can tell at this festival, vaccination
was not protective against infection, because the proportion of vaccinated in the sample (74%)
is in the same numeric range as the proportion vaccinated, 69% or above.

Among the 346 cases who were already vaccinated, 79% were symptomatic, reporting cough,
headache, sore throat, muscle aches, and fever. Four of these vaccinated, infected individuals
(1.2%) were hospitalized. No one died. The remainder of the vaccinated cases did not report

Among the 123 cases who were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, one was hospitalized
(0.8%) and no one died. Percentage with symptoms was not reported.

Vaccinated and unvaccinated cases were found to have very similar viral loads (in a sample of
127 and 84 cases, respectively). This means the PCR tests showed that vaccinated and
unvaccinated infected people were carrying similar amounts of virus in their upper respiratory
tracts at diagnosis and were thus equally infectious.

(B) The next study, released August 10, 2021, examines the Delta viral load phenomenon in far
more detail, and shows clearly that vaccinated people can become infected and pass the
infection to other vaccinated people. The Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City in
southern Vietnam has about 900 staff members, including an Oxford University Clinical Research
Unit. The entire hospital staff was vaccinated with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine two-dose
series in March and April 2021, and then enrolled in a post-vaccination study. Thus, a great deal
of detailed information was available when the outbreak struck. [2]

The entire hospital staff was PCR negative for SARS-CoV-2 in mid-May 2021. The index case
(first known case in a cluster) became mildly ill on June 11 and had a positive PCR with a high
viral load. The whole staff was then re-tested. 52 additional cases were identified immediately.
Ten more had high viral loads, a number being staff who shared an office with the index case.
All the additional cases at first had no symptoms.

The hospital was then locked down. Over the next two weeks, 16 additional cases were
identified in subsequent PCR surveys. 62 of the 69 PCR-positive cases participated in this study
of the outbreak.

Forty-seven (76% of the 62 subjects) developed respiratory symptoms, three with pneumonia
on chest x-ray and one requiring three days of nasal cannula oxygen (this is the least intensive
form of oxygen therapy). Everyone recovered fully.

Peak viral loads in this fully vaccinated, infected group were, on average, 250 times higher than
peak viral loads with older variants early in the pandemic (March-April 2020), when no one was
vaccinated. This is a means of comparing the biology of the variants themselves: the Delta virus
has gained the ability to replicate itself enormously in the upper respiratory tract, regardless of
vaccination, thereby making itself more infectious.

In the current outbreak, viral loads (and thus infectiousness) peaked in the 2-3 days both before
and after symptoms began.

All sequenced isolates were the Delta variant. The genetic sequences from hospital staff were
more similar to each other than they were to contemporaneous isolates from the city at large or
from more distant parts of the country. This means it is likely that the virus spread among the
(fully vaccinated) hospital staff from a single infected (and vaccinated) staff member who
brought it from the outside. Given the dynamics of symptoms and positivity among the staff, it
is clear that asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic staff members, as well as symptomatic, were
infecting others.

PCR tests continued to be positive up to 33 days after diagnosis (averaging 21 days). Case-
control comparisons showed that staff members with lower titers of neutralizing antibodies
after vaccination and at diagnosis were more likely to become infected. However, there was no
correlation between vaccine-induced antibody levels at diagnosis and viral loads or the
development of respiratory symptoms.

(C) The third study is an analysis of ongoing population-wide SARS-CoV-2 monitoring in the UK,
whose primary purpose is following changes in vaccine efficacy. In the UK study, the PCR tests
are done on members of randomly selected households across the UK, following a
predetermined schedule that ignores symptoms, vaccination, and prior infection. The current
analysis was released on August 24, 2021 and summarized in commentary in the British Medical
on August 19, 2021. [3, 4]

The study includes measures of viral load or “burden” under Alpha and Delta predominance.
While Alpha was the dominant UK strain (January to mid-May 2021), vaccination or prior COVID-
19 disease strongly reduced viral load compared to unvaccinated people who had never had

The sample size was large and random, obtained as described above. 12,287 new PCR-positives
were found in the Alpha-dominant period, of which 88% were unvaccinated and had no
evidence of prior infection. Only 0.5% of new positive tests were from fully vaccinated people and 0.6% from people with prior COVID-19 infection. Since it was a large, random sample and
vaccination percentages increased dramatically in the UK across this time period, we can safely
say that vaccination and prior infection were very protective against becoming infected with the
Alpha variant. Virtually all the new infections occurred in unvaccinated people.

After mid-June 2021, when greater than 92% of PCR positives in the UK were Delta, the
differences in viral load between vaccinated, unvaccinated, and people with past COVID-19
disease nearly vanished. Viral loads in all three groups were much higher than with Alpha,
indicating increased infectiousness. More vaccinated people were now showing symptoms
when they became positive, also correlated with viral load.

During the Delta-dominant period, the sample was 1939 new positive PCR tests. Of these, 17%
(326) were from unvaccinated people without prior COVID-19 disease, 1% (20) were
unvaccinated with evidence of prior disease, and 82% (1593) were fully vaccinated. This is
approximately the percentage of the UK population who were vaccinated by August 18, 2021—
when 75-83% of UK residents were fully vaccinated and 84-89% had received at least one dose.

Like the Massachusetts study reviewed above, this suggests that the new Delta variant infects
vaccinated and unvaccinated people with equal probability. To go from 0.5% of randomly
sampled new infections in vaccinated people (under Alpha) to 82% (under Delta) in several
months, as the population is becoming more and more vaccinated—these are extraordinary

If vaccination is still effective in preventing infection, we would expect the proportion of
infections in a random population sample to be less than the proportion of the population
vaccinated. If 82% of randomly obtained positive tests occur in vaccinated people, and about
82% of people are vaccinated, then vaccination is not reducing the likelihood of infection at all.
Efficacy at preventing infection has become zero.

The UK study addresses vaccine efficacy in much more complex ways than the straightforward
numbers I present here. The authors conclude that both of the earlier UK-approved vaccines
(BioNTech/Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca) have lost some efficacy against Delta compared to
Alpha. But both vaccines, they maintain, remain substantially effective at keeping people from
becoming infected with the Delta strain, in the range of 67 to 80%. If this is the case, why was
82% of their random sample of new positive PCR tests from vaccinated people?

If a vaccine reduces the risk of becoming infected by two-thirds (67%), we would expect the
proportion of vaccinated in the positive sample to be less than the proportion of vaccinated in
the population. Say we start with 1000 people in the country, of whom we will randomly
sample 100. The country is 80% vaccinated. This means that in our sample of 100 we have 80
vaccinated and 20 unvaccinated people. Let’s say that the virus has infected 10% of the people across the sampling period, or 10 total cases. If 8 of the infected are among the vaccinated, and
2 in the unvaccinated (80% and 20% of the positives, matching the ratio of vaccinated and
unvaccinated in the population), the vaccine has made no difference in whether one can get
infected (0% efficacy). If the vaccine is 67% effective, the cases in the vaccinated group would
be reduced by 2/3 to 2.67 cases, and the total cases would be only 4.67 cases (2.67 vaccinated
and 2 unvaccinated). This means that only 2.67/4.67 or 57% of the cases would be in the
vaccinated group, and 43% in the unvaccinated. (We can go back to 10% overall being positive
just using ratios, yielding 5.7 cases among the vaccinated and 4.3 among the unvaccinated.)

This is why the proportion vaccinated in the infected sample, very close to the proportions
vaccinated in the total population, are incompatible with the efficacy numbers generated by the
authors. It appears to me—as in the Massachusetts study—that the vaccine is not decreasing
susceptibility to infection at all
, and is in reality somewhere between slightly (insignificantly)
decreasing susceptibility
and slightly increasing susceptibility to the Delta variant.

The UK study is clear that viral load (and thus infectiousness to others) is much greater with Delta
than with Alpha, and that, with Delta, viral load and infectiousness are equal in vaccinated and
unvaccinated infected people.

Discussion #1:

These three different studies in three countries with three different population sampling
methods produced the same result: with the current, dominant Delta strain, vaccinated
people become infected and carry just as much infectious virus in their upper respiratory
tracts when infected as unvaccinated people. The reproducibility of this finding makes it a
very strong finding.

The study in Vietnam shows clearly that infected, vaccinated people transmit the infection to

Under the current dominance of the Delta variant, being vaccinated or not has no influence on a
chief determinant of infectiousness: the size of the viral load carried in the nose and mouth of
an infected person
. In addition, both vaccinated and unvaccinated become infected in
significant numbers, approximating the ratios of vaccinated and unvaccinated in the

The rationale for mandates—that each individual has a responsibility to be vaccinated to limit
spread of the virus to others—is hereby seriously or even fatally undermined. The decision to
be vaccinated, under Delta predominance, has become entirely personal, affecting only the
future health and well-being of the individual
receiving the vaccine.

Blaming the unvaccinated for the rapid spread of the Delta variant has no merit whatsoever,
since both vaccinated and unvaccinated infected people are equally infectious to others,
vaccinated and unvaccinated people are represented in illness samples in proportion to their
representation in the general population, showing they are equally likely to become infected.

These findings also equalize vaccinated and unvaccinated in terms of quarantine, vaccine-
based exclusion, or the wearing of masks.

The Delta variant has entirely changed our expectations of the effects of vaccination on
containing the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

What about natural immunity from previous COVID-19 infection?

What about natural immunity from previous COVID-19 infection, with regard to the change in
virus strain? An Israeli study posted on August 25, 2021 powerfully shows that “natural
immunity [from previous COVID-19 infection] confers longer-lasting and stronger protection
against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-
CoV-2 compared to the BNT162b2 [BioNTech/Pfizer] two-dose vaccine-induced immunity.” If a
person is both naturally immune and received one vaccine dose, immunity to Delta infection is
even stronger. [6]

To demonstrate this, the authors studied the records of a large Israeli Health Maintenance
Organization covering 2.5 million people (26% of the population). They compared the numbers
of positive PCR tests from June 1 to August 14, 2021, when the Delta variant was dominant, in
people who were either immunized in January-February 2021 or had COVID-19 infection in
January-February 2021.

Those who were vaccinated but never had COVID-19 disease were 13 times more likely to
develop a new SARS-CoV-2 infection than those made naturally immune by COVID-19 disease.
The increased risk was also significant for having symptoms or not.

When the prior COVID-19 disease was allowed to happen earlier in the course of the pandemic,
from March 2020 through February 2021, vaccinees who had never had COVID-19 disease were
still (a) 6 times more likely to have a positive PCR in June-August 2021 than a naturally immune
person, (b) 7 times more likely to have symptomatic disease, and (c) at greater risk for COVID-
19-related hospitalization.

By comparison, under Alpha strain dominance during the first half of 2021, over 50,000 staff
members of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio demonstrated that vaccine-induced immunity (from any of the three US-authorized vaccines) and natural immunity were equally protective against
COVID-19 disease. [7]

The Israeli study shows at a later time period how the Delta variant has escaped the control of at
least one of these vaccines, while natural immunity to earlier forms of SARS-CoV-2 still confers

A Danish study of 203 recovered COVID patients shows that COVID-19 infection/disease
provokes robust immune responses in the vast majority of people regardless of disease severity,
including mild cases and even true asymptomatic cases (excluding those with false positive
tests). [8]

Discussion #2:

It is difficult to tell anything about the virulence or pathogenicity of the Delta variant itself—how
sick it makes people—since the available studies are all done in highly vaccinated populations.
Vaccination has protected against severe disease and death with all the other variants, and may
well do the same with the Delta variant. This remains the most compelling reason individuals
may decide to be vaccinated.

What drives people—especially PhD’s, together with certain minorities [9]—to choose not to be
vaccinated? There is substantial recorded and written evidence from first-hand observers and
vaccine recipients themselves, and in the immunization “adverse effects” registries of both the
US and Europe, that we are tolerating with COVID-19 vaccines a level of severe adverse effects,
including death, that would have been unthinkable for any earlier vaccine.

So far, convincing evidence that these effects are “not related to vaccine” has not emerged.
Convincing evidence would be research-lab-level autopsy studies of people deceased soon after
vaccination (or ill soon after vaccination and eventually deceased), including
immunofluorescence or other specific staining for the unique proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids
of vaccine or SARS-CoV-2 itself in different tissues. (Some excellent examples of this approach
are autopsy studies illuminating the pathophysiology of COVID-19 disease by C Magro and
others at Weill Cornell Medical Center [e.g. 10].) Biopsy studies of key tissues in living affected
people, such as those with persistent neurologic deficits after vaccination for COVID-19, would
also provide powerful evidence. It is highly irregular and indeed unacceptable that such autopsy
and biopsy studies have not been done.

Some prominent scientists and a significant number of physicians take these allegations of
vaccine-caused injury very seriously. Doctors for Covid Ethics, a British/European/worldwide
group of physicians, link the known pathophysiology of clots in COVID-19 disease [10] with a possible pathophysiologic mechanism explaining the numerous cases of thrombosis after
vaccination, such as those in published literature due to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. [11,12]
This mechanism would not be unique to one vaccine type or brand, nor are the reports of
postvaccination thrombosis unique to one type or brand of vaccine.

In the four major papers reviewed above (Massachusetts, Vietnam, UK, and Israel), the biologic
facts of the new Delta variant and its relationship to vaccination are clearly and reproducibly
established. This is the value of good science.


Given all the above evidence, mandating others to take a vaccine is a potentially harmful, damaging

Since the principal reason for COVID-19 vaccine mandates—protecting others from infection—has
evaporated with the ascendance of the Delta variant, those who mandate COVID-19 vaccines may
wish to seek legal counsel regarding their culpability and liability (including personal) for potential
long-lasting harm to those whom they pressure into vaccination with threat of exclusion from
employment or education or other public activity. Remind your attorney that if an unborn or nursing
baby is damaged, liability persists until the child is age 23—plenty of time for discovery of the ways
whereby vaccine producers and government regulators may have suppressed important information
about harmful effects.


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1 year ago

"To keep people from carrying the infection and transmitting it to others."

That was never the endpoint of the Covid vaccine studies and that is a huge problem. The endpoint of the Covid vaccine studies was to decrease hospitalization and death, and no one can be real sure about that, not with all the manipulation of the case numbers, not to mention what defines a "case."

This whole pandemic has been a bizarre drama to get a needle in every arm, at least in Western countries. If that doesn't make one even slightly suspicious, then people are not paying attention.

1 year ago

Excellent!!, maybe RFK. Jr can get this INFO out to all the Unions, Organizations, Critical Thinkers, fighting these Mandates?

1 year ago

Great info. Thank you.

1 year ago

"The authors conclude that both of the earlier UK-approved vaccines (BioNTech/Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca) have lost some efficacy against Delta compared to Alpha. But both vaccines, they maintain, remain substantially effective at keeping people from becoming infected with the Delta strain, in the range of 67 to 80%."

It seems that the vaccines have lost more than "some efficacy". An analysis of recent Public Health England data on the Delta variant concluded:

"Strikingly, during this four-week period (9 August to 5 September) the vaccine effectiveness is negative in all the over-40s age bands except the over-80s – the vaccines seemed to make things worse, with the vaccinated having disproportionately more infections than the unvaccinated. For 60-69 year-olds it hits as low as minus-38%. This makes a nonsense of vaccine passports or any measure based on the notion that vaccines prevent infection."

You can read the analysis at the following link:


1 year ago

This is such a good post. Thanks for sharing, Meryl.

Perhaps you've seen this Atlantic article that came out today.

Our Most Reliable Pandemic Number Is Losing Meaning

A new study suggests that almost half of those hospitalized with COVID-19 have mild or asymptomatic cases.
By David Zweig — https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/09/covid-hospitalization-numbers-can-be-misleading/620062/

It amazes me that people still don't realize EVERYONE gets tested for COVID when they come to the hospital.

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