Did American infectious disease expert, Dr. Rajendra Kapila, die from COVID-19, even after he was fully vaccinated against COVID-19?
Find out what the FACTS really are, and if it is truly pointless to vaccinate against COVID-19!
Did Dr. Rajendra Kapila Die From COVID-19 After Vaccination?
Professor Dr. Rajendra Kapila – an 81-year old infectious disease expert at the Rutgers University’s New Jersey Medical School passed away on 28 April 2021.
This was first reported by Professor Nancy Connell, Vice-chair for Research in the Division of Infectious Disease at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
We have lost a giant in infectious disease, Dr Raj Kapila, who served for years as a leader in global infectious diseases at @Rutgers_NJMS. @RutgersBHS will be ever grateful for his contribution to global ID and remember his extraordinary diagnostic talent https://t.co/5lYzDjxt9h
— Nancy Connell (@ndconnell) April 29, 2021
Professor Robert A. Schwartz, the Head of Dermatology, and Professor at the Medicine, Paediatrics, as well as Preventive Medicine and Community Health departments, also posted the news in a tweet :
Condolences to the family of Rajendra Kapila, the @RutgersU professor, @CityofNewarkNJ physician, and @USArmy veteran who advocated for the finest healthcare attainable for all. He will be remembered for his unmatched sagacity and conduct exemplarily of the @AOA_society motto. pic.twitter.com/bSMi7ddAyZ
— Robert A. Schwartz (@Prof_Dr_RAS) May 2, 2021
It was later verified by Dr. Asit Khanna, who posted it in the Corona Fatalities and Infections in healthcare workers Worldwide group in Facebook.
According to the Dr. Asit, Dr. Rajendra Kapila went to Ghaziabad in India to look after his ailing father-in-law, contractor COVID-19, and succumbed to it.
According to Dr. Ruby Bansal, who said she was personally involved in his care, he tested RT-PCR positive for COVID-19 at the Yashoda Super Specialty Hospital in Kaushambi, and took his last breath at the Shanti Mukand Hospital in Delhi.
A WhatsApp message then offered even more details on his condition. While we cannot corroborate the details, they seem plausible.
On 5 May 2021, the Hindustan Times reported that Dr. Kapila returned to India with his wife, Dr. Deepti Saxena-Kapila in the last week of March 2021, and stayed in Ghaziabad.
He was supposed to return to the US by the second week of April, but was instead tested positive on 8 April 2021 and admitted to the Shanti Mukand Hospital in Delhi where he passed away, as Dr. Ruby Bansal above stated.
His wife, a microbiologist who has been working in a COVID-19 lab in New Jersey said that they both received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the US, and that “it is ironic that we came to Indian for two weeks and he contracted it here.”
We will update this article, as and when we know more.
WHY Did Dr. Rajendra Kapila Die From COVID-19 After Vaccination?
Of the thousands of healthcare workers who died from COVID-19, why did netizens pick Dr. Rajendra Kapila’s story to go viral?
The news of his passing was tied to comments that he was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 using the Pfizer vaccine, and his death shows that it may not be effective against the new Indian double mutation variant.
Here is one example :
So what are the facts? Let’s take a look…
Fact #1 : Breakthrough Infections Can Happen After Vaccination
His wife, Dr. Deepti Saxena-Kapila, confirmed that they were both fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19, before flying to India.
Even so, it is certainly plausible for a fully-vaccinated person to still get infected by COVID-19.
That’s because vaccines do not directly protect you against infections. They are basically training boot camps for your immune system, teaching it how to fight against the disease.
Even the most efficacious vaccines, like the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines, have an efficacy of “just” 94-95%. That means a small number of people can still get infected even after they are fully vaccinated.
These infections are known as breakthrough infections, and they will keep happening until we achieve herd immunity.
To prevent them, we have to quickly vaccinate everyone against COVID-19. Even herd immunity at the workplace can greatly cut down on breakthrough infections!
Recommended : COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough : What You Need To Know!
Fact #2 : We Don’t Know Much About Indian Variant Right Now
The new Indian variant – called B.1.617 – has two key mutations that affect the spike protein it uses to attach to our cells.
- E484Q : similar to the E484K mutation see in the South African (B.1.351) and Brazil (P.1) variants, it changes part of the spike protein
- L452R : first seen in the B.1.427 / B.1.429 variants from California, it could increase the spike protein’s ability to bind to human cells, increasing its infectivity.
There is much that we currently do not know about the Indian B.1.617 variant, including whether these mutations will allow it to “bypass” the training offered by current vaccines.
We also do not know if the mutations make the virus more virulent (dangerous), as well as infectious (more likely to infect).
Nevertheless, it would make sense to continue with our COVID-19 precautions, even after we are fully vaccinated.
Fact #3 : Spike Protein Mutations May Reduce Vaccine Efficacy
Most COVID-19 vaccines work by teaching the immune system how to identify the spike protein of the real SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The immune system then creates antibodies against the spike protein, and that is what protects people who are vaccinated against COVID-19.
However, mutations that change the shape of the spike protein, changing how it appears to our immune system. It would be like a spy putting on a moustache to change how he looks.
This may or may not allow the new SARS-CoV-2 variant to evade your immune system that is keeping an eye out for the original variant it trained against.
Significant changes in the spike protein may also prevent the antibodies created against the original variant to bind to the new variant.
To prevent these mutations, we must rapidly cut down on infections through strict lockdowns and/or mass vaccinations.
Fact #4 : Mutations Increase With Infections
SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus, which naturally mutates at a high rate with every infection. With over 150 million cases, it is not surprising to see so many significant mutations.
We can expect more and more mutations, with new variants created, as long as people are getting infected.
That is why it is important to break the chain of infection through strict lockdowns and/or mass vaccinations.
Fact #5 : Mutations Do Not Necessarily Increase Virulence
The mutations occur randomly, but natural selection would favour a virus that is more transmissible but less virulent.
A successful virus is one that evolves to be highly infectious, but does not kill its host… at least not too quickly!
A particularly virulent virus, like Ebola, that quickly kills its host will not be very successful at spreading as it is less likely to infect other hosts.
So please do NOT panic unnecessarily over the Indian variant, or whatever new variant appears.
Focus on what matters – cutting infections and deaths. And how do we do that? By vaccinating everyone ASAP!
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