With daily reports of breakthrough infections and the rise of the Delta variant, vaccinated people may need to take a few more precautions. Here’s what you need to know.
As the Delta variant likely drives more cases of Covid-19 in vaccinated individuals, experts weigh in with helpful information.
Breakthrough infections are uncommon — which makes them all the more confusing for people who experience them.
While vaccination confers essentially 100% protection from Covid-19-related hospitalization and death, it doesn’t entirely prevent people from catching the infection in the first place.
Breakthrough cases are still possible, so we need to remain vigilant.
I asked health experts about their post-vaccination lives. Most no longer worry about their own risk of Covid-19.
Some vaccinated people have gotten Covid-19. That’s expected. Let’s explain.
No vaccine is ever 100 percent effective, experts say, stressing that the shots remain critical in reducing severe disease and death from the coronavirus.
The number of so-called breakthrough cases we’re seeing is even lower than expected.
Two people under 50 and more than 100 over-50s have died of Covid after being fully vaccinated, official figures for England show, as experts said the jabs were working as expected amid surging infection rates attributed to the Delta variant.
COVID-19 vaccines are effective. However, a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus that causes it. These are called “vaccine breakthrough cases.” This means that while people who have been vaccinated are much less likely to get sick, it will still happen in some cases. It’s also possible that some fully vaccinated people might have infections, but not have symptoms (asymptomatic infections). Experts continue to study how common these cases are.
Post-immunization cases, sometimes called “breakthroughs,” are very rare and very expected.
The chance of getting covid-19 after being vaccinated drops sharply 21 days following a first dose, new analysis suggests.
People who become infected post-vaccination are also less likely to have symptoms than those who test positive for the virus and haven’t been jabbed.
Findings help explain why breakthrough infections among the immunized tend to be milder than cases among the unvaccinated
As a result of these new data, the CDC has told states and local health departments they no longer need to report all cases of breakthrough infections, and instead to just notify CDC when these cases result in hospitalization, severe disease or death.
We’re only talking about Covid-19 vaccine breakthrough infections because the pandemic is still raging.
"As long as the virus is not circulating and there's a high enough vaccine immunity in the community, then the risk is minimal, but if there is ongoing transmission at high levels it's still possible to get infected," says Dr. Jill Weatherhead, assistant professor of adult and pediatric infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine. "So that risk is still there and as we get more people vaccinated and the community spread goes down, the risk of breakthrough infections goes down significantly."
Lumping all breakthroughs together, regardless of symptoms, miscasts what our COVID-19 vaccines can do.
Vaccine breakthrough cases are expected. COVID-19 vaccines are effective and are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control. However, no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people. There will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19.