What Are Covid Breakthrough Cases?

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In the United States, approximately 159,174,963 people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, about 125,453,423 people have been fully vaccinated. However, some people can still get COVID-19 after being vaccinated. These post-vaccination infections are called breakthrough cases – learn more about them below.

What are Covid breakthrough cases?

Despite vaccines’ efficacy, a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated can still get COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus. These infections are called breakthrough cases. Think about it like this: Although COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, their efficacy is between 80 percent and 95 percent. The gap between these percentages and 100 percent represents the occurrence of breakthrough cases.

How many Covid breakthrough cases have there been?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, there has not been a large number of breakthrough cases. Health officials have announced that there have been fewer than 6,000 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated Americans. 

Why do Covid breakthrough cases happen?

The COVID-19 vaccines are not 100 percent effective, though they’re close. If a breakthrough case occurs, it could be that the person was infected just before or after vaccination. After getting vaccinated, it takes approximately two weeks for the body to achieve maximum protection from the COVID-19 virus. 

What are the symptoms of Covid breakthrough cases?

Even though a small percentage of fully vaccinated people may get infected with COVID-19, vaccination will protect most people from getting severely sick. Rarely, some fully vaccinated people can still get hospitalized and die from COVID-19. However, fully vaccinated people will have a much lower overall risk of hospitalization and death compared to people who are not vaccinated.

Can variants cause Covid breakthrough cases?

Current data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States offer protection against most COVID-19 variants. However, some variants might cause illness in some people after they are fully vaccinated.

The CDC is working with local and state health departments to analyze COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases. The public health agency is examining data to identify any unusual patterns, such as trends in age or sex, which vaccine the patient received, underlying health conditions, and the variants that made people sick. Currently, the CDC hasn’t announced any patterns that have been detected in the data it has collected. 

What should fully vaccinated people do?

On Sunday, May 16, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear a face mask or social distance if they are in a location that doesn’t have masking or social distancing rules. Additionally, the public health agency said that fully vaccinated people won’t need to get tested before and after traveling or self-quarantine if the country doesn’t require it. 
If you want to stay safe, experts say it’s still important to wear a two-layered face mask and practice social distancing. Even after vaccination, you may want to err on the side of caution and wear a face mask when you’re around others.