102 people who were vaccinated against COVID-19 have tested positive for the virus in the state of Washington since Feb. 1. Referred to as ‘breakthrough cases,’ it represents 0.01 percent of the state’s fully vaccinated residents.
Being fully vaccinated means that the person has received both doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or a single Johnson & Johnson vaccine dose. In each case, the virus was contracted two weeks after inoculation. Two individuals, both above 80 years of age, have died, while eight are hospitalized.
Umair Shah, the state’s secretary of health, issued a statement to deflect vaccine hesitancy. “It is important to remember that every vaccine on the market right now prevents severe disease and death in most cases. People should still get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible, and encourage friends, loved ones, and co-workers to do the same… Finding evidence of vaccine breakthrough cases reminds us that, even if you have been vaccinated, you still need to wear a mask, practice socially distancing, and wash your hands to prevent spreading COVID-19 to others who have not been vaccinated.”
People were vaccinated and yet still became infected
The Washington State Department of Health stated that further investigation is necessary to identify whether patterns exist among people who were vaccinated and yet still became infected. Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson have reported efficacy rates of 95, 94.1, and 66.9 percent, respectively, for their vaccines. These percentages were calculated two weeks after recipients got their first dose.
Washington isn’t the only state to have cases of vaccinated people becoming infected by the coronavirus. In Minnesota, 89 fully vaccinated people have tested positive for the CCP Virus. More than 800,000 people in the state have been fully vaccinated, making the 89 cases account for just 0.01 percent of the inoculated people. State infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann pointed out that the number represents just how effective the vaccines are. None of the 89 people have died.
In Michigan, Midland County has reported a few infection cases among fully vaccinated people. Midland County Health Director Dr. Catherine Bodnar stated that the people involved in such cases do not exhibit any infection symptoms. A study that looked at 8,000 fully vaccinated people found only four infection incidents. In Idaho, a few breakthrough cases have also been identified. Florida has registered dozens of such cases. In South Carolina, 134 people have been found infected with the COVID-19 virus despite being fully vaccinated.
‘Breakthrough cases’ to be expected
Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recently raised suspicion when she claimed that vaccinated people never become infected with COVID-19 or pass the virus to others. A spokesperson from the CDC eventually dismissed the statement, noting that the director was speaking “broadly” when making the claim. The spokesperson stressed that some vaccinated people can indeed be infected by the coronavirus.
“If Dr. Walensky had said most vaccinated people do not carry [the] virus, we would not be having this discussion… What we know is the vaccines are very substantially effective against infection — there’s more and more data on that — but nothing is 100 percent… It is an important public health message that needs to be gotten right,” John Moore, a virologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, told The New York Times.