According to recently released data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), 246 people have contracted COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the second shot of coronavirus vaccine.
A spokesperson for MDHHS revealed that 11 infected people were admitted to a hospital, where three people died. All three deaths occurred among individuals who were 65 or older. Two were individuals who had been vaccinated for approximately three weeks. Hospitalization data for 129 cases were incomplete, while no such information was available for the remaining 117.
In advocating for mass vaccination, the spokesperson downplayed the small number of breakthrough cases reported, saying, “some of these individuals may ultimately be excluded from this list due to continuing to test positive from a recent infection prior to being fully vaccinated. These cases are undergoing further review to determine if they meet other Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for determination of potential breakthrough, including the absence of a positive antigen or PCR test less than 45 days prior to the post-vaccination positive test… Some of these cases may be ruled out via additional investigation.”
Health officials also suggested the possibility that some infected people who tested positive for COVID-19 after vaccination may have already carried the infection before being inoculated. The CDC is currently investigating the risk characteristics of the infected group. The data of fully vaccinated infected people were identified by authorities by reviewing all data on confirmed or possible COVID-19 cases.
The officials then compared this data to the records of individuals who were registered as fully vaccinated. In the United States, a person is considered to be fully vaccinated if he has received two shots of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or a single shot of Johnson & Johnson vaccine and two weeks have passed since the inoculation.
MDHHS pointed out that though most people would develop full immunity within 14 days of finishing their vaccination doses, a small group may need more time to develop a proper antibody response. It said that the number of breakthrough infection cases is in keeping with expectations, as the best available vaccine promises an efficacy rate of 95 percent.
A recent study conducted by a team of researchers from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that a small percentage of vaccinated health care workers had tested positive for coronavirus. Lucy E. Horton, author of the report, listed several contributing factors to this elevated risk among healthcare workers.
“First, the health care workers surveyed have access to regular asymptomatic and symptomatic testing. Second, there was a regional surge in infections overlapping with vaccination campaigns during this time period. And third, there are differences in the demographics of health care workers compared to participants in the vaccine clinical trials. Health care workers tend to be younger and have a greater overall risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the community,” Horton said in a statement.