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What are COVID 'breakthrough' cases, and why they happening?

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In rare cases, people who are fully vaccinated can still get infected with COVID. These are called vaccine "breakthrough" cases.

Here in Washington, about 100 out of 1.2 million fully vaccinated individuals, or less than 0.01 percent, have had confirmed cases of COVID.

“The COVID vaccine while being outstanding in terms of the protection it affords is not 100%, so we anticipated that we would see some people after being fully vaccinated still get infected, and that’s what we’re seeing,” said Dr. John Swartzberg, an expert on infectious diseases at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. “Importantly, we’re not seeing a great percentage than we anticipated seeing.”

So how should we respond to these breakthrough cases? By being careful, even after being fully vaccinated, health experts advise.

“We have to be very vigilant, yes,” Dr. Swartzberg said. “And so, when you’re thinking about when is it safe for me to do things, a big piece of it is how many people could be around me who might be infectious? The vaccine has given us an enormous amount of protection, but it’s not perfect.”

Most people with confirmed vaccine breakthrough cases, experienced only mild symptoms, if any. But some did need to be hospitalized.

More Info:

Rare ‘Breakthrough’ Cases of COVID-19 Are Occurring in Vaccinated People

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Of 1.2 million fully vaccinated people in Washington state, 100 have gotten COVID-19

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