NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The CDC is keeping a close eye on cases of fully COVID-19 vaccinated people in the United States who are getting infected with the virus. Their cases are called breakthrough infections.
A total of 77 million people in the U.S. have been vaccinated.
“There’s been about 5,800 of these breakthrough cases that have been identified. That means less than 1% of people who have been fully vaccinated have been infected with COVID-19,” says Yale Medicine physician Jaimie Meyer.
Doctor Meyer says there is a lot of experts who don’t know, like which vaccine the people received, whether a variant strain of the virus was involved and if the people had underlying conditions, but some facts are clear.
“About 65% of these infections are in women, and about 40% of them are among people over the age of 40,” says Dr. Meyer.
The CDC reports that one third of those infected had no symptoms.
This does not surprise infectious disease doctors, since the most common vaccines Pfizer and Moderna, are 95 and 94% effective. Not 100%.
Experts do know that among that small group, some got very sick and some died.
“About 7% of the cases, about 400 people, were hospitalized and there were about 70 deaths,” says Dr. Meyer.
Also unknown is whether those illnesses and deaths were directly related to COVID-19.
“This is just a reminder that just because you are fully vaccinated and feel like you are wearing a suit of armor does not mean you are invincible.”
The CDC is scheduled to start reporting breakthrough infection information on its website next week.