Advertisement

10K of more than 101M vaccinated in U.S. infected with 'breakthrough' COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday reported it has counted just over 10,000 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among people who were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday reported it has counted just over 10,000 "breakthrough" cases of COVID-19 among people who were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

May 25 (UPI) -- More than 10,000 people in the United States have been infected with COVID-19 after being vaccinated against the virus, according to data released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

They are among the roughly 101 million people nationally who received both doses of the two-shot Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or the single-shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson as of April 30, the agency said.

Advertisement

Of the more than 10,000 people diagnosed with so-called "breakthrough infections" -- or infections that occur after full vaccination -- 27% experienced no symptoms of the virus, the data showed.

However, 10% of these patients were hospitalized following infection and 2% ultimately died.

RELATED Rhode Island joins seven states to vaccinate 70% of adults at least one dose

"Even though FDA-authorized vaccines are highly effective, breakthrough cases are expected, especially before population immunity reaches sufficient levels to further decrease transmission," the agency researchers wrote.

"However, vaccine breakthrough infections occur in only a small fraction of all vaccinated persons and account for a small percentage of all COVID-19 cases," they said.

The vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna offer more than 90% protection against serious illness from the coronavirus, while the Johnson & Johnson shot is more than 70% effective, research suggests.

Advertisement
RELATED Many people in U.S. take meds that weaken COVID-19 vaccine response

The protection offered by the vaccines is believed to last at least several months.

However, the vaccines do not necessarily prevent infection. Rather, they bolster the immune system so that infected people do not develop severe symptoms, according to the CDC.

A person is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving the second dose of one of the two-dose products or 14 days following receipt of the single-dose shot, the agency said.

RELATED COVID-19 surge in India could 'undo progress' in U.S., elsewhere, experts say

Sixty-three percent of the breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people occurred in women, and most of those diagnosed were older adults age 40 to 74.

Nearly 60% of the breakthrough infection cases involved the B.1.1.7, or "U.K." variant of the virus, while one in four were the B.1.429, or California, strain.

These strains are believed to be more contagious than the one first identified in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, according to the CDC.

Only 5% of the samples collected from the more than 10,000 breakthrough cases, however, underwent analysis for genetic variants.

"The proportion of reported vaccine breakthrough infections attributed to variants of concern has also been similar to the proportion of these variants circulating throughout the United States," the agency researchers wrote.

Still, "the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths that will be prevented among vaccinated persons will far exceed the number of vaccine breakthrough cases," they said.

Advertisement

A year in pandemic: How COVID-19 changed the world

January 31, 2020
National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (C) speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar (L) announced that the United States is declaring the virus a public health emergency and issued a federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

Latest Headlines