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Reports of COVID breakthrough cases among fully vaccinated people continue to rise — as of June 28, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 4,686 breakthrough cases resulting in death and hospitalization.
Dr. Joseph Kanter, LDH state health officer and medical director, said 27 people between the ages of 28 and 93 died with COVID more than two weeks after being fully vaccinated.
“These are people who died from COVID, from complications of COVID, despite being vaccinated because the vaccine is not 100% [effective] and people with weakened immune systems, people who are a little bit older, and some people for reasons we don’t really understand, might not mount a full immune response to the vaccine,” he said.
According to the LDH, 1,563 breakthrough cases have been reported. As of June 7, 94 fully vaccinated people were hospitalized statewide with COVID-like symptoms.
Kanter said breakthrough cases are rare, but as infections increase, the number of breakthrough cases are expected to go up.
It’s unclear if the Delta variant is contributing to the sudden increase in COVID breakthrough cases in Louisiana.
More than 7,500 COVID breakthrough cases reported in California
According to the San Francisco Examiner, more than 7,550 breakthrough cases have been reported through June 23 among fully vaccinated Californians.
Most cases were minor, but 62 people died from COVID, according to the California Department of Public Health. California’s public health agency reported 584 fully vaccinated people had been hospitalized with COVID infection, but hospitalization status wasn’t available for 46% of post-vaccination cases.
On July 7, state health officials reported 2,013 new infections among all Californians, including 24 deaths.
Dr. Eugene Choi, a Los Angeles radiologist, contracted COVID in June, nearly six months after his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
At first, “I did not think of COVID,” said Choi. “I thought … OK, it must be that other flus and colds are coming out of the woodwork.”
As Choi’s fever progressed, he decided to get a COVID test and it was positive. His wife, also vaccinated, and their 2-year-old son also contracted COVID.
Nashville woman gets COVID, gets vaccinated, gets COVID again
Verity Rodrigues, 41, had COVID prior to being fully vaccinated with Pfizer’s vaccine in February. In May, the Nashville psychologist was diagnosed with COVID for a second time.
The historic scale of the COVID vaccination effort means thousands of people have contracted COVID after vaccination, Nashville Public Radio reported. The experience has become so common the CDC stopped reporting breakthrough cases unless a patient is hospitalized or dies.
According to a report by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), breakthrough cases have resulted in 140 hospitalizations and 20 deaths in the state. As of May 1, TDH has not counted all breakthrough cases as the CDC “asked that only severe outcomes (hospitalization or death) be reported.”
Public health officials in Tennessee are doing random genetic sequencing of positive COVID tests to track variants, but have not determined which variants are responsible for the breakthrough cases.
Study shows half of adults in Israel and UK infected with Delta variant were fully vaccinated
As The Defender reported June 29, a new study in the UK showed 12 (or 29%) of 42 fully vaccinated people died after catching the Delta variant. In Public Health England’s technical briefing on June 25, that figure had risen to 43% (50 of 117), with the majority (60%) having received at least one dose.
“Even though the numbers are low, the fact that this is reaching vaccinated people means … that we are still checking how many vaccinated people have also been infected,” Levy said.
Levy said a third of the new daily cases occurred in people who had been vaccinated. Though they are preliminary, the figures show the Delta variant may spread even in places like Israel where large portions of the population have been vaccinated.
In a recent analysis by the Israeli government, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine appeared to be less effective against COVID infections caused by the Delta variant.
In a brief statement issued Monday, the government said as of June 6, the vaccine provided only 64% protection against infection. In May — when the Alpha variant dominated in Israel and the Delta strain had not yet spread widely — government data showed the shot was 95.3% effective against all infections, CNN reported.
The government added the vaccine was now only 93% effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalizations, compared to 97% reported in The Lancet in May. Underlying data and other details about the analysis have not been released.