Why breakthrough COVID-19 infections don't mean the vaccine isn't working

More than 99% of COVID-19 deaths are among people who are unvaccinated.

7/22/2021 5:18:00 AM

Breakthrough COVID-19 cases aren't proof the vaccines aren't working, experts say, but are normal and expected.

More than 99% of COVID-19 deaths are among people who are unvaccinated.

That doesn’t mean severe illness as the result of an infection isn’t possible, but this tends to happen in people who are elderly or otherwise immune-compromised, experts said.“Out of 157 million fully vaccinated in the US, there were 4,909 hospitalizations and 988 deaths,” Dr. Carlos del Rio, infectious disease physician and professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine, said during a press briefing on Monday.

Former US Sen. Mike Enzi dies at 77 after bicycle accident 10 Cool New Pop Songs to Get You Through The Week: Luke Hemmings, The Linda Lindas, Indigo De Souza & More Hospitals overwhelmed amid surge in new Covid patients

Ezra Acayan/Getty ImagesMANILA, PHILIPPINES - JULY 20: A healthcare worker prepares a shot of Sinovac Biotech's CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine during a mass vaccination for public transportation workers on July 20, 2021 in Manila, Philippines. The Philippines, which is currently suffering the second-worst COVID-19 outbreak in Southeast Asia with more than 1.5 million cases and more than 26,800 deaths, is struggling to cope with the demand for vaccines after the health ministry confirmed the presence of the more contagious Delta variant in the country.

“Of course we will see some breakthrough infections that lead to severe illness, more in vulnerable populations with underlying chronic conditions who couldn’t mount a response to vaccines because they couldn't,” Dr. John Brownstein, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Boston's Children's Hospital and an ABC News contributor, told ABC News. headtopics.com

MORE: Statistics show the stark risks of not getting vaccinated against COVID-19Although studies on this aren’t completed, Fauci said last week that the risk of a vaccinated person spreading COVID to someone else is assuredly far less than an unvaccinated person spreading COVID.

"You could make a reasonable assumption that the rate of transmissibility from the asymptomatic vaccinated person to an uninfected person would be less likely than if the person was unvaccinated," Fauci said at a White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing last week.

The overall number of breakthrough infections is rising, but that could be because more people overall are getting vaccinated, resulting in more breakthrough cases, Dr. Shobha Swaminathan, an associate professor and infectious disease expert at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, told ABC News.

“As the number of infections in the U.S. increases, there may be a slight increase in the number of ‘breakthrough’ infections,'' Swaminathan said. “However, the majority of infections continue to be reported among those who have not been vaccinated.” headtopics.com

Naomi Osaka will leave Tokyo Olympics without a medal, loses in 3rd round to Marketa Vondrousova Grab him up, take him to the river: Inside a KKK murder plot Ex-US Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming dies after bicycle accident

Experts said the delta variant could be contributing to these cases, but for now, research is ongoing.“If it causes an increased rate of breakthrough infections, that’s unknown,” adds Brownstein.Pool/Getty ImagesWASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Rochelle Walensky, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), left, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listen at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on July 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. The committee will hear testimony about the Biden administration's ongoing plans to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and Delta variant.

But experts feel reassured by what they do know, that even with the highly-transmissible delta variant sweeping the country, more than 99% of COVID-19 deaths are among people who are unvaccinated."In some parts of the country, the percentage is even higher, particularly in areas of low vaccination rates," Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, said in a hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. “The best way to stop the spread is with vaccines.”

Read more: ABC News »

NPR Cookie Consent and Choices

They are not working. Stop with the misleading information So why aren’t vaccinated people wearing their masks? But similar to the flu, a single variant strain vaccine isn't going to protect against the others. Do we get 4 vaccines now? ... Australia seems to be doing fine. Now he thinks he can make people believe everything, after selling a bunch of non-scientific nonsense for over a year. Nevertheless, I'm confident more and more Americans will learn to see the truth. Which is very ugly.

It's the same as a flu shot! Oddly, you don't even need to be an expert to understand this. But because Fauci is saying it, the Covidiots will find a way to deny it. Today, it seems as if the press promotes whatever message is handed down by elected officials and government agencies.

COVID-19 Cases In U.S. Triple Over 2 Weeks Amid MisinformationCOVID-19 cases have tripled in the U.S. over two weeks amid an onslaught of vaccine misinformation. I report info to TwitterSafety, and they do nothing about all the lies on this platform. They need an option to report misinformation. I think now is the time to revisit Section 230 which gives media platforms blanket coverage to protect them from any liability.

Lol yeah why can’t we get the truth anymore. We can handle it. You are killing people making them all believe they are immune I’m old enough to remember when they were 94% effective at preventing the disease and 100% effective against hospitalization and death. 99.5% of people being *hospitalized for COVID* right now are 🌟👉🌩⚡️💥 U N V A C C I N A T E D 🌟👉🌩⚡️💥

Correct. Wut

Cape Cod COVID-19 cluster grows to more than 130 infected, prompting renewed mitigation effortsOfficials in Provincetown, Massachusetts, issued a number of renewed mitigation measures on Monday after at least 132 individuals tested positive for COVID-19 in the weeks after the holiday weekend. Black Jesus annt sleep 😂 A liberal stronghold.

South Korea logs record rise in daily Covid-19 cases - latest updatesSouth Korea logs another record rise in daily Covid-19 cases. Here are other updates: 🇵🇪 Peru arrests hospital workers over bed scam 🇦🇺 Victoria state's cases rise amid lockdowns in Australia 🇺🇸 President Biden urges vaccinations at town hall For more: Indonesia, Myanmar and Malaysia have all surpassed India’s peak per capita death rate amid new wave. Here are other updates: 🇹🇼 Taiwan orders 36M Moderna doses 🇦🇺 Australia PM 'sorry' for slow vaccine rollout 🇩🇪 Germany's cases rise by 1,890 For more:

U.S. Life Expectancy Dropped 1.5 Years In 2020, Mainly Due To COVID-19The CDC said the decline was even starker among Hispanic and Black Americans. Why is this a race issue?

J&J raises revenue forecast, estimates $2.5 bln in COVID-19 vaccine salesJohnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) raised its 2021 revenue estimates on Wednesday and forecast it would sell $2.5 billion worth of its COVID-19 vaccine this year, as it strives to quell production and safety problems and catch up with rivals Pfizer and Moderna. I thought it was “free”.

Here are all the Olympic athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19U.S. men's beach volleyball competitor Taylor Crabb joined the growing list of athletes whose Olympic dreams have been dashed by a positive COVID-19 test. TODAYshow SOOOOOOO went the Olympics. 7.27.21 They either were not vaccinated or contracted the Delta with the vaccine. Who understands this? We need to know TODAYshow Pandemic of the VAXed, actually isn’t it 🤔