A very small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 later contract the disease, a new report published on Tuesday finds.
So-called ‘breakthrough cases’ occur when people test positive for coronavirus at least 14 days after receiving their final dose of the vaccine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), just 10,262 people fell ill with the virus out of more than 101 million Americans – equivalent to 0.01 percent.
Of those cases, 10 percent were late hospitalized and two percent died.
The data show how well the vaccine works in real life and – although the shots are not 100 percent foolproof – it suggests that contracting COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated is very rare and that the vaccination campaign has been successful.
It also comes on the heels of the CDC announcing on May 1 that it will stop counting every infection among fully immunized people and, instead, only report on those that lead to hospitalization or death.
The CDC reports that 10,262 of 101 million Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 – 0.01% – later tested positive for the virus, of which 10% were later hospitalized and 2% died
Health officials say infections in fully immunized people are rare but also are bound to occur as millions of people are vaccinated every day. Pictured: A healthcare worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Miami, Florida, May 18
Experts have warned that breakthrough cases will continue to occur as tens of millions of people are vaccinated across the country.
In clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine was 95 percent effective in preventing symptomatic disease and the Moderna vaccine was 94.5 percent effective,
Meanwhile, real-world data showed the Pfizer jab was 91 percent effective against all disease for at least six months and the Moderna vaccine was 90 percent effective.
This means that fully vaccinated people are between 90 and 95 percent less likely to develop COVID-19 than unvaccinated people.
In addition, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine trials showed 72 percent efficacy in the US, meaning those who got the one-shot jab were 72 percent less likely to contract the disease.
By comparison, flu shots are less effective with about 40 to 60 percent efficacy, meaning that people vaccinated against the flu are more likely to get the seasonal virus than people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are to contract the coronavirus.
For the report, the CDC looked at about 101 million Americans who completed their vaccine series between January 1 and April 30, 2021.
Researchers found a total of 10,262 breakthrough infections reported from 46 states and territories over the four-month period.
Of the cases, 27 percent – or 2,725 – were asymptomatic, with no signs of traditional symptoms including coughing, breathing or shortness of breath.
In addition, 995 breakthrough patients were hospitalized, with about one-third reporting no symptoms or hospitalized for reasons unrelated to the virus.
What’s more, 160 – about two percent – of all patients with breakthrough infections died. Of those, 28 were asymptomatic or died from unrelated causes.
The CDC said that while it believes its figures to be a ‘substantial undercount,’ due to voluntary reporting, the agency says very few infections are due to breakthrough cases.
‘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,’ the authors wrote.
The report also looked at 555 cases, about five percent of the infections, for which genome sequencing was performed.
Of them, 64 percent were identified as so-called variants of concern including the UK variant, B.1.1.7 (56 percent); the California variant, B.1.427/B.1.429 (33 percent), the Brazilian variant, P.1 (eight percent) and the South African variant, B.1.351 (four percent).