BOSTON, MA – According to reports, data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health indicates that almost 4,000 people in the state – all fully vaccinated – have nonetheless contracted COVID-19 since inoculation efforts have begun.
Overall, however, officials note that the number of breakthrough cases – meaning individuals that contract COVID-19 14 days after they have completed all recommended doses of the vaccine – has been described as infrequent, with only one in 1,000 inoculated people in Massachusetts testing positive.
So far, 3,791 vaccinated people in Massachusetts have caught COVID-19 as of June 12, according to reports.
Boston University infectious diseases specialist Davidson Hamer noted that officials need to figure out the circumstances that are contributing to the breakthrough cases in order to help understand how to avoid them.
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“We’re learning that many of the breakthrough infections are asymptomatic or they’re very mild and brief in duration. The viral load is not very high,” he said. “Breakthroughs are expected, and we need to better understand who’s at risk and whether people who have a breakthrough can transmit the virus to others. In some cases, they’ll be shedding such low levels of the virus and won’t be transmitting to others.”
Large-scale clinical studies reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that COVID-19 vaccines have proven effective at preventing people from getting the virus, but that no vaccine is completely effective and there will always be segments of the population that will contract the illness – and either get sick, be hospitalized or die – regardless of vaccination status.
In addition, some alleged vaccine side effects – some possibly even lethal – have been recorded in very small numbers amongst fully-inoculated individuals.
Currently, the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are approximately 90 percent effective, and the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is about 72 percent effective, according to the CDC.
As of this week, over 150 million United States residents have received the COVID-19 vaccine.