Why a rise in “breakthrough infections” doesn’t mean vaccines aren’t working

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)-Increased concerns on a rise in so-called “breakthrough infections”, a situation where a fully vaccinated individual tests positive for covid-19.

“Scary, scary, situation, especially with the delta being out there,” said Carlos Figueroa of Chicopee.

According to the CDC, there have been 5,500 cases nationwide in which a fully vaccinated person with covid-19 was hospitalized or died. That’s less than 1 percent of the entire population who got both doses, or .003 percent. 75 percent of cases were over the age of 65, and about 25 percent of hospitalized cases were asymptomatic or were taken to the hospital for something else.

The message from health experts about the vaccine hasn’t changed. There is a possibility you can contract covid after being vaccinated, the point is you are signfifcanlty decreasing your odds of ending up in the hospital. In fact here at Baystste Medical Center, they don’t have any new COVID-19 patients who were vaccinated.

“Right now at least with Baystate Health, we have 4 patients imbedded with covid and none of them are vaccinated,” said Dr. Esteban DelPilar, Infectious Disease Physician at Baystate Medical Center.

Dr. Esteban DelPilar said the covid-19 vaccine continues to be 95 percent effective at preventing illness and even with the delta variant, its still nearly 90 percent. But you really need both doses, its only 31 percent effective against the delta variant, if you don’t go back for the second dose.

“If you have every single infectious disease doctor lining up to get it and telling you to get it, you know we’re are pretty smart people. I’d listen to what we are saying,” said Dr. DelPilar.

And according to state data, the unvaccinated population that is contracting and spreading the virus and the delta variant, are people under 40, in particular those in their late 20s and early 30s.

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