There is growing evidence of vaccinated people having breakthrough COVID infections.
Although it could be alarming, experts say these cases do not mean the vaccines are a failure; instead, it means they are working, according to HuffPost.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Monica Gandhi of the University of California, San Francisco said health authorities were hopeful people would have at least 50% efficacy against the virus when the vaccination drive started last year.
“Even a not-so-great vaccine would make a huge dent in the pandemic,” she added.
All three vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J – available in the United States have performed much better than that, per HuffPost.
Dr. Gandhi explained, “It was so astounding. And that’s what played out in the real world.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said 97% of people who were hospitalized due to COVID-19 were unvaccinated and more than 99% of fatalities are among unvaccinated.
Vaccinated people do not have to worry about getting severely ill or dying. That is the goal of the COVID-19 vaccines. A mild infection after getting fully vaccinated is a sign that the inoculation is doing its job.
Dr. Megan Ranney of the School of Public Health at Brown University said, “Of course, you’re going to hear stories here and there of people who are fully vaccinated and catch COVID because there are a lot of us out there who are fully vaccinated. But the people who are in the hospital are people who were not vaccinated. Just remember that although there are those few stories out there, those should not be enough to make you shun the vaccine.”
“Back in February, March and April, most folks were still masking, avoiding travel and avoiding restaurants. Now everyone is doing everything,” she added. “The fact that there are infections doesn’t mean that the vaccine is somehow failing. It just means that people are being exposed to the virus with no other protection other than the vaccine.”
Officials have been saying that breakthrough cases are mostly mild or asymptomatic, which could be a sign that the vaccines are doing their jobs and boosting your immune system to fight off the virus.
Dr. Gandhi explained, “It’s really the disregulated immune response that happens with a natural infection ― where it takes you a while to clear it ― that causes long COVID.”
“With the vaccine in place, your immune system kicks in quickly and … it goes specifically toward that virus to get it out of your system. It also doesn’t trigger this crazy immune response that can make you so sick,” she added.
Many experts are still studying COVID-19 so guidelines can change as they discover more and more about the virus. The article was published on HuffPost.