“Breakthrough” infections are rare, with only 2% leading to death from COVID-19, the CDC said.


D & # 39; Marco Ahumada, 16 years old, first vaccinated at San Pedro High School

16-year-old D’Marco Ahumada received her first COVID-19 vaccine at San Pedro High School. Coronavirus infections in vaccinated people are extremely rare and rarely fatal, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

During the four months that the U.S. vaccination campaign was fighting the COVID-19 surge, a national study found that about 10,000 people became infected with the coronavirus after receiving all recommended doses. I did.

Two percent of patients with “breakthrough” infections have died. New report From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It may sound like bad news. But when you run the numbers, infectious disease experts say it’s actually pretty good news.

Between January 1st and April 30th, a total of 10,262 post-vaccination infections were reported from 46 states and territories. According to the CDC, these cases represent less than 0.01% of the 107,496,325 people in the United States who were fully vaccinated by April 30. COVID data tracker.

Vanderbilt Infectious Disease Expert Dr. William Schaffner The new findings are called report cards for the three COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-a two-dose product from BioNTech and Moderna, and a single-dose option from Johnson & Johnson). So far it has been deployed in the United States. He is not one of the authors of the new report. But he is a pretty proud uncle.

“It gives them an A, if not an A plus,” Schaffner said. “It shows that infections among vaccinated people are, first of all, rare, and secondly, few of these infections are related to death. . “

In a report released Tuesday, CDC researchers acknowledge that the aggregate of 10,262 breakthrough infections is likely to be “significantly underestimated.” Many people who were vaccinated but infected probably experienced a mild illness in the worst case and did not seek testing to determine the cause.

Nevertheless, the number of COVID-19 infections prevented by the vaccine “much exceeds” the actual number of post-vaccination infections, the study authors wrote in their weekly morbidity and mortality reports.

The study also found that 995 people who received all recommended doses were known to be admitted to the hospital. But not everyone went there for COVID-19. In fact, 29% had no symptoms of COVID-19 and were hospitalized for other reasons.

In total, 160 people who were completely vaccinated with a breakthrough infection died during the study. This is 2% of patients with breakthrough infections and 0.0001% of fully vaccinated US residents by April 30. All 160 were between the ages of 71 and 89.

The states reporting their deaths only proved that those patients were infected with the coronavirus — they did not prove that they died as a result of COVID-19. In some cases, another illness may have been the cause of their death.

In short, the COVID-19 vaccine, which is licensed for use in the United States, was not an impregnable shield against infection, but it works very well, experts say. Even in the event of breakthrough infections, the vaccine may have prevented serious illness, hospitalization and death in those who received them.

“This is very encouraging,” he said. Dr. Paul Offit, Vaccine specialist at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital. He added that infections should continue to decline sharply as the proportion of Americans who have been vaccinated and recovered increases.

Further reassurance came from another finding in the report. The breakthrough infection did not appear likely to be due to a variant of the coronavirus that has caused concern among scientists.

Studies suggest that genetic variation that occurs in the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa, and the United States can compromise the effectiveness of the vaccine. However, the prevalence of “variant of concern” among people suffering from breakthrough infections did not suggest that any of the variants were infected in a dramatic way.

Overall, 5% of samples taken from patients with known breakthrough infections were sequenced, and 64% of them were found to be mutant strains of concern.

Their diversity within this group was closely tracked with their presence in the general US population. British variant (Known to scientists as B.1.1.7) was the most common, followed by the first two variants detected. California (B.1.429 and B.1.427). The other two, Brazil (P. 1) and South Africa (B.1.351), raised the rear.

“It tells me that the vaccine is preventing the infection, and there is no fraudulent factor in circumventing its protection,” Schaffner said. “The vaccine is working.”

But that does not mean that we can afford to rest in our glory.

“Today is a great gradebook, but you know that the next semester is coming,” Schaffner added. “I’m looking forward to how long vaccine prevention will last, and I need to keep an eye on these variants. Stay vigilant.”

This story was originally Los Angeles Times..

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