When the first COVID-19 vaccine became available in the United States, the country loosened its chin and sighed relief. However, to the surprise of many, this shot did not guarantee lifelong immunity to the disease.
According to experts, some people are infected with the coronavirus even after receiving the final dose of the vaccine, which, in rare cases, does not mean that the vaccine is ineffective. No vaccine is perfect, including the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s like treating a field full of hungry bugs with pesticides. Some creatures succumb to poisonous gas, while others emerge pristine from defenses designed to attack it.
However, in this case, people infected with the coronavirus more than two weeks after the last dose do not leave unaffected and are still protected from serious illness and death.
Experts call these cases “breakthrough infections.”
In fact, all three COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States, including the Pfizer, Modana, Johnson & Johnson vaccines, provided 100% protection against hospitalization and death in clinical trials. However, it did not protect against infection.
Ariel Silver of Northbrook, Illinois, said NBC Chicago received a second dose of Pfizer vaccine in mid-January and tested positive for COVID-19 in early March.
“It was a big blow to me. I read that if a vaccinated person becomes infected with COVID, it is usually a very mild symptom. But for two days, my symptom is quite mild. I was in bed and very ill, “Silver told Outlet. “I don’t have a vaccine and I could only imagine getting a COVID. How bad it gets.. It feels like it protected me from hospitalization, and God forbade death. “
No vaccine is 100% effective
Clinical trials have shown that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines reduce the risk of developing symptomatological COVID-19 by about 95%. This means that vaccinated people are about 20 times more likely to get sick than unvaccinated people.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine had a 72% efficacy rate among Americans.Experts say the protection looks lower because it was the only shot Tested against more contagious coronavirus mutants..
In other words, vaccines cannot protect everyone from infection, but they can protect them by promoting the development of antibodies. Without causing illness, Says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For comparison Influenza vaccine According to the CDC, it is 40% to 60% effective, depending on the version of the virus that is prevalent in a particular year. Nevertheless, the flu vaccine prevented an estimated 7.5 million flu illnesses, 105,000 hospitalizations and 6,300 deaths during the 2019-2020 season.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, president’s medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said of a recent breakthrough coronavirus case in White on Friday, “literally tens or tens of millions of people have been vaccinated. With that, any vaccination will result in a breakthrough infectious disease. ” House COVID-19 briefing. “So, in some respects, it’s Don’t be surprised.. “
Scientists are also learning more about how well the coronavirus vaccine works outside of the actual conditions, the controlled laboratory setting where the first clinical trial was conducted.
A CDC study posted on Monday found that there was a risk of coronavirus infection 90% reduction Two weeks after receiving the second final dose, and two weeks after the single dose, among nearly 4,000 healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential workers in six states. Up to 80%. Overall, infections in people who received injections were rare, suggesting that the vaccine can reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
However, the only concern is that the coronavirus variants are causing breakthrough infections, Fauci said in a COVID-19 briefing.
“One of the important things that must be done is to sequence the genome of the breakthrough virus virus, because it is very important to see if it has broken through the wild-type virus. This would be much easier to explain, whether the actual weakening of the immune system, or whether it broke through with one of the mutants, “he said.
CDC has Deployed a small team To study the potential role of breakthrough cases and variants, according to the New York Times. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that the mutant causes coronavirus infection after vaccination.
Not just vaccines
Another reason why people can get infected with the coronavirus more than two weeks after vaccination is complete is because of the immune system. May not produce too much protective antibody Like everyone else, Dr. Ali Elbedi, an immunologist at Washington University in St. Louis, told the Atlantic Ocean. Some people may also have a medical condition that makes it difficult for their body to protect themselves from bacteria.
The range of vaccine responses is “not a two- to three-fold variation, which is in the thousands,” Ellebedy said. “Being vaccinated does not mean that you are immune. It means that you have a better chance of protection.”
Behavioral patterns can also explain groundbreaking cases. People who are vaccinated who spend time with unvaccinated people are at increased risk of infection.
It’s like a sunburn. The longer you spend in the sun, the more likely you are to get a sunburn.