Breakthrough COVID: What Exactly Is It?

Credit: Yahoo


Over the months since the COVID-19 vaccines have become more widely available to people across the United States, there’s been a dramatic decrease in deaths from the virus.

This is good news, because it means the vaccines are doing exactly what they’re supposed to do. And although cases are slowly on the rise again as the summer months continue, it’s mostly among unvaccinated people.

Even so, there are recent reports of what’s known as “breakthrough COVID,” which is when someone who is fully vaccinated gets COVID. However, breakthrough cases broadly are perhaps not the most accurate measure of vaccine efficacy.

We should instead focus on cases of breakthrough disease, Céline Gounder, MD, an infectious-disease physician at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York, explained to The Atlantic. By that, she means that it’s more useful to look at how cases of breakthrough COVID present, not simply whether or not they exist. And the data shows that vaccines have been highly effective at preventing severe symptoms, serious illness, hospitalizations, and death of people who do contract the virus.

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