New data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and reported by CNN indicates the power of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The data shows that 99.9 percent of fully vaccinated Americans – which means two shots of a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one shot of Johnson & Johnson – do not experience breakthrough COVID-19 infections resulting in hospitalization or death.
A “breakthrough” infection is when a vaccinated person becomes infected with COVID-19.
Data showed that there were only 6,517 COVID-19 breakthrough cases resulting in hospitalization and 1,263 deaths among more than 163 million fully vaccinated Americans. That translates to 0.004 percent and 0.001 percent, respectively.
Most breakthrough infections (74 percent) were reported in individuals over 65 years old.
The data supports what experts have been suggesting for months: that vaccines bolster the immune system to prevent illness and death and are the best defense against the pandemic.
But even the vaccine doesn’t keep people totally out of the woodwork. More CDC data suggested that the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 variant produced similar viral loads in both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
This means that vaccinated people may acquire and transmit the virus—also something doctors have been saying since vaccine introduction—even though they may not get sick. This development has prompted calls for fully vaccinated people to wear masks in some indoor settings.
The recommendation is largely so that vaccinated people don’t put unvaccinated people at risk. The data shows that vaccinated people may get COVID-19 but won’t have severe symptoms. Passing it to unvaccinated individuals could result in death.
If you want to be a part of fighting the pandemic and easing the burden on your community, the data suggests you should get fully vaccinated as soon as possible.