Coronavirus Vaccine – What is a coronavirus vaccine breakthrough infection?
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — As more Americans become fully vaccinated against the coronavirus (COVID-19), there have been recent reports of breakthrough infections.
But medical experts say that this shouldn’t prevent others from getting inoculated. A breakthrough infection, or a vaccine failure, occurs when a person tests positive for COVID-19 more than two weeks after being fully vaccinated.
VZ4VBS3CUNYXLASXB5(BA)“>Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said during a White House briefing on Monday that breakthrough infections are seen with all vaccines in clinical trials.
“And in the real world, no vaccine is 100 percent efficacious or effective, which means that you will always see breakthrough infections regardless of the efficacy of your vaccine,” he said.
(BA)2RFZVEDSWT5G4YJTMQ”>He referred to two different vaccine failures — primary and secondary.
(BA)2NP6EFQ”>The primary vaccine failure is when the body doesn’t amount an adequate immune response for a number of reasons, like immune status, health status, age, medications you’re on, or something wrong with the vaccine (like storage, delivery, or composition). Secondary vaccine failure may occur when immunity fades over time.
A vaccine can also fail, Fauci explained, if a person is exposed to a new or a different strain or a variant.
(BA)Y(BA)7VLJOHI”>“For example, influenza is the most common of this, which mutates rapidly and drifts, genetically, generally from season to season,” Fauci said. “However, even if a vaccine fails to protect against infection, it often protects against serious disease.”
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But breakthrough infections shouldn’t be cause for concern about “any shift or change in the efficacy of the vaccine,” Fauci said during a briefing last week. People should continue to make the effort to get fully vaccinated.
“There’s nothing there yet that’s a red flag,” Fauci said. “We obviously are going to keep an eye out on that very, very carefully, but I don’t see anything that changes our concept of the vaccine and its efficacy.”
Breakthrough infections were reported predominantly among elderly individuals, which Fauci referred to as “not surprising.” He added that elderly individuals, especially those who are frail or have underlying conditions, might not have responded as well to a vaccine.
“With the number of breakthrough cases, I think the important thing is to look at what the denominator of vaccinated people is, because it is very likely, and what we’re hearing at least indirectly…that that number of individuals who were breakthrough infections is not at all incompatible with a 90-plus percent vaccine efficacy,” he explained.
According to a report from the New York City Health Department that evaluated the spread of the coronavirus and emerging variants, reinfection cases and confirmed COVID-19 tests in people who are fully vaccinated are rare. It’s too early to know if the coronavirus variants are more likely to cause reinfection or vaccine breakthrough compared to other previously circulating variants, the report stated.
The COVID-19 vaccines aren’t capable of protecting everyone from infection, but can protect them by creating antibodies without causing illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
All three coronavirus vaccines authorized for emergency use in the United States — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — offer 100% protection against hospitalization and death in clinical trials, but not against infection. Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials showed the vaccine lowered the risk of developing symptoms of coronavirus by about 95%.
PG3625DB3PVUHI52UAAEQM”>The Johnson & Johson’s efficacy rate was 72% in trials. Experts said the protection appears to be lower because it was the only vaccine tested against more contagious coronavirus variants.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday suggested a pause on administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six reports of people getting potentially dangerous blood clots shortly after inoculation. New York will stop administering the vaccine statewide, state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said in a statement Tuesday.
Scientists are now able to see the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines outside of clinical trials.
In a CDC study posted last month, the risk of coronavirus infection dropped by 90% two weeks after receiving a final dose, and by 80% following a single dose among nearly 4,000 health-care workers, first responders, and other essential workers in six states. The results suggest that vaccines can curb the spread of COVID-19 because infections are uncommon among those vaccinated.
GSEJVIKJFJ3B2GAR4KIBNO3M“>Another reason vaccinated individuals could contract COVID-19 is that their body isn’t producing enough antibodies as others. Behavior is also a contributor. If you spend time with other unvaccinated people, your risk of infection is higher.
NKEXCMPUAJQ3AI”>So what happens if you get COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated?
You’ll likely have fewer symptoms, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said about breakthrough infections.
3MZ5REGNOA7KPAMHKZGNM”>“We’re still learning about the transmissibility of this virus in the context of these breakthrough infections,” she said. “But I would say, use your prevention measures when you’re outside the home, and I think you’re okay when you’re in the home.”
3MJTKHYFAFZKFE3XQQ56UAZY”>Walensky said people should continue, even after being vaccinated, to use all prevention measures outside their home, such as wearing a face mask and social distancing.