Some became seriously ill and 74 people died, the CDC said. It said that 396 – 7% – of those who became infected after being vaccinated required hospitalization.
This is the first indication from the CDC about how effective the vaccine is in real life – and the first indication that the vaccines do not completely protect against serious illness and death.
“So far, about 5,800 breakthrough cases have been reported to the CDC. To date, no unexpected patterns have been identified in terms of demographics or vaccine characteristics,” the CDC told CNN via email.
So far, about 77 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus, according to a CNN analysis of CDC data. The CDC̵
It is not unexpected to see breakthrough cases. The vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing infections, and as tens of thousands of people have been vaccinated, more and more such cases will be reported.
Pfizer / BioNTech’s vaccine was 95% effective in preventing symptomatic disease in clinical trials, and earlier this month companies said real data in the United States shows that the vaccine is more than 91% effective against disease with symptoms for six months.
The modern vaccine was 94% effective in preventing symptomatic disease in trials and 90% effective in real life. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was 66% globally in trials and 72% effective in preventing disease in the United States.
The CDC will look for clues as to who is most likely to be infected despite having been vaccinated.
“Vaccine breakthrough infections were reported among all people of all ages eligible for vaccination. However, just over 40% of infections were in people who were 60 years or older,” the CDC said.
Most, 65%, were women, and 29% of the so-called breakthrough infections were asymptomatic. “The CDC monitors reported clustering cases by patient demographic, geographic location, time since vaccination, vaccine type or batch number, and SARS-CoV-2 lineage,” the CDC said.
Plus, samples from cases will be tested to see how many are caused by variants and if so, which ones.
“The CDC has developed a national COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough database where state health department actors can currently enter, store and manage data for cases in their jurisdiction,” the CDC said.
“Vaccine breakthrough infections make up a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated. The CDC recommends that all eligible people receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one is available to them. The CDC also continues to recommend that people who have been fully vaccinated vaccinated, should take precautions in public places such as wearing a mask, staying at least six meters apart, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated areas, and washing hands frequently. “