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What are Breakthrough COVID-19 Cases and Should You Be Worried?

Updated: Nov 1, 2021

If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you probably have heard that so-called “breakthrough” COVID-19 cases are on the rise. This is especially true in Alabama, where vaccination rates are well below the threshold for herd immunity.

These low vaccination rates are further encouraging the spread of COVID-19, increasing the risk for both unvaccinated and vaccinated people to become infected with this dangerous virus.

However, if you’re vaccinated, you might be worried about experiencing a breakthrough COVID-19 case, but experts say these rare instances are nothing to panic about. To help you get a better idea of what breakthrough cases are and how you can continue to further protect yourself from COVID-19, read Dr. Peramsetty’s helpful guide.

What are Breakthrough COVID Cases?

Simply put, a breakthrough COVID case is when someone tests positive for COVID-19 two weeks or more after becoming fully vaccinated. For example, this might be a few months after receiving the second dose of a two-shot Moderna vaccine or several weeks after receiving the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Are Breakthrough COVID Cases Common?

Short answer: no. While anecdotal stories and news stations often make it seem as though breakthrough cases are cropping up everywhere across the nation, they are not common.

According to internal CDC documents obtained by the Washington Post, researchers estimate around 35,000 breakthrough infections a week, or about two hundredths of a percent (0.02%) of all fully vaccinated people.

However, it’s important to note that many breakthrough cases may go undocumented, as vaccinated people may be asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. That said, instances of breakthrough infections are still very low and likely something you shouldn’t worry about.

Will Breakthrough Cases Continue to Rise?

As mentioned above, breakthrough cases are not common but they will likely continue to rise as vaccination rates stay below the herd immunity threshold.

Breakthrough cases are completely expected to happen, though, according to researchers, scientists and medical experts. This is because no vaccine is 100% perfect. The goal of a vaccine is to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

From what Dr. Peramsetty and the Crimson Care team have seen in Tuscaloosa, AL, the COVID-19 vaccine is doing just that!

What About the Delta Variant?

While research regarding the Delta variant and breakthrough cases is still ongoing, the Center for Disease Control has said that this highly contagious variant likely plays a role in the increase in breakthrough cases across the nation.

Fortunately, research still shows that vaccines still offer ample protection against new variants, including the Delta variant. This is why it is important to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Can Breakthrough COVID Cases Be Prevented?

There is no guarantee that a breakthrough case can be prevented but you can certainly take precautionary steps to stay protected from this dangerous virus!

  • Get vaccinated

  • Continue wearing masks when indoors and around groups of people

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water

  • Use hand sanitizer

  • Choose to spend time with vaccinated people

  • Social distance when necessary

These COVID-19 safety steps are especially important during the chillier winter months when friends, families, and groups of people will be spending more time inside.

COVID-19 Services at Crimson Care in Tuscaloosa, AL

Do you need to receive your COVID-19 vaccination, undergo COVID testing, or receive an antibody treatment? Dr. Peramsetty and his experienced team offer these COVID-19 services and more at Crimson Care in Tuscaloosa!

Use our online scheduling portal to book your appointment today! We’re currently offering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to anyone 18 and older at our Crimson Care and First Care clinics.



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