Epidemiologist: Coronavirus infection possible, but rare in vaccinated people

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA)– There is a small percentage of people that have caught COVID-19 even after being fully vaccinated. Health officials call these breakthrough cases.

In Illinois, 494 breakthrough COVID-19 cases have resulted in hospitalization and 135 people died as of Monday, according to the Illinois Dept. of Public Health’s website.

It’s important to put that in perspective. The breakthrough deaths account for about 0.5% of the 23,245 total deaths from the coronavirus in the state.

No vaccine is 100%effective, according to Epidemiologist Awais Vaid. He is also the Deputy Administrator for the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District. He said breakthroughs happen with every disease.

Vaid said, in Champaign County, less than 1% of vaccinated people have gotten infected, and most of those cases have been asymptomatic.

“But even in those cases that have died or were hospitalized, they had severe underlying health conditions that would have been the primary cause of hospitalization and not COVID,” he added.

Vaid said the COVID-19 vaccines are proven to be more effective than the flu shot most years. Plus, when someone gets a breakthrough COVID-19 case, he said they’re still less likely to spread it compared to someone who is unvaccinated.

98% of deaths from COVID-19 in 2021 have been people who were unvaccinated, according to the state health department’s website.

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