Age and preexisting conditions can be important factors in someone’s chances of getting a breakthrough COVID-19 case.
- “That said it’s all about what data you have and what data you can collect,” said Dr. Christine Hahn, Idaho’s state epidemiologist, according to KTVB. “It could be that someone severely immunocompromised is at just as high of risk as somebody who is 85, let’s say. But the strongest data is certainly age-based.”
Those with preexisting conditions are seeing breakthrough cases. In fact, there are more vaccinated people with preexisting conditions getting COVID-19 compared to unvaccinated. In large part, that’s because people with conditions are getting vaccinated.
- “It’s a different population that is getting vaccine breakthrough in general,” said Dr. Kathryn Turner, the deputy state epidemiologist, per KTVB. “So that might be contributing to the more severe outcomes we’re seeing every once in a while in this population.”
Questions about breakthrough cases for fully vaccinated people kicked up this week with the death of Colin Powell, who died of complications related to COVID-19, according to his family, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
However, Powell had multiple myeloma, which is cancer that forms in plasma cells (a type of white blood cell), per CNN. This was an indication that the breakthrough case happened to someone with preexisting conditions.