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What is your COVID risk if you’re fully vaccinated and get COVID-19?

Are you at high risk for COVID-19 if you’re vaccinated?

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Brittney Johnson gets her second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Brittney Johnson, 20, gets her second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Estefania Cruz at the Central Davis Senior Activity Center in Kaysville on Tuesday, July 6, 2021.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

The novel coronavirus continues to spread through the United States as COVID-19 variants are making their way into the country.

Do fully vaccinated people get COVID-19 still?

Yes. Fully vaccinated people can still get the novel coronavirus, as I wrote for the Deseret News. The vaccines are not 100% effective, so breakthrough cases are expected.

Dr. Esther Choo, professor of emergency medicine at Oregon Health and Science University, said on Yahoo Finance Live that we should expect a higher amount of breakthrough cases as the delta variant spreads and as more people get vaccinated (since the vaccinated people would be the only ones getting COVID-19 in a theoretical society where most of the population is vaccinated).

  • “There’s a lot of talk about how people are getting COVID anyway, even though they’re vaccinated, and that is true and that is expected because there’s no vaccine that’s 100% all the time,” Choo told Yahoo Finance Live.

What fully vaccinated people should consider about COVID-19

Dr. Matt Willis, public health director for Marin County in Northern California, told California local news station KGO-TV that most breakthrough cases are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic — like having a cold.

  • He said the majority of hospitalized fully vaccinated patients are elderly or immunocompromised. There’s also no link between a specific vaccine and a breakthrough case.

The vaccine, he said, isn’t perfect. So breakthrough cases can happen.

  • “It’s more like a dimmer switch than it is a light switch. It’s not an on and off. It’s on a continuum of protection,” he said. “And I think that’s an important message because otherwise, people might interpret breakthrough cases as a sign the vaccine is not effective.”