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CDC director reveals why we should expect breakthrough COVID-19 cases

CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said vaccinated breakthrough cases should happen

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Kennadi Larsen receives a rapid COVID-19 antigen test.

Kennadi Larsen holds her dog Tinka as she receives a rapid COVID-19 antigen test at a testing site at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said we should expect COVID-19 breakthrough cases among fully vaccinated Americans.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said we should expect COVID-19 breakthrough cases among fully vaccinated Americans.

Are breakthrough COVID-19 cases common?

Walensky told CNN on Thursday night that COVID-19 breakthrough cases should be expected with the vaccine, which isn’t 100% effective.

  • “I think we all have to recognize that with 164 million people who are vaccinated, we should expect tens of thousands, perhaps, of breakthrough infections,” she said.
  • “Those breakthrough infections have mild illness. They are staying out of the hospital. They are not dying, and I think that that’s the most important thing to understand,” Walensky told CNN.

What happens to fully vaccinated people?

New data from the CDC revealed that 99.999% of fully vaccinated Americans did not have a  breakthrough COVID-19 case that led to hospitalization or death.

  • The CDC data — which came before the delta variant surge — said there were 6,587 COVID-19 breakthrough cases among 163 million fully vaccinated, as I wrote for the Deseret News.