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Expert reveals how well the COVID-19 vaccines really work

Breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated people aren’t common, and the vaccines are still working well to stop variants

People walk on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City.
People walk on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021. Breakthrough infections of the novel coronavirus among fully vaccinated people remain rare — a sign that the COVID-19 vaccines are still working to stop COVID-19.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Breakthrough infections of the novel coronavirus among fully vaccinated people remain rare — a sign that the COVID-19 vaccines are still working to stop COVID-19.

Do COVID-19 vaccines still work?

Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease specialist and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told Yahoo News that the messaging about the COVID-19 vaccine in recent weeks may be causing fear among fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

  • “We may have been giving a message that sounds like the vaccines aren’t working very well, which to me can scare the vaccinated and actually doesn’t make the unvaccinated think they should get a vaccine,” Gandhi said.

“(Vaccinated) people are really very protected from severe disease. … I think we need to be way more positive,” she added.

COVID case numbers for fully vaccinated, unvaccinated

Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data last week that showed that the COVID-19 vaccines protect people from the coronavirus, including the delta variant.

The data showed how COVID-19 spread from April 4 to July 17. Here’s a breakdown of the COVID-19 numbers:

  • Not fully vaccinated: 569,142 (92%) COVID-19 cases, 34,972 (92%) hospitalizations and 6,132 (91%) COVID-19-associated deaths.
  • Vaccinated people: 46,312 (8%) cases, 2,976 (8%) hospitalizations and 616 (9%) deaths.

The CDC said that the new data suggested people who are not fully vaccinated had five times higher chance of an infection, 10 times higher chance of being hospitalized and more than 10 times higher chance of dying from COVID-19.

Dr. William Melah, the chief medical officer for St. Claire Health Care in Morehead, Kentucky, told CNN that there is panic for people around the vaccine right now, and it’s completely unnecessary.

  • “I think this is a surge of fear now and these people are afraid of a vaccine that could save their lives — and that’s why they’re in the hospital now,” he told CNN.