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In Washington, 102 fully vaccinated people tested positive for COVID-19. Officials share why that’s not too alarming

Washington state said 102 people got COVID-19 despite getting the COVID-19 vaccine

A sign in English and Spanish directs patients to check-in for COVID-19 vaccination appointments at the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic in Toppenish, Wash., Thursday, March 25, 2021.
A sign in English and Spanish directs patients to check in for COVID-19 vaccination appointments at the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic in Toppenish, Wash., on Thursday, March 25, 2021.
Ted S. Warren, Associated Press

The Washington State Health Department said this week that 102 people tested positive for COVID-19 even though they had been fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

  • Officials cautioned, though, that the positive test results are relatively normal.

What is happening in Washington with COVID-19?

Washington State Health Department said 102 people tested positive for COVID-19 despite full vaccination, according to KOMO News. Two people in that group died, and eight people had to be hospitalized.

  • More than 1 million people in the state have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Per KATU, the health department said these were examples of “vaccine breakthrough,” which can happen with any vaccine. This is where the virus finds a way to evade the vaccine.

Why experts expected COVID-19 cases among vaccinated people

Dr. Ken Stedman with Portland State University told KATU he wasn’t surprised by the data. He said this will likely continue to happen until more people are vaccinated.

Stedman told KATU this isn’t a reason to avoid the vaccine, either.

  • “I was really excited to see that data. It seems like the number of breakthrough cases after people have been fully vaccinated is actually even way lower than the 5% that you would expect,” he said. “It seems like they’re working.”
  • “With vaccinations, we should be talking about the people who are surviving and not getting the disease instead of the very few who have gotten the vaccine and for whatever reason have still gotten sick,” said Stedman. “This is if anything really good news and nothing to be scared about at all. It’s yet another good reason to get a vaccine.”

Have people gotten COVID-19 even though they’re vaccinated?

Yes. In fact, the Minnesota Department of Health reported last week that 89 people tested positive for COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated Officials weren’t overly worried about the numbers since more than 600,000 people in Minnesota received full vaccinations.

  • “That’s well below one-tenth of 1%, an incredibly small number of cases,” Kris Ehresmann, the department’s infectious disease director, told KARE11.

Can you still get COVID-19 if you’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. Two recent studies from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and another one other from the health systems at the University of California, San Diego, and the University of California, Los Angeles, found some health care workers still tested positive for the coronavirus despite being fully vaccinated.