Are Louisiana residents getting COVID after vaccinations? Yes, but ‘revolutionary cases’ are expected | Coronavirus

About 125 fully vaccinated people in Louisiana have tested positive for COVID-19 more than two weeks after their last dose.

Not surprisingly, there are a small number of “breakthrough cases”. “I think it’s in line with what you would expect from the trials,” said Dr. Joe Kanter, a state health official.

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A recent study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are approximately 90% effective against infection once two weeks have passed since the second of two doses. Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine is approximately 72% effective against moderate to severe disease, based on US trials.

State officials are tracking groundbreaking cases to understand coronavirus transmission among vaccinated people and whether vaccines might not work as well against certain strains of the virus. And while breakthrough cases are rare (126 cases among 568,968 fully vaccinated people in Louisiana equals about 0.02%, or about 1 case for every 4,500 people vaccinated to date) they are a reminder that people who have received their vaccinations should to take precautions. like masking and distancing yourself in public.

“The vaccine is not a blank check to do what you want,” said Dr. Julio Figueroa, head of infectious diseases for LSU Health New Orleans.

Advancement cases are sometimes identified by mandatory testing before surgery or returning to work, not because vaccinated individuals are showing symptoms.

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As more people get vaccinated, the rate of new breakthrough cases should decrease, Figueroa said. This is partly because research shows that vaccinated people who still contract COVID, regardless of whether they develop symptoms, have a lower viral load and are less likely to transmit the disease.

“What we want to do is eliminate viral shedding from the entire population so that we have less and less transmission,” said Figueroa.

Other states and researchers are tracking groundbreaking cases as well, with results also suggesting it’s rare. A study from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas found that only four of the 8,121 employees who were at least two weeks after their final dose were infected, about 0.04%. Another found that only seven of the 14,990 employees at two California hospitals were later infected, a similar rate.

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In Washington state, only about 100 of the 1.2 million fully vaccinated people have tested positive for the coronavirus. Most experienced mild symptoms, according to the results of clinical trials suggesting that vaccines lessen the severity of the disease. But eight of those groundbreaking cases resulted in hospitalization, and two people who died were investigated as groundbreaking cases, according to the Washington State Department of Health; both were in their 80s and had other health problems.

Louisiana officials did not share data on the severity of the disease in major cases or say which vaccine people received.

The CDC recommends that vaccinated people continue to wear masks in public and around unvaccinated people. Experts said this guide could loosen as more people get vaccinated, but widespread vaccination is necessary to provide a blanket of protection for vulnerable people.

“You want to vaccinate the population as much as possible to get that herd immunity,” Figueroa said. “Those susceptible people, even if they have been vaccinated, will be protected.”

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Emily Woodruff Covers Public Health for The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate as a member of the Report For America corps.


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