DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In the wake of five fully-vaccinated Texas Democrats testing positive for COVID-19, there’s growing concern about the so-called “breakthrough” cases.
But doctors said less than 1% of the cases they’re seeing are breakthroughs.
“We’re seeing a lot of clusters of people, even the same social groups or families, but what we’re seeing is the person that got vaccinated is home with mild illness and other family members that are not vaccinated are in the hospital, potentially with more severe illness or even in the intensive care unit,” said Dr. Bonnie Rawot, an infectious disease physician at Medical City Dallas.
Dallas County has reported 1,338 cases of fully-vaccinated people contracting COVID. Of those, 105 – or 8% – required hospitalization, and 14, – just over 1% – died.
Doctors said the vaccine was never 100% effective, because no vaccine is.
The majority of the breakthrough cases are people who are immunocompromised.
“I think that they are really good at preventing severe illness and deaths,” said Dr. Phil Huang, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services. “And the persons when we’ve seen, typically, any breakthrough cases, their situation is much less severe than they would have been had they not been vaccinated.”
Doctors also said those who have been vaccinated carry lower viral loads in their respiratory tracts, meaning they’re less likely to spread it.
While there are still unknowns – like the Delta variant – they said all three vaccines are extremely effective and by far the best option.
“The risk of COVID, in general, just with the long-term COVID, COVID itself, exceeds any of the risks or any of the vaccination side effects that have been brought up thus far,” said Dr. Rawot.