Since January 2021, the U.S. has seen a decrease in COVID-19 cases due to the wide availability of vaccines and adherence to safe practices. As of August 9, 2021, approximately 166.9 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However, there has been a recent spike in COVID-19 cases since June 2021. On August 5, 2021, there were 125,478 new cases reported just that day, with new cases increasing.
With COVID-19 cases rising again, there are questions that the public might wonder, such as; can I get infected when I’m already vaccinated? In this post, we will go over some COVID-19 concerns you might be wondering about.
You can still get COVID-19 after being vaccinated, which is considered a breakthrough infection. Breakthrough infection is when you are COVID-19 positive after 14 days of receiving a full dose of a vaccine. Vaccines work great against the virus; however, there are mutations or variants that vaccines are not as effective against. As of April 30, 2021, a total of 10,262 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine breakthrough infections were reported from 46 U.S. states and territories. There is no update on the number of breakthrough cases. As of May 1, 2021, the CDC transitioned from monitoring all reported COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infections to investigating cases with the highest clinical and public health significance. As of August 2, 2021, the total hospitalized or fatal vaccine breakthrough cases reported to CDC are 7,525 patients.
Should I be worried if I have a breakthrough infection?
If you have been in contact with someone COVID-19 positive or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and get tested 3-5 days after exposure. Symptoms include fever or chills, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea. You should isolate yourself for 10-14 days if your test result is positive.
You can still be infectious after being fully vaccinated. However, studies show that fully vaccinated people are less likely to spread the virus to others, even if they get COVID-19. In addition, there is some evidence that fully vaccinated people are much less likely to be hospitalized or die than those who are not vaccinated.
Nevertheless, it is important to get vaccinated and take precautions similar to those enforced during the previous COVID-19 outbreak, including practicing social distancing of 6 feet apart, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and washing hands often with soap and water.