Who had breakthrough cases of Covid-19 vaccines? – Community News
Covid-19

Who had breakthrough cases of Covid-19 vaccines?

After a summer of reports of breakthrough coronavirus infections, when it seemed like everyone knew someone who tested positive after vaccination, recently released federal data sheds light on how common these cases really were, how severe they became and who was most at risk.

Average weekly cases by vaccination status

Apr 10, 2021

June 26

September 4

Fully vaccinated

Delta variant
becomes dominant

not vaccinated

6x as high

Average number of deaths per week by vaccination status

Apr 10, 2021

June 26

September 4

Fully vaccinated

Delta variant
becomes dominant

not vaccinated

12x as high

Compared to the unvaccinated, fully vaccinated people generally had a much lower chance of testing positive for the virus or dying from it, even due to the summer’s Delta wave and the easing of pandemic restrictions in many parts of the country. the country. But the data indicates that immunity to infection may slowly decline for vaccinated people, even though the vaccines remain highly protective against serious illness and death.

“The number 1 message is that these vaccines still work,” says Dr. David Dowdy, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “If you were to see this data for a disease other than Covid, everyone’s attention would be drawn to the difference between the unvaccinated and fully vaccinated lines.”

The data shows notable differences in breakthrough death rates by age and small differences in both number of cases and death rates by vaccine brand, trends that experts say are important to consider as tens of millions of Americans weigh in on whether to get a booster shot.

The data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based on health department data from 14 states and two cities. A second dashboard shows similar trends for hospitalized patients with and without vaccination.

All vaccinated age groups saw similar rates of breakthrough infections, and all had much lower infection and death rates compared to their unvaccinated peers.

Average Weekly Cases by Age

  • not vaccinated
  • Fully vaccinated

While each age group had similar rates of breakthrough cases, death rates varied more drastically by age. Of all groups, unvaccinated seniors were most likely to die from Covid. Still, vaccinated people aged 80 and older had a higher death rate than unvaccinated people under 50.

“Age is our number one risk factor for vaccine breakthrough deaths,” said Theresa Sokol, the state epidemiologist in Louisiana, one of the jurisdictions that contributed to the CDC data.

Average weekly deaths by age

  • not vaccinated
  • Fully vaccinated

Breakthrough deaths among seniors may result from immunosenescence, or the weakening of the immune system in older people, said Heather Scobie, an epidemiologist at the CDC who helps lead the team that produced the new data.

“They usually don’t respond as vigorously to vaccination,” added Dr. Scobie to it. “Hopefully the booster dose for age 65 and older will address that problem.”

The federal data also makes clear that all three vaccine brands administered in the United States have significantly reduced cases and deaths. But among those vaccinated, Johnson & Johnson recipients had slightly higher rates of breakthrough cases and related deaths. And Pfizer-BioNTech receivers had slightly higher rates than the ones that got Moderna.

Average Weekly Cases by Vaccine Manufacturer

Apr 10, 2021

June 26

September 4

not vaccinated

J&J

moderna

Pfizer

Average Weekly Deaths by Vaccine Manufacturer

Apr 10, 2021

June 26

September 4

not vaccinated

J&J

moderna

Pfizer

Similar evidence from scientific studies helped shape the new federal recommendation that all Johnson & Johnson recipients age 18 and older receive a booster dose at least two months after receiving the first injection, said Dr. Scobie.

In contrast, booster shot recommendations for those who have received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine target high-risk groups, including those over 65, and younger adults who are at greater risk for severe Covid-19 because of medical conditions or where they work .

The CDC data, which is updated monthly, is the closest we can get to a detailed, nationally representative picture of breakthrough cases and deaths. States are not required to report this information — although many do in numerous formats — and the CDC had previously only provided estimates of the total number of breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths.

View the latest data for cases and deaths by vaccination status on the US coronavirus tracking page.

The data may also give scientists a rough understanding of the vaccine’s effectiveness over time. If the ratio of unvaccinated to vaccinated cases or deaths remains the same, the vaccines are considered to maintain their protection.

For example, the ratio of the number of summer cases fell slightly, to six times as high for unvaccinated in August, from about 11 times as high in mid-June, giving scientists reason to believe that the vaccine’s protection against infection decreases slightly. . The ratio of deaths has been flatter over time for all but the oldest age groups, an indication that vaccine protection against death remains strong.

Ratio of the number of unvaccinated cases to the number of vaccinated cases

Ratio of unvaccinated death rate to vaccinated death rate

The CDC data runs through early September and only captures the crest of the Delta Wave. But data from states like New York and California shows similar patterns through September and October. That suggests that, despite some minor differences between the brands, the vaccines still work to protect against the most serious consequences.

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