Almost 6,000 “breakthrough cases” of Americans becoming infected with the coronavirus despite vaccination have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – far less than 1% of the 76 million Americans who are fully vaccinated.
The CDC, in an email to USA TODAY, said almost 400 of the 5,800 cases required hospitalization and 74 died. More than 40% of the infections were in people 60 or over, 65% were female, and 29% were asymptomatic, the CDC said.
“All of the available vaccines have been proven effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said. “However, like is seen with other vaccines, we expect thousands of vaccine breakthrough cases will occur even though the vaccine is working as expected.”
Infections despite vaccination were anticipated – the two-shot Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines have proved to be more than 90% effective and the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine about 70%. But no vaccine is 100% effective, experts say.
The CDC still recommends that people who have been fully vaccinated take precautions in public places, like wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces and washing their hands often.
“Vaccine breakthrough infections make up a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated,” Nordlund said. “CDC recommends that all eligible people get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one is available to them.”
Also in the news:
►Michigan’s largest hospital system is turning to tents to handle emergency care as it deals with a crush of COVID-19 patients in suburban Detroit. Beaumont Health said it had more than 800 COVID patients Thursday, up from 500 two weeks ago and 128 at the end of February.
►Iran has finalized a deal with Russia to purchase 60 million doses of Sputnik V 2-dose vaccine. Iran, with a population of 83 million, began a 10-day lockdown Saturday amid a fourth wave of coronavirus infections.
►Colorado health officials say nearly 4,000 people who received COVID-19 vaccinations at a medical spa need to be re-vaccinated because they can’t verify the doses were properly stored.
►Americans in “blue states” that lean Democratic appear to be getting vaccinated at more robust rates, while those in “red” Republican states seem to be more hesitant.
►Ivanka Trump has received her first COVID-19 shot and is encouraging others to get vaccinated as quickly as they can.
►Michigan health director Elizabeth Hertel traveled with family to Alabama for spring break last week despite her department’s guidance to avoid out-of-state travel while Michigan suffers a raging coronavirus outbreak.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 31.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 564,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 138 million cases and more than 2.97 million deaths. More than 250.99 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S. and 194.7 million have been administered, according to the CDC.
📘 What we’re reading: Although still murky, a picture is starting to emerge about the connection between two types of COVID-19 vaccines and rare blood clots. Read more here.
J&J vaccine pause problematic for Florida’s marginalize populations
The pause in use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a bump in the road to full vaccination for healthcare workers relying on the one-dose shot to vaccinate Florida’s more than 100,000 farmworkers before they begin migrating north. The Healthcare Network, which reached more than 430 farmworkers Saturday in Immokalee with the one-shot, will now rely on the two-dose Moderna vaccine.
“Ensuring patients return for shot two is a major concern for organizations working with marginalized and underserved populations who struggle with poor access to transportation or cannot easily leave work,” said Gabrielle O’Boyle, a network spokeswoman.
– Janine Zeitlin, Naples Daily News
California opens up vaccinations to all adults
California and Washington opened up vaccines to all adults Thursday. California Gov. Gavin Newsom also urged all schools in the state to reopen, saying there are no health barriers to getting the state’s 6.2 million public school students back into classrooms. California’s COVID-19 infections continue to drop and more residents are being vaccinated. The state’s decentralized education system, however, lets the 1,200 school districts govern themselves.
“Money is not an object now,” Newsom said Wednesday. “It’s an excuse.”
CDC says empty middle seats reduce exposure. Will airlines book them?
Blocking middle seats on airplanes reduces the risk of COVID-19 exposure, according to a study released Wednesday by the CDC. The research, done in…