Although contracting COVID-19 after being vaccinated for the disease is possible, data continue to show it is rare.
In a press briefing on Thursday, officials at the state Department of Health and Social Services cited a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that showed only around 0.01% of fully vaccinated individuals in the U.S. had reported breakthrough COVID-19 infection, which describes getting the virus despite being vaccinated against it.
As of April 30, approximately 101 million people in the U.S. were considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Approximately 10,600 of them still tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the CDC, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95% effective in preventing COVID-19, Moderna was 94.1% and the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen was 66.3%.
Louisa Castrodale, an epidemiologist with the state, and her team released a report of breakthrough COVID cases from January to March. She said analyzing these cases is “tricky” because of the reasons people get tested, and changing CDC guidance.
“The vast majority of cases that are being detected have not been vaccinated,” she said on Thursday.
The CDC is also now only reporting the breakthrough cases that resulted in hospitalizations or deaths, Castrodale said.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink cited the state’s report during Thursday’s press briefing.
From Jan. 1 to June 1, Alaska saw 11 COVID-related hospitalizations and one COVID death among vaccinated people, Zink said. In the same time frame, there were slightly over 21,200 positive cases, with totals of 476 hospitalizations and 98 deaths.
Zink also said that whether communities are vaccinated or unvaccinated, the less COVID-19 virus spreads the less likely community members are to get the disease and become seriously ill, or even die.
DHSS officials emphasized on Thursday that it is very unlikely to contract COVID-19 after vaccination, and that they encourage Alaskans to get their shots as soon as possible.
Reach reporter Camille Botello at email@example.com.