“Researchers are trying to figure out how 246 fully vaccinated Michiganders contracted the coronavirus — including three who died — from January to March.
“These are individuals who have had a positive test 14 or more days after the last dose in the vaccine series,” said Lynn Sutfin, a spokesperson for the state health department.
It may turn out that some of the people were infected before they were vaccinated, and the infection still showed up.
“These cases are undergoing further review to determine if they meet other (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) criteria for determination of potential breakthrough, including the absence of a positive antigen or PCR test less than 45 days prior to the post-vaccination positive test,” Sutfin said.
The Washington Post reports that these so-called breakthrough cases are drawing the CDC’s attention:
The precise number of these breakthrough cases is unknown, but figures released by states suggest it is at least several thousand. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has had a team monitoring breakthrough infections since February, has partial data but has not made it public.
What about the people who died? Again, health officials say, don’t jump to conclusions that there is a link to the vaccines. The Detroit Free Press reports that the three fully vaccinated people who died were all age 65 and older. Two of them were within three weeks of full vaccination.
The Washington Post quotes Dr. Anthony Fauci, who says he is not overly concerned by these reports of breakthrough cases, but that they deserve investigation:
There is no singular explanation for why the virus in rare cases is not neutralized by the vaccine-induced immune response. Infectious-disease experts say the human immune system is complicated, and some people may simply have a weak immune response to the vaccine. In this scenario, it’s not the vaccine that’s the wild card, it’s the patient.” . . .
” . . . The Michigan health department spokesperson says while most people get “full immunity” two weeks after their second shots, some people may take longer. The Free Press reports:
Although so-called vaccine breakthrough cases are extremely rare, and all three COVID-19 vaccines on the market are considered highly effective with efficacy rates ranging from 72% for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine to 94% and 95% for Moderna’s and Pfizer’s, respectively, it can happen.
However, news of breakthrough cases should be taken into context, said Dr. Paul Thomas, a family medicine physician in Detroit who started Plum Health, a low-cost medical practice in Corktown.
People should keep in mind that the 246 breakthrough cases occurred among the more than 1.8 million Michiganders who are fully vaccinated, he said.
“That breaks down to 0.0144% of those who have gotten the vaccine have come down with a breakthrough infection,” Thomas said. “So that means that the vaccine is 99.99% effective in preventing infection.” ” . . .
Source: How did 246 ‘fully vaccinated’ people still get COVID-19? – Poynter