Severe breakthrough COVID-19 cases extremely rare, research finds

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Some doctors hope research from the CDC will bolster confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine. Details about vaccinated individuals getting cases of the virus, referred to as breakthrough cases, come as the Delta variant is quickly spreading through communities.

“It’s a huge difference if you’re unvaccinated vs. vaccinated. That’s number one. The chances are much different,” explained Central Ohio family physician Dr. Anup Kanodia.

Data from a 6-month time span found at least 85 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients were completely unvaccinated. Fully vaccinated individuals had a 1 in 13,000 chance of contracting a severe breakthrough case.

“Most people who do get breakthrough cases who are vaccinated are not severe. That’s the critical thing,” Dr. Kanodia added.

Dr. Kanodia used Ohio Stadium to illustrate the data: Imagine the ‘Shoe was filled to its 105,000 person capacity with a fully vaccinated crowd. Roughly 8 of those people would get a severe breakthrough case.

When researchers took a closer look at the data, they found most of the severe cases happened among people aged 65 or older. Many also had several underlying conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or an auto-immune disorder.

When the CDC authorizes booster shots, which some experts expect will happen as soon as this fall, many believe the same high-risk groups will be the first to be prioritized.

Dr. Kanodia said the data reinforces the message that the vaccine is effective. He recommends anyone with concerns the shot won’t provide adequate protection consider how much more protection it provides against severe breakthrough cases.

“If you have kids, coworkers and family – if you’re not vaccinated, you’re at higher risk for them,” he adds.

Less than 53-percent of Ohioans have started the vaccination process. But in age groups 65 and older, more than 80 percent are fully vaccinated.

To learn more about COVID-19 cases and watch a live recorded Q&A, click on this link.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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