DOH confirms cases of fully-vaccinated people contracting COVID-19

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Health says they have confirmed cases of fully vaccinated people testing positive for COVID-19—which health experts call cases of “vaccine breakthrough.”

First and foremost, DOH notes that breakthrough can happen with any vaccine.

COVID vaccines reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus by up to 95% compared to people who have not received the vaccine, but they are not 100% effective in preventing infection.

“It is important to remember that every vaccine on the market right now prevents severe disease and death in most cases,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah. “People should still get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible, and encourage friends, loved ones, and co-workers to do the same.”

According to DOH, out of 1 million fully vaccinated people in Washington, they have detected 102 breakthrough cases, which equates to .01% of all vaccinated people. These cases have been identified in 18 counties, and two people — both over 80 years of age — have died after being hospitalized from a breakthrough COVID infection.

“Finding evidence of vaccine breakthrough cases reminds us that, even if you have been vaccinated, you still need to wear a mask, practice socially distancing, and wash your hands to prevent spreading COVID-19 to others who have not been vaccinated,” said Shah.