The Brightside of COVID Vaccine Breakthroughs

Image by Wilfried Pohnke from Pixabay

Last month there was a COVID-19 outbreak among the New York Yankees, despite the fact that the players and coaches had been vaccinated. The publicity over this high-profile case had many people questioning the efficacy of vaccines, but health officials with the CDC say these “breakthrough” cases are actually proof that the COVID vaccines work. Of the nine people in the Yankees organization who tested positive, seven were completely asymptomatic and two had very mild symptoms.

A CNBC report says breakthrough cases of COVID-19 are extremely rare. It cites a CDC study from late April that found out of 95 million vaccinated people there were only 9,245 breakthrough infections. It defines a breakthrough infection as detection of COVID-19 in a person 14 days or more after he/she completed all recommended doses of the vaccine. 

While there have been isolated cases of breakthrough infections, officials say that should not deter you from getting vaccinated. In fact, it sends a stronger message about the importance of getting vaccinated. That’s because most of these cases are asymptomatic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, told Face the Nation that with breakthrough infections people are “almost always” asymptomatic and “the level of virus is so low, it makes it extremely unlikely, not impossible, but very, very low likelihood that they are going to transmit it.” 

This reinforces the message that getting vaccinated not only protects you but those around you. While the CDC has said vaccinated people can pretty much return to a pre-pandemic lifestyle – going out without a mask and gathering with others – children and the immunocompromised are still at risk of contracting COVID-19. Vaccination is the quickest path to the entire country returning to normal.

The Seniors Trust is committed to improving the lives of seniors. We work to improve Social Security – but we also want to point out important information about COVID-19 and the vaccines.

We urge Congress to pass the Social Security Expansion Act. This landmark piece of legislation will provide bigger monthly Social Security benefits, establish a more realistic cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for seniors, and guarantee the long-term solvency of the Social Security program. 

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