NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is seeing an increase in the number of “vaccine breakthrough” cases related to the recent increase in overall cases statewide.

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Current reporting shows a recent 43% increase in the number of breakthrough cases. The increase in the number of breakthrough cases is related to the increase in the number of total cases statewide. From January 17, 2021 – January 1, 2022, there have been 123,365 vaccine breakthrough cases identified in Washington State. While the majority of individuals with confirmed vaccine breakthrough experienced only mild or no symptoms, at least 3% were hospitalized.

To date, more than 4.8 million people in Washington state are up to date on their vaccines. The breakthrough cases represent a small portion, about 2.5% of the vaccinated population.

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“If you are already vaccinated, getting a booster dose of vaccine is the best way to decrease your chance of getting a breakthrough infection,” said Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett, MD, MPH, Chief Science Officer. “Even without a booster dose, those who are vaccinated are less likely to become very ill and need hospitalization, and a booster dose decreases the risk even more.”

Large-scale clinical studies have found that COVID-19 vaccines prevented most people from serious illness and hospitalization. This means a very small number of fully vaccinated people will still become infected with COVID-19. Scientists note that breakthroughs are expected with any vaccine.