There have been 5,800 known breakthrough covid infections out of 76 mill vaccinated


This news is a little scary. But it’s important to put it in perspective by understanding the percentages and that the COVID vaccines do not claim 100% effectiveness. Of the over 76M people who have been fully vaccinated, 5,800 of those people have developed breakthrough cases of COVID-19. That number amounts to 0.008% of the vaccinated population. However, this is yet another argument that even with all the strides we have made in battling the virus, precautions such as masks and social distancing are still just as important as before. Please note that the CDC, who released this information, said these percentage numbers are in keeping with the patterns of vaccine characteristics.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified around 5,800 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among people who were fully vaccinated, multiple outlets report.

Of the cases — which the CDC refers to as “breakthrough infections” — 396 developed severe COVID-19 illness that required hospitalization and 74 died from the virus, the CDC told CNN, adding that, “To date, no unexpected patterns have been identified in case demographics or vaccine characteristics.”

“Vaccine breakthrough infections were reported among all people of all ages eligible for vaccination. However, a little over 40 percent of the infections were in people 60 or more years of age,” the CDC added, per CNN.

The Wall Street Journal also reported the statistic, noting that the cases represented just a small fraction — 0.008% — of the fully vaccinated people in the country. The CDC defines fully vaccinated people as those who have received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and are two weeks past their second dose, when they should reach peak efficacy against COVID-19.

So far, 76,681,252 people — about 23 percent of the total population — have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Thursday morning, and nearly 124 million have received their first dose, according to the CDC’s COVID data tracker.

The CDC reiterated that even after getting the vaccine, people should still practice social distancing and wear masks during the ongoing pandemic.

“Vaccine breakthrough infections make up a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated,” the CDC told CNN. “CDC recommends that all eligible people get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one is available to them. CDC also continues to recommend people who have been fully vaccinated should keep taking precautions in public places, like wearing a mask, staying at least six feet apart from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and washing their hands often.”

[From People]

Even though the numbers are very low, and in keeping with vaccination patterns, it’s still scary. I’m speaking for myself, but I’m so ready to jump to doom & gloom scenarios when it comes to COVID. So I need to focus on the science of it and the expected margins of error. But I feel terrible for those poor people who thought they were out of the woods, even if there were only a handful of them. This also reinforces what the CDC and Dr. Fauci have been saying that we really need to keep up precautions even though we have been fortunate to receive the vaccine. I know that right-wingers like to claim mask mandates and advising people to stay outdoors is tyranny, but it’s because we don’t have a 100% guarantee. It’s common sense to protect yourself, not an infringement of rights.

I got my first dose! I was scheduled for the end of the month at a location about an hour away from me, but the UCLA medical center right down the street had appointments open for Wednesday and I was able to get one after work. I wore a Dolly Parton ‘vaccine sweater’ too. My jabber guy was so excited with my easy access sleeve, he pointed it out to another nurse. My 16yo just became eligible in CA yesterday too. So we are one fully-vaxxed, one half-vaxxed, one scheduled-vaxxed and one non-vaxxed – like the worst Starbucks order ever. Still, none of us are ever without a mask, we keep our distance from anyone outside our bubble and stay away from crowds.




Photo credit: Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash, Anna Shvets, Thirdman and Samson Kat on Pexels

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58 Responses to “There have been 5,800 known breakthrough covid infections out of 76 mill vaccinated”

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  1. TheOriginalMia says:

    My hairdresser & her husband caught Covid after their first doses. He was hospitalized and she rode it out at home. Took 2 weeks, but they are both recovered.

    • EM says:

      Happened to one of the women that works for me – almost exactly. Her hairdresser & her husband were vaccinated & he ended up in ICU. Several other customers also got it but I don’t know their vaccination status. Haven’t been for a haircut in over a year and will stay away for a bit longer.

  2. Lauren says:

    My understanding of the available vaccines right now has always been that you can get Covid, just that you won’t die of complications from it. The vaccines (moderna, Pfizer, j&j and astrazeneca) protect the person vaccinated from developing the lethal complications of covid and you get something like a bad cold, slight flu. So this data does not surprise me or worries me in the least. There isn’t enough data available on the russian vaccine to know of it’s effectiveness and data on one of the chinese vaccine isn’t good.

    • candy says:

      That is my understanding too – that you would get a much less severe version of the virus. I’m also curious, with these statistics, how many people had reached full immunity (two weeks after the second dose, or four weeks after J&J) and/or were given both doses according to guidelines. Lots of people proclaim they “got covid” after the vaccine, then you find out they are three days past their first dose.

  3. Sue Denim says:

    I have a friend who’s an ER doctor and she saw a serious covid case from someone fully vaccinated and through the 2-weeks after phase. It’s the only one she’s seen like that but it is a wake up call. She’s pretty sure the person’s outcome will be much better than otherwise because the vaccine also reduces the severity of covid, but yeah, it’s still out there. But hopefully much better…

    • Pixelated says:

      I will have to say….
      Most of the people I know who are fully vaccinated are out there partying like crazy. My 66 yr old MIL is in Punta Cana right now and one of my husband’s friends has been bar hopping a ton. I’m not surprised people are still getting Covid, especially with the new variants flying around.
      It’s hard to tell people what to do, especially after a long quarantine. At least they’re vaccinated but really, it doesn’t give you free license to do whatever.

      • Soni says:

        My mother and 4 of her fully vaxxed friends flew from NYC to Savanah for a long wknd, which I thought was nuts. From my small sample size it seems like the older folks are partying it up like more than the Florida Spring Break crowd!

      • candy says:

        For what it’s worth, the vaccines are expected to be effective against the current variants.

  4. Eleonor says:

    I am still waiting for the vaccine :(

    • LadyMTL says:

      Same here. I live in Quebec and my age group won’t be eligible until next month at the earliest, sigh. That said, both of my parents (diabetics in their 70′s) and my older aunt got their first doses in early March. Their second won’t be until the end of June, but still! I’m happy that at least they have some protection.

      As for breakthrough infections, I’m not surprised. The vaccine isn’t 100% effective even after two doses, and with variants now there’s another ‘plot twist’ so to speak. If I had to guess I’d say that boosters will be needed at some point, even for those who’ve had the 2 shots.

      • cdnKitty says:

        Same here, but in Ontario and the dumpster fire that is our rollout. I should be eligible when phase 2/stage 4 hits (44 but a diabetic) but who knows with the ever-shifting policy changes.

      • OriginalLala says:

        me too :( I’m in Quebec as well and they are now doing 55+, our Premier keeps saying we will all get one dose by June24th but I’m getting concerned this may not happen. I feel like those of us in our 20s and 30s are going to be at the very end of the line, even though many essential workers are in that age bracket

      • StrawberryBlonde says:

        Same. Stillll waiting. 39 healthy and live in London ON. Luckily my parents and FIL have had their first shots but I am pretty pessimistic about when DH (41, healthy) and I will get ours. I am also hoping they vaccinate daycare workers asap – my 2 yo is really missing his friends and enriched environment from daycare :( his daycare was closed temporarily on April 9 due to an outbreak. He has been home since then and I can tell he is getting frustrated. :(

    • Miss Margo says:

      Same. I’m in Toronto and only “covid hot spots 18+” are allowed to get the vaccine. But I’m not in a hotspot, just surrounded by them. Canada has no vaccines. We weren’t prepared for this. Toronto has no lie been in lockdown FOR OVER A YEAR. Longest lockdown in the world…. FML.

      • ElleV says:

        if it’s any consolation, I’m in a hot spot and I haven’t been able to get an appointment either :(

      • Guest says:

        Premier Ford is holding 1.5 million vaccines hostage. Trudeau and the Red Cross have offered to help with distribution, Ford said it was not needed. He would rather whine and blame Trudeau for his incompetence. Ford has been dropping the ball all along.

      • PDB says:

        I’m in a Toronto hot spot too and I am 1 out of 20 people I know looking for an appointment that managed to get one! SImply lucky through refreshing website. No one in these hotspots can even get one now

    • Stacey says:

      I am in Regina, SK, which has been a Covid variant hot spot, and anyone 46 and older in Regina can be vaccinated right now but across Saskatchewan, anyone 48 and up has access. Sask has done a great job of rolling out their vaccine supply. I am 48 and I received by first Pfizer shot this week.

    • BrainFog says:

      If my city keeps up its impressive speed then my age bracket is gonna get theirs in ~180 days. Y’all over there in america are so freaking lucky right now. Sucks to be stuck in europe…

  5. Aang says:

    Got my second Pfizer dose yesterday, so did my husband. My kids (20 and 22) get second dose in two weeks. We still plan to mask and distance until most people are vaccinated. Second does has given me a sore arm, headache, and fatigue. I’m so relieved and will feel even better once we are all two weeks post vaccine.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Same…got my second Weds pm. About 18 hrs later, plugged nose, bad headache, random fleeting abdominal pains and fever 101.2. I’ll take it all, assuming this means a robust immune response. I’ll happily get any recommended boosters and continue masking and distancing to help make up for the lunkheads who are too pigheaded to consider the utilitarian benefits in a global pandemic.

  6. lemonylips says:

    I have no idea when I’ll be able to get a jab. Feel like it won’t be by the end of winter. And even after that I trully believe that everyone vaccinated will still have to wear a mask for a long period of time. Keep the distance, wash hands…. I fear we are nowhere near the end with this. Until everyone gets vaccinated. I don’t think there will be as many lockdowns but I can see them happening again in the fall, depending on the vaxx strategy, indoor time etc. I am happy for those of you that got – just continue to stay cautious.

  7. Case says:

    We expected breakthroughs, but the fact that some of these people were hospitalized or died scares me a lot. It was only a small amount of people, sure, but I’m sure those people never expected to be in that position after getting vaccinated.

    That’s why I haven’t changed anything I’m doing other than seeing a couple fellow vaccinated people (outdoors, in a private setting). The community as a whole is not vaccinated enough for us to be truly protected yet. Continuing to lay low until case numbers significantly improve.

  8. Jackie says:

    My mom is one of them. She tested positive a few weeks ago and then became symptomatic a few days ago. She was in a rehab facility due an injury from a fall, so she was sent to the ER on Monday. On the way there, literally right in front of the hospital, the ambulance was T-boned and flipped on its side. She ended up with a right arm compound fracture as well as some rib fractures. Because of her respiratory status, they weren’t sure she’d even make it through surgery. She ended up needing to be put on a vent because of the Covid and they went ahead and did surgery on her arm. She’s still in ICU but was able to get off the vent yesterday. She still has a long way to go before we can breathe easy. Despite her having Covid while fully vaccinated, I’m getting my first dose tomorrow.

    • Ocho says:

      Hi Jackie. I am wishing the best for your mom — and for you and your family. That whole series of events sounds awful!

      • Jackie says:

        Thank you Ocho! She’s had it rough lately. She was actually supposed to come home right before she tested positive, but I fell and broke my ankle and had to have surgery. The rehab center has let her stay until I recover since I am her primary caretaker.

    • Aang says:

      Jackie I wish a full and speedy recovery for your mother!

    • Case says:

      I’m so sorry — best wishes to your mom!

    • Lucy2 says:

      Oh my goodness! I wish her a speedy recovery, and much better luck moving forward.

    • nicegirl says:

      Jackie, I’m praying for a full and fast recovery for your Mama. Stay safe out there.

      • Jackie says:

        Thanks for the well wishes Nice Girl. I just got a call from the hospital, because she’s in pain from the surgery along with the broken ribs, she can’t cough well enough to get anything up and there’s a possibility she may end up back on the vent today. She also has developed an abnormal heart rhythm. I can’t see her until 20 days after she first tested positive, so that won’t be until next week. I’m just hoping the worst doesn’t happen before then.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      How frightening for you both! Off the vent is a good thing- sending positive energy to you both.

      • Jackie says:

        Thank you 🦋 I’m trying to take some comfort in the stats in this post. The odds are on her side, but this is still so scary.

  9. Willow says:

    My son got covid about a week after his first shot! He only had mild symptoms for 2 days, fever and aches.
    He’s at the university so has to stay in an isolation dorm for 10 days, no visitors. They moved him there within 1 hour of notification on a Friday evening. He was a little panicked at first and we thought we might have to go get him. But, they provide all meals and supplies, including linens. University medical come check on him and the front desk is always staffed if he needs anything. I’m relieved at how organized the school is considering how crazy last year was.

  10. Featherduck says:

    My boss, 62 year old thin white man, was coughing and hacking maskless at work since April 5th. On April 8th he got vaccinated with J& J. Continued to cough and hack through this week. On monday another maskless coworker tested positive for covid. Boss has stayed home since monday this week. I am worried about him. Just wondering if anyone else has seen anything similar? What was the outcome? I have been fully vaccinated with moderna since early March. My husband has been fully vaccinated since early Feb. I am ok so far, no symptoms.

    • Lauren says:

      If you got vaccinated with moderna,pfizer, astrazeneca or j&j you’ll be fine. The vaccines don’t make you immune to covid, you can still get it, but you won’t develop the complications that make covid deadly. It’ll be a flu or bad cold. The results were a great deal of the population has been vaccinated with one of those serums are extraordinary and really promising.

    • Nana says:

      Really, it’s criminal that people are still turning up to work with any cough or other cold symptoms. I’m not familiar with US employment conditions though – do you not get any sick leave?

    • OriginalLala says:

      wow, maskless at work? I can’t believe this is still something that is happening.. at my work, those who cant work from home have to wear surgical masks inside and outside building now

      • Case says:

        My dad, who can perform his job from home no problem, was ordered back to the office June 2020. Only half the people there wear masks, it’s not enforced. And they barely do any virtual meetings — they go places in person. I can’t understand it, and I worry about him all the time.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Your boss sounds incredibly thoughtless.

      • FeatherDuk says:

        He is incredibly thoughtless and selfish. No one here wear a mask except for me. But I’m still concerned. I see he is back to work today, still maskless, still coughing. He looks quite rough. I am looking for another job, which can’t come soon enough. And to an earlier commenter, no, workers don’t have m(any) rights in this “right to work” red state.

  11. Lucy2 says:

    Tomorrow is my two week mark! I will be celebrating by seeing some friends I haven’t seen in person in forever, we are doing a social distanced outside get together, and I think all of us have had at least one if not both shots.

    I think they were originally hoping vaccines would be at least 60 or 70% effective, so that we are well over 99% right now is incredible. I feel terrible for those who have contracted it after being vaccinated though, that has to be scary and frustrating. Hopefully most of them are mild cases, and the vaccine has reduced the severity of it.

  12. Christine says:

    I don’t think a lot of people understand that the vaccine isn’t an end all, just like how you can still get the flu after a flu shot. It’s not a miracle bubble protector that makes you immune. My boss wants to start up in person meetings again soon and it’s frustrating because I know for a fact one of my co-workers is an anti-mask/anti-vaxer. He only wears a mask because he’s forced to at work.

    • Case says:

      The leader of my company recently suggested we have a big get-together this summer that involves flying to a destination. I’d sooner quit than get on a plane to gather with a bunch of coworkers this summer!

  13. Agirlandherdog says:

    Mary Mallon (Typhoid Mary) was forcibly “quarantined” (aka imprisoned) for a total of 30 years, including spending the last 20 yrs of her life on a private island, so she wouldn’t infect people. That is tyranny. Asking people to wear a mask is not tyranny.

    The human body is an incredibly complex machine. And, in my opinion, viruses have the most developed survival skills of any organism on this planet. They WILL find a way to survive. So inevitably there will be people who become sick because even though they’ve received the vaccine maybe their immune system just isn’t as good at recognizing or fighting off an infection, or maybe they’re infected with a variant the vaccine didn’t “teach” their immune system to detect. This happens with all kinds of viruses (it’s not unheard of for people to get chicken pox multiple times even though they should have immunity after one infection). This isn’t to say people should live in fear. It just means develop good healthy practices. Washing your hands often, not touching your face, wear your mask, clean surfaces often.

    If anyone is interested in learning how your immune system and vaccines work, This Podcast Will Kill You has an excellent and easy to understand explanation. (I’m not affiliated with the pod at all. I just really love science)

    • Trillion says:

      I have been recommending that Pod ALL OVER THE PLACE. It is SO SO SO GOOD! I’m a COVID nurse and have been tasked this past year with COVID related training workshops. TPWKY has been a major information source for me. Correct: this vaccine, like the flu vax, decreases the burden of disease. With COVID, this is key. For breakthrough cases, there are human error factors to consider, such as wrong dose, wrong injection site, wrong needle length, improper storage/handling, etc. I manage our COVID vaccine clinics sometimes, and it’s not unusual for me to observe vaccinators making errors that could impact efficacy.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Thanks so much for the pod rec!! Just subscribed! 😃

    • Apple Tart says:

      To be fair, Mary since she was asymptomatic and her only career she knew was cooking. Would continue to work as a cook for families. And would continually infect and kill people. She knew she shouldn’t be doing it but would not stop. They had to isolate her to protect her from other people. Or she would go right back to her old ways.

  14. GreenEyes says:

    I have a dear friend that had both her vaccinations (so did her spouse). They both contracted Covid from a grandchild (she is only 52). Now she is in an ICU on a ventilator. I have been so worried for her.
    I also get more nervous as more places and communities open up and drop mask mandates.. even though I avoid the public and only go Out for my medical appts that cannot be done via portal (I always wear a mask). I cannot get any vaccines as of yet. I have several major illnesses along with pages of allergies and that long list grows with no warning. Things I was fine with yesterday can put me In anaphylactic shock today and they cannot explain why my body has started doing this… not to mention I have an illness that has trashed my veins and arteries, leaving me
    Already prone to blood clots (why J&J was taken off the table for me before public was made known of this side affect). I lost my mom to Covid .. it did so much damage to her entire body. So Drs are extra cautious with me. I even thought about just changing vaccination anyway, but my friend has several of the illnesses I have and some not as complicated, yet she and her healthy hubby still got Covid. The times we live in right now are just so unsettling in some ways.. and for some of us in many ways. :(

  15. nicegirl says:

    Thank you for this awesome post, lady H.

  16. Amelie says:

    I got my second shot last week and next week will be my two week maximum efficiency waiting period. I am taking the train into NYC this weekend for the first time in over a year to see a friend and to go see the cherry blossoms at the Botanical Gardens in Brooklyn. I will also be taking the subway which makes me nervous because I’ve been told by my sister there are always at least a few people not wearing masks on the subways. I am also doing brunch but it is outdoor dining, I have zero plans to go inside a restaurant for the rest of the year. I definitely plan to double mask for that entire expedition. But it is so important for us to remember to not go too crazy outside of our bubbles. However, I also don’t think it’s realistic to expect people to stay home forever once vaccinated. I am not going to go nuts but I also am going to start planning very small get togethers with friends here and there.

    My parents (both vaccinated) are flying to Florida at the end of the month to see my mom’s sister… I have mixed feelings about it (I live with them) and I know everyone they are going to see is vaccinated. But my mom’s sister and her husband are not careful, even before they got vaccinated. We will see what happens when they return. I’m hoping if they are exposed to COVID (and there’s a huge chance of it since they are flying and going to Florida where the COVID situation has always been out of control) that they don’t get symptoms and that the vaccine does its job. I wish they weren’t going (or had planned at least on driving) but not much I can do about it.

  17. Kkat says:

    My two kids got their first shot on Saturday my husband and brother in law got theirs yesterday.
    I used the CVS website to make appts
    I HIGHLY recommend doing it that way.
    Especially in California.
    You want to check to see if appts are available in your area, and they add new ones around 1-3 am. They schedule next day to 4 days out.
    Like Sunday early morning I made my husband’s and Brother in laws appointment for Thursday.
    The site is easy to use, you don’t need an account just have your medical insurance card while you do it if you have insurance, but if you don’t you can still get scheduled for a shot.

    Walgreens site on the other hand sucked, and you were forced to have an account, you had to get all the way through the appointment process before you found out there was no appts. They also only had the JJ vaccine.
    I wanted us all to get one of the mrna shots since they target the proteins and will better cover new strains and variants.

    So try CVS if your trying to get appointments
    Once you get there, from check in to getting the shot for the 4 people in my family who got it in the last week, the wait time was 30 seconds to 5 minutes.
    Then you hang around 15-30 minutes after

  18. Relly says:

    My aunt is using the existence of these breakthrough cases as a reason NOT to get the vaccine … because clearly, it’s not working anyway, see?

    *beats head on wall*