Why Are Vaccinated People Still Getting COVID-19?

Photo courtesy of fda.gov

COVID-19 cases are beginning to rise again as more potent and contagious variants emerge throughout the county. In Texas, doctors are seeing more patients becoming hospitalized due to the virus, but most of them have not received the vaccine.  

“The vast majority of people that we are seeing that are getting covid are unvaccinated,” said Dallas County Medical Society President Dr. Beth Kassanoff-Piper.  

She gave an estimated 99 percent to 1 percent ratio of vaccinated to unvaccinated who were getting COVID in the Dallas area. Even with that the higher percentage of people being vaccinated, Dallas is seeing lower rates of vaccinations across the county, which is not helping in stopping the spread of the Delta variant.  

Even those that are vaccinated are at risk of getting sick because the vaccines do not protect 100 percent from COVID. What they do though is stop the inhabitant of the illness from getting sick to the point where they would need to be hospitalized and need oxygen. Vaccinated individuals feel symptoms like a cold and are not nearly in dire shape versus someone who has not gotten the vaccine yet.  

“What we’re finding with the Delta variant, which is that newest variant, is that really people have to have completed their series of vaccines to be protected against it,“ said Kassanoff-Piper. 

She is urging people to complete the series of vaccines to be better protected, as well as people to get the vaccine altogether if they haven’t gotten any yet. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have been statistically shown to be the better choice for preventing COVID. However, if two shots are what is making someone hesitant, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine still provides adequate protection compared to not getting one at all.  

New lockdowns and mandates could be coming if the public is not proactive in preventing the spread of the Delta variant. That is the only way to lessen its effect on the community.  

“At this point, we are just depending on the public to do the right thing,” Kassonoff-Piper said.  

She continues, saying, “The biggest thing is to stay home if you have any symptoms at all that could be COVID. This new variant has a little bit different symptom profile than the original did. The people with this at the beginning feel very much just like a cold, runny nose, that kind of stuff. Not really the deep cough nor are we seeing that loss of smell that we saw originally. So, if you have any of those symptoms, you need to stay home and get a test, whether or not you are vaccinated.” 

Dr.Kassanoff-Piper says Texas has a low vaccination rate, which is resulting in a lot of people throughout the community being left unprotected from getting seriously ill. The Delta variant is responsible for nearly 80 percent of those who must be hospitalized, and most are unvaccinated.  

“This phase of COVID is preventable, you know, and if people will get vaccinated, we can really cut this off. We are not going to make COVID go away completely, but we can really, the fewer people that get COVID, the fewer of these new variants will occur and, you know the less of a problem it will be going forward.” 

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