A vaccine protects you from severe illness, hospitalization, and death. But it is not a protective shield against the COVID 19 virus.
15 vaccinated persons get breakthrough infections during a wedding. July 4th celebrations in Washington D.C. spread the virus to numerous other places in the region. Most of the carriers were fully vaccinated.
Delta variant is spreading at a record pace all over the country. The virus is not leaving even fully vaccinated persons. There are numerous such reports from across the nation. From politicians to athletes, no one is exempt from this ravage.
Breakthrough Infections Happen To Vaccinated People, The Reason?
According to experts, the following situations fuel this surge:
- Slow pace of vaccination
- The highly transmissible nature of the virus
- The absence of almost all safety precautions
All these are causing the surge in infections, hospitalizations and even deaths. The Delta variant is responsible for up to 83% of the infections in the nation.
The trend is definitely a cause of concern. Still, breakthrough infections, according to experts, are rare. The same is the situation with regard to severe illness, hospitalization and death. Almost 97% of the hospitalizations are now happening among the unvaccinated people. The underlying message, at this instance, is that if you are vaccinated, you are safe. You are not going to end up in a hospital or die.
Health experts warn against viewing breakthrough infections as a failure of vaccines. They definitely do their job, prevent severe illness.
When a vaccinated person gets infected, he, most likely, will not display any symptoms. If at all symptoms appear, they are going to be mild to moderate. This may surprise the Americans. According to them, the vaccine is a protective shield against COVID 19 infection.
Breakthrough infections will happen. Vaccinated people too may become spreaders. The situation has prompted certain scientists to recommend wearing masks even for fully vaccinated people. CDC, however, has relaxed its guidelines in this regard. It does not recommend masks for fully vaccinated persons. And it has no plan to change its recommendation in the near future. But it allows authorities States to frame policies as required. For instance, wearing masks indoors is a must in the counties like Los Angeles.
Scientists quote a general scenario to quell anxiety in this time of uncertainty. A seat belt keeps you safe. But that does not mean that you can violate traffic rules.
Experts are still learning about the current Delta variant. It transmits in the same way as its predecessors. But it is 1000 times more contagious than them. This brings one thing to light. An infected person will have thousands of viruses in him. Quite naturally, he becomes a super spreader. This, however, does not mean that the Delta variant makes a person severely ill. It is just the ability to transmit that matters most.
Dose too matters a lot. For instance, if a fully vaccinated person is exposed to a low dose of the virus, he may not catch the infection. But a higher dose may adversely affect his immune system. And he may get infected. The situation becomes worse as transmission in communities gets higher. This creates a situation where the rate of infection grows higher both indoors and outdoors.
What concerns most scientists at present is the stalled rate of vaccination in the country. This gives the virus enough time to mutate and spread.
Unvaccinated people, for most people, ignore precautions. And that is the reason for the current surge of the virus, say health officials. During this pandemic, each person’s behavior affects the other.
In a general scenario, a vaccinated person is safe even if he gets a breakthrough infection. But there also exists the possibility of people getting infected and suffering from long COVID. This is what confuses both the health experts and scientists alike.