Coronavirus

4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Delta variant raising concerns, but how many fully vaccinated people get it?

Posted at 9:52 AM, Jul 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 16:48:38-04

(WSYM) — The CDC is now recommending everyone, including those who are vaccinated, wear a mask as the delta variant spreads, leading to more cases, even among those fully vaccinated.

But how many fully vaccinated Michiganders are actually ending up with the virus?

Since the first vaccines were administered, the CDC has been tracking these breakthrough cases, but starting in May, they began tracking only those who breakthrough cases that ended up in the hospital which above all, is what the vaccines aim to prevent.

“We are in the middle of an active pandemic, people think the pandemic is over it is not over,” says Dr. Matthew Sims, Director of Infectious Disease Research, Beaumont Health.

A stark reminder, as some states and cities reimplementing mask rules for the fully vaccinated due to concerns, over the delta variant.

“We do have the delta variant in more and more counties that we are identifying every week, and I am concerned that our cases are increasing and our percent of tests that are coming back positive are also increasing,” says Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive, MDHHS.

Throughout Beaumont hospitals, they continue admitting more COVID patients, the vast majority of which, are unvaccinated.

“I still have patients in the hospital every day, I still see people getting sick and we still see people dying,” says Sims.

The state health department has recorded more than 8 thousand cases among the more than 4.8 million fully vaccinated Michiganders saying that many of those, have little to no symptoms.

“Most of the cases we’re seeing are getting caught incidentally, they don't have symptoms,” says Sims.

Of those breakthrough cases, 569 patients have been hospitalized and more than 200 have died, nearly 90 percent of those deaths, come from patients 65 and older.

“I have not had a person who’s been really sick who had a normal immune system who broke through and ended up hospitalized,” says Sims.

According to a study funded by Pfizer, the efficacy of their vaccine is decreasing over time, going from 96 percent during the first two months to 84 percent, from 4 to 6 months. However, this study has not been peer-reviewed, as Pfizer pushes for a 3rd booster shot.

“At this point, I want to be very clear; people do not need to go out and get a booster shot. The decision about boosters will not be made by an individual company, will be made by the CDC and by the FDA,” says U. S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.

But in the meantime, millions of Michiganders, still haven’t received their first dose and for doctors that remains the main focus, as they prepare for what’s ahead.

“I can’t stress enough just how much delta has changed the face of this again,” says Sims.

We did reach out to some other hospitals about breakthrough cases. Henry Ford has 23 patients currently hospitalized with COVID, 2 of them are fully vaccinated.