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Breakthrough Infections after COVID19 Vaccination

As of April 13, 77 million Americans had been fully vaccinated. On April 15, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky reported to Congress that CDC had identified 5,814 breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated individuals. Breakthrough infections are not surprising because none of the vaccines are 100% protective. The CDC noted that 29% of the infections detected were asymptomatic. It is likely that there were actually more breakthrough infections because of the difficulty identifying asymptomatic individuals.

Most breakthrough infections have been mild, but some have been more serious. Of the 5,814 infections, 396 people were hospitalized & 74 died. Of the hospitalized patients, 34 percent were hospitalized for non-COVID reasons and the remainder were COVID-related. The risk of dying from COVID19 after full vaccination was less than 1 in 1 million.

More than 40% of the infections were among adults aged 60 years and older, but this was expected, considering that adults aged 65 years and older represented 44% of fully vaccinated individuals.


Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, April 15, 2021

Johns Hopkins University Newsletter, April 16, 2021

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