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Concerns rising in PA as COVID-19 ‘breakthrough cases’ among the fully vaccinated are on the rise

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EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — More “breakthrough cases” of COVID-19 are being reported throughout the commonwealth. Those cases are among fully vaccinated people.

In the past month, around 74 percent of the nearly 5,000 hospitalizations for COVID-related issues within the state of Pennsylvania, were among those who are unvaccinated.

Meanwhile, increasing breakthrough cases, which are positive cases among the fully vaccinated are causing concerns.

“There is waning immunity after six months if you happen to have the Pfizer vaccine, especially with the delta variant. Number two is, there could also be false-positive test results, which is also happening pretty frequently. Number three is, of course, you are going to get breakthrough infections depending on the wider population when someone gets exposed too,” explained Dr. Rutul Dalal, Chair, UPMC Infection Prevention & Patrol.

Doctors have compared it to wearing seatbelts. As the number of people wearing seatbelts increased, the number of car crashes involving people with seatbelts went up.

However, the fatality rate from car crashes dropped. This is the same with the coronavirus. Health experts say your chances of dying from COVID-19 drop significantly after you are fully vaccinated.

“So there are 10% of individuals that are breakthrough infections. But again, no vaccine is 100% perfect. So we are going to see some breakthrough infections. But, the premise was that the vaccine would prevent severe infections, being out on a breathing machine, or dying from it. So, the purpose of the vaccine is serving its purpose in the Northeastern and Central PA region,” Dr. Dalal said.

The only people eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster shot, as of now, are people who received their Pfizer vaccine over six months ago, are either 65 years or older, adults working in long-term care facilities, adults who have underlying medical conditions or adults who live or work in high-risk settings.

Medical experts advise anyone who is nervous about the protection from the COVID-19 vaccine to talk to their health care provider.

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