breakthrough cases

Studies Show COVID Vaccines Are Working

Out of the more than 800,000 fully vaccinated people in San Diego County, only 203 people contracted COVID

NBC Universal, Inc.

Real-life data show the vaccines against COVID-19 are working to protect people from the virus. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so-called breakthrough cases represent less than 1% of fully vaccinated people.

Here in San Diego County, out of more than 800,000 fully vaccinated residents, just 203 people contracted the virus after getting the vaccine.  

“We expect to see those numbers," said the county’s deputy public health officer, Dr. Eric McDonald. "They are very, very low and emphasize how good the vaccines work.“

“We knew -- and we felt confident and we felt excitement -- that the vaccines were going to be game-changers when clinical trial data came out, but then it's like, 'What does this look like in real life?' ” Dr. Shira Abeles, the lead medical director for UCSD’S vaccine effort, told NBC 7. "In real life, there are large groups of people, pregnant people, immune-compromised people, who were not necessarily included in the trial. What does efficacy look like in real life, outside clinical trials, and amid surges of the virus?"

It is not 100% but it offers great protection, Abeles said. 

“All this is extremely exciting and very encouraging, and promotes hope and the desire to get this vaccine out as quickly as possible to as many people as possible,” Abeles said.

Abeles also said, however, that people still need to be cautious.

“We're not at the point where everybody's, 'Let’s have a party,' because of all these moving targets and because there is such a huge percentage of people who have not been vaccinated," Abeles said.

Abeles said more people need to be vaccinated so there can be herd immunity.

“We don't know if you can pass it, but certainly we need to maintain precautions until we have the herd protected so we can protect the most vulnerable," Abeles said.

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