Out Of 75 Million Fully Vaccinated Americans, 5,800 Got COVI
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More than one in five Americans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But vaccinated people can still get the coronavirus, though infections are exceedingly rare and typically quite mild. Of the 75 million people across the US who were fully vaccinated as of April 13, some 5,800 had still tested positive for COVID-19, in what's known as a breakthrough infection, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 400 of the 5,800 people with breakthrough infections required hospitalization. 74, or 1.3%, died from the disease. Vaccination is not a one-and-done way to end the pandemic. Wearing masks and social distancing remains critically important.

~ 'The vaccine is working as expected'

These breakthrough infections are to be expected and are in line with how other vaccines work, the CDC said. "We expect thousands of vaccine breakthrough cases will occur even though the vaccine is working as expected," the statement said.

"With the number of breakthrough cases, I think the important thing is to look at what the denominator of vaccinated people is," Dr. Anthony Fauci says. Breakthrough infections have occurred in about 0.008% of the people who've had their COVID-19 shot. Fatal breakthrough cases have been very rare.

"It's important to know that even if someone is vaccinated and then goes on to be one of the few unfortunate people to develop a breakthrough case, there still can be some level of protection provided by the vaccine," Kris Ehresmann, the department's infectious-disease director, said during a briefing in March. The breakthrough rate of infections in Minnesota at that time was about 0.01%.

The new figures from the CDC also suggest that the authorized COVID-19 vaccines are nearly perfect at preventing death. With 74 fatalities in 75 million people fully vaccinated, the vaccines appeared to be 99.99% effective. The CDC said it created a nationwide "vaccine breakthrough database" for state health departments to help the federal government monitor cases.

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