Delta is vastly more contagious, so as it is spreading among the unvaccinated there is spillover into the vaccinated population. The unvaccinated are a big highway of transmission. The vaccinated are a little side street. — Dr. William Schaffner, professor of infectious disease at Vanderbilt
Delta is vastly more contagious, so as it is spreading among the unvaccinated there is spillover into the vaccinated population. The unvaccinated are a big highway of transmission. The vaccinated are a little side street. — Dr. William Schaffner, professor of infectious disease at Vanderbilt

If you get infected and breathe virus out, it will get trapped by your mask. These viruses don’t have pairs of scissors that can cut through masks. — Dr. John Moore, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell
If you get infected and breathe virus out, it will get trapped by your mask. These viruses don’t have pairs of scissors that can cut through masks. — Dr. John Moore, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell

Breakthrough Covid Cases: Uncommon and Often Mild, but Not Always
Public health experts continue to believe that breakthrough infections are relatively uncommon, and rarely result in severe illness or hospitalizations. The vaccines available in the United States offer powerful protection from serious Covid illness, hospitalization and death. A recent analysis of state-reported data from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that more than nine in 10 Covid-19 cases that resulted in hospitalization and death occurred among people who were not fully vaccinated.

“We always anticipated that there would be some breakthrough infections because the vaccines at their very best were 95 percent effective,” said Dr. William Schaffner, professor of infectious disease at Vanderbilt. “The vaccines were designed to prevent severe illness, and they’re spectacularly successful at that.”

But as the more transmissible Delta variant becomes dominant in the United States, rising numbers of breakthrough cases are being reported, although most are mild.

“Delta is vastly more contagious, so as it is spreading among the unvaccinated there is spillover into the vaccinated population,” Dr. Schaffner said. “The unvaccinated are a big highway of transmission. The vaccinated are a little side street.”


Because people infected with the Delta variant have far more of the virus in their nose and upper respiratory tract, the importance of mask-wearing has become paramount. After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shifted its guidance on masking, recommending that vaccinated people in hot-spot areas resume wearing masks in public indoor spaces, millions of Americans who are fully immunized struggled to adjust their expectations for autumn months that had seemed to offer some semblance of festivity. And a small subset of Americans has already seen their routines upended by breakthrough infections.

... For some, breakthrough infections have felt like mild allergies, coming with symptoms including a cough, sniffles and a scratchy throat. Others have had more severe cases, where they are bedridden with body aches, fevers and chills. And still others have had some of the telltale signs of Covid such as loss of taste and smell, “Covid rash” and brain fog.

... As many Americans begin the familiar exercise of questioning and calling off plans, scientists are stressing the continued importance of mask-wearing to reduce transmission and infection.

“If you get infected and breathe virus out, it will get trapped by your mask,” said Dr. John Moore, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell. “These viruses don’t have pairs of scissors that can cut through masks.”
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/26/health/covid-breakthrough-infection.html