HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Alabama Department of Public Health has been adamant about encouraging all Alabamians to get vaccinated. But the state recently released new numbers that are raising new questions.
“Breakthrough cases are considered COVID-19 cases in persons who have had both of the mRNA vaccines, either Moderna or Pfizer, and are two weeks post-vaccine, and then contract COVID again, that is considered a breakthrough,” said Dr. Karen Landers with ADPH.
This also includes those who received Johnson and Johnson vaccines and contracted COVID-19 more than two weeks after the single-dose vaccine. ADPH is reporting between 180 and 190 suspected breakthrough cases across the state so far.
“Certainly it’s a relatively small number, at the moment which is good and it’s really consistent with what CDC is saying in terms of breakthrough cases,” Landers said. “We do know that no vaccine is 100 percent effective. So we want to remind people that if you have been vaccinated, but you have symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19, please check with your health care provider about being evaluated and tested for COVID-19.”
Dr. Landers said none of the suspected breakthrough cases involve any of the virus variants.
“One thing I might point out with the breakthrough cases that we have seen so far is that persons have generally had a mild illness and a short course after the breakthrough,” she said.
ADPH said in no way does the possibility of breakthrough mean stop getting vaccinated.
Breakthroughs are a small fraction compared to the large pool of vaccinated Alabamians.
“When you look at we are well over 900,000 persons in the state of Alabama, that have been fully vaccinated, and we have currently given a well over million-plus doses of COVID-19 vaccine,” Landers said. “To see the number of extremely small cases that are breakthrough, again that’s very, very encouraging and it does show that the vaccine appears to have high efficacy.”