Michigan reports nearly 250 positive COVID-19 cases among vaccinated people
None of the vaccines is 100% effective, so vaccinated people still have remote chance of becoming ill
LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Nearly 250 people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Michigan later tested positive for the illness, according to state health officials.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 246 people who are considered fully vaccinated tested positive for COVID-19 from Jan. 1 to March 30. That means their positive tests came more than 14 days after their final vaccine dose.
Department spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin pointed out the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are 95% and 94% effective, respectively. That means vaccinated people still have a 5% or 6% chance of contracting the illness, which are called breakthrough cases.
The 246 positive tests only account for 0.001% of the 1.7 million Michiganders who are considered fully vaccinated.
Sutfin said the COVID-19 cases involving vaccinated people are “not in excess of what might be expected with vaccines with 95% efficacy.”
Some of the 246 positive cases may be excluded if the patients tested positive for the illness within 90 days of receiving their vaccine. Sutfin said local health departments are following up with the patients to investigate their illnesses.
Records for only 117 of the 246 vaccinated COVID-19 patients were completed in a state database by Tuesday. Only 11 of those 117 patients were hospitalized for COVID-19 illnesses while 103 were not hospitalized and three were unknown.
Sutfin said the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is aware of only three deaths of people fully vaccinated for COVID-19. All three were people age 65 or older and two of them occurred within three weeks of completing their vaccinations.
Sutfin pointed out the proportion of fully vaccinated COVID-19 patients who experienced symptoms of the illness, were hospitalized or died remain much lower than the proportions of the unvaccinated population who see those effects.
“Studies indicate that even if vaccinated people do become ill, they are far less likely to experience severe illness requiring hospitalization or resulting in death,” she said.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention is creating a website to provide national statistics on COVID-19 illnesses involving the vaccinated population, which is expected to launch later this spring.
“While the majority of the population develops full immunity within 14 days of completion of their vaccine series, a small proportion appear to take longer to mount a full antibody response,” Sutfin said. “CDC is actively working to better understand the risk characteristics of this group.”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services advises everyone fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to continue wearing face coverings in public, practicing social distancing and washing hands often to prevent spreading the illness until the state reaches herd immunity.
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