Why do breakthrough cases of COVID-19 keep happening, and can they be spread?

Breakthrough cases happen when a vaccinated person comes down with the COVID-19 virus.

Most often symptoms are mild and hospitalization and death are avoided.

Research appears to show that the risk of someone with a breakthrough case spreading the virus is low, and most times an outbreak of breakthrough cases occur, there was always an unvaccinated person involved.


Ross Kedl, an immunologist at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, explained that a vaccinated person already has antibodies that work to coat the virus, slowing it from spreading and being transmitted to others.

Delta’s high rate of transmission also has a hand in the spread.

Amesh Adalja, a doctor and infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told Roll Call that everyone will likely catch COVID because it’s an endemic respiratory virus.

They key is to become vaccinated, so when that happens the risk of severe illness is lowered.


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