ND Department of Health discusses COVID-19 breakthrough cases

"We will have breakthrough cases, it's inevitable and no vaccine is perfect."

NORTH DAKOTA (KVRR) — The North Dakota Department of Health is discussing breakthrough and reinfection data concerning COVID-19.

As more people receive their vaccines against COVID-19 some who are fully vaccinated are testing positive for the virus. Health officials are calling those breakthrough cases.

“A breakthrough case is an individual that tests positive for COVID-19 after they are fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated is someone who’s completed a primary vaccination. So, that would be two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Jansen vaccine and then two weeks after that,” North Dakota Department of Health Immunization Program Manager Molly Howell said.

Howell says given the vaccines are not 100 percent effective, some patients could be vulnerable.

“We will have breakthrough cases, it’s inevitable and no vaccine is perfect. However, they will significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19 disease, hospitalizations, and death. We also know that breakthrough cases are more common in older, potentially ill North Dakotans and with that information we really need to make that decisions that were going to get vaccinated to protect shoe most at risk in out community,” said Howell.

Other health officials say whether or not infection occurs, being vaccinated against the virus still offers far better protection against the virus.

“If you had not had prior infection and aren’t vaccinated to get immunity, taking your chance with the virus is a much worse proposition than the vaccine. You will take your chances with log covid you will take your chances with hospitalization and you’ll take your chances with death,” NDSU Professor of Practice and Medical Director, Dr. Paul Carson said.

Carson says even one dose has proven antibody protection helping keep the reinfections low.

“People have had previous infections even with one does of the vaccine amounts to an outstanding antibody response. If people are very nervous or hesitant about the vaccine I encourage them to take at least one dose, you will be among the golden elite in antibody levels,” said Carson.

Categories: Coronavirus-ND, Health, Local News, North Dakota News