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In partnership with The Fresh Toast

Breakthrough COVID-19 is causing a lot of stress for people who are inoculated. Here’s what these infections have in common in people who have the Pfizer vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines have curbed the pandemic, being the only measure capable of enforcing some control. While the initial months of the year were marked by a sharp decline of COVID-19 cases, this hasn’t been the case over the last couple of weeks, with new variants in circulation and groups of people who have yet to be inoculated. Then there’s breakthrough COVID-19.

According to the CDC, breakthrough COVID-19 cases refer to any instance where someone gets COVID-19 two weeks after receiving their final COVID-19 shot. A lot is unknown about these infections, but new research has found a trend in over 40% of breakthrough COVID-19 cases in people inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine.

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Photo by Mat Napo via Unsplash

The study, published in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection, followed 152 participants that had been inoculated with Pfizer and had tested positive for COVID-19. The study concluded that 40% of these patients were immunosuppressed, including people who were going through chemotherapy, recipients of organ transplants, and more.

A deeper dive into the study showed that people with comorbidities made up a significant sample of infections. Seventy-one percent of patients had hypertension, 48% had diabetes, 27% had heart failure, etc. Only 6% of patients with breakthrough infections had no comorbidities.

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“We found that severe COVID-19 infection, associated with a high mortality rate, might develop in a minority of fully-vaccinated individuals with multiple comorbidities. Our patients had a higher rate of comorbidities and immunosuppression compared to previously reported non-vaccinated hospitalized COVID-19 patients,” said the study’s authors.

Despite this seemingly alarming data for people who are immunosuppressed, breakthrough COVID-19 infections remain very low. The real risk lies in people who are unvaccinated, who continue to make up the majority of COVID-19 infections and deaths that are making the news now. These deaths and infections are preventable; people just need to go and get their shots.

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