An unwanted comeback is being made by masks in multiple parts of the country after data showed that even fully vaccinated people with Covid infections have enough of the virus in their bodies to pose a risk to the unvaccinated population.
These breakthrough infections which have become more common due to the highly contagious Delta variant do not threaten most people who have been vaccinated.
Almost all the breakthrough Covid cases that have occurred in the country are free of symptoms or are illnesses that can be taken care of from the comfort of your home.
Should Vaccinated People Be Worried About Breakthrough Infections?
Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at John Hopkins, in Baltimore, said that the fact that the breakthrough infections are mild vouches for the fact that vaccines are working. He added that vaccines are meant to drastically reduce the symptoms that could occur with an infection.
Vaccinated people are being asked to use masks to shield the ones who are not vaccinated yet so that there are enough hospital beds for everyone.
The CDC noted that the average number of people who had been hospitalized with Covid during the last week of July was far greater than the total number of people who had been hospitalized for breakthrough infection.
According to estimates of the CDC, over 7700 people on average were hospitalized every single day with Covid during that week.
In stark contrast, all hospitalizations that were reported since August have been just 7100.
The Covid vaccines that are available in the US currently have not been designed to prevent infection completely but were intended to prevent a severe illness that could require a person to be admitted to a hospital.
Fully immunized people account for lower than 5% of people hospitalized with Covid and account for just around 6% of deaths.
The primary goal of vaccination was to turn Covid into just another seasonal bug and it is working as intended for those who have been administered with both doses.
Adalja said that they have always intended to do with Covid to make it a manageable respiratory virus just like the ones we are used to dealing with normally.
He added that this is what we are accomplishing and that virtually everyone will have a breakthrough infection at some point in time, but these infections will be mild and not pose serious health concerns.
Some experts think that a breakthrough infection can even be beneficial to you as it would boost and improve your immunity against Covid.
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The illness allows the immune system to learn more about the virus and strengthen its defenses.
The reason why the CDC changed its mask recommendation had nothing to do with the fact that vaccinated people would have a breakthrough infection. The agency was simply responding to new data that suggested that people with these infections had a viral load that was almost as high as unvaccinated people.
Due to the vaccine, these people would suffer only from mild illnesses, if they did in fact suffer from any illness at all despite the huge amount of virus in their bodies.
Unfortunately, this large viral load can make it easy for them to spread Covid to unvaccinated people who are at risk of being hospitalized.
Dr. Preeti Malani, a renowned infectious disease professor, and chief health officer at the University of Michigan, said that this has caused some resentment among people who have been vaccinated as they are once again required to wear masks to protect unvaccinated people around them.