RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) – Out of nearly 4.5 million full COVID-19 vaccines distributed statewide, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is reporting that 1,458 people still tested positive for the virus even after receiving the vaccine, as of mid-June.
The Centers for Disease Control call these COVID-19 “breakthrough” cases.
“The outbreak, at this point, is pretty much entirely happening in people who are not vaccinated,” state epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore said. “Which, I think, speaks volumes about the effectiveness of these vaccines.”
From the roughly 1,400 breakthrough cases reported, those have included 105 hospitalizations and 18 deaths.
More recently, a handful within North Carolina State’s baseball team tested positive with some of those coming among vaccinated players. It in the Wolfpack being removed from the College World Series when being just one win away from the championship series.
“No vaccine is 100 percent, but numbers that we are seeing in terms of these breakthrough cases are remarkably low,” Moore said.
He said a new variant could have a small affect someone’s protection against the virus.
“The vaccines are still effective, but there is still some decrease in protection against the Delta variant compared to some of the variants that have come before,” Moore said.
State health leaders said they are encouraged by the low numbers of breakthrough cases.
“I’d say what we’re seeing in terms of vaccine breakthrough is better than what anyone could have hoped for when vaccines were being developed.”