UVA Health doctor explains reasons behind breakthrough COVID-19 cases

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 3:25 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Even though more than 55% of people in the Blue Ridge Health District are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a doctor with University of Virginia Health says breakthrough cases are still possible.

The good news is health experts say that most vaccinated people who catch COVID-19 will only experience mild symptoms. However, they say the recent bump in cases is due to the unvaccinated.

Vaccinated people can and are contracting COVID-19: “What we’re seeing is COVID asymptomatic infections or some very mild infections in people who are fully vaccinated often in places where there is less vaccines that have been given to the general population,” Dr. Costi Sifri said.

Sifri says vaccines are highly effective, but not foolproof, especially in areas where a lot of people are not vaccinated.

While coronavirus cases in the Blue Ridge Health District remain low, they are currently increasing in the area and in other parts of Virginia.

“This is an epidemic right now, a fourth wave of disease in the unvaccinated. This is the time to prevent the surge that we were concerned about. We thought may occur in the fall or winter and in some areas of the country this is a summer surge. It risks involving all of us if we don’t get vaccinated,” Sifri said.

The percent positivity rate was under 1% about a month ago. Wednesday, July 21, BRHD recorded it at 2.4%. Sifri says this is another reason to get vaccinated.

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