Covid USA: Only two ‘breakthrough’ infections found in 417 fully vaccinated people in a New York study
Study Finds Just Two ‘Breakthrough’ Covid Infections in 417 Fully Vaccinated People at New York City University
- Researchers looked at 417 employees at Rockefeller University in New York City who received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine
- Only two people, 0.5%, tested positive more than two weeks after receiving their last dose in so-called ‘breakthrough cases’
- One case had the E484K mutation, first identified in the South African and Brazilian variants, and the other the S477N mutation, seen in the NYC variant.
- The patients, who were both women, had mild infections and recovered easily
- Experts say data shows vaccines are effective, but mutations can bypass immune system antibody response
Less than one percent of people at a New York City school who were fully immunized with the COVID-19 vaccine tested positive for the coronavirus, a new study finds.
These so-called “ breakthrough cases ” occur when people test positive for the virus at least 14 days after receiving their last dose of the vaccine, which is not surprising, officials say.
Researchers found that only two people – or 0.5 percent – of the 417 Rockefeller University employees who received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines later contracted the virus.
Both patients had mild infections and recovered easily.
The data shows how well the vaccines work in real life and suggests that it is very rare to get sick with COVID-19 after full vaccination.
Only two of the 417 employees at Rockefeller University in New York City who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 later tested positive for the virus. Pictured: Maritza Nieves (right) being tested for antibodies to coronavirus in Santa Fe Springs, California, April 21
One case had the E484K mutation (center), first identified in the South African and Brazilian variants, and the other the S477N mutation (right), seen in the NYC variant
Experts have warned that breakthrough cases will continue to occur as tens of millions of people across the country are vaccinated.
In clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95 percent effective in preventing symptomatic disease and the Moderna vaccine was 94.5 percent effective,
Meanwhile, field data showed that the Pfizer shot was 91 percent effective against all diseases for at least six months, and the Moderna vaccine was 90 percent effective.
This means that fully vaccinated people are between 90 and 95 percent less likely to develop COVID-19 than unvaccinated people.
‘We have characterized bona fide examples of vaccine breakthroughs as clinical signs,’ the authors of the new study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, wrote.
“These observations in no way undermine the importance of the urgent efforts being made at the federal and state levels to vaccinate the American population.”
The two people vaccinated were both women, both of whom had mild cases and recovered easily.
Experts say the data shows vaccines are effective, but mutations can bypass the immune system’s antibody response (seen in patient 1)
The first case was a 51-year-old who received her second dose of the Moderna vaccine on February 19. Just 19 days later, she tested positive for the coronavirus.
The second case was a 65-year-old woman who received her second dose of Pfizer vaccine on February 9.
Three weeks later, on March 3, her unvaccinated partner tested positive, while the woman herself tested positive on March 17.
Genome sequencing results showed that coronavirus variants caused the breakthrough infections instead of the original virus.
Samples from the first patient showed the E484K mutation, first identified in the South African and Brazilian variants.
Studies have shown that this mutation more easily escapes vaccines and reduces the effects of antibody neutralization,
Meanwhile, the second patient was found to have the S477N mutation, which is most common in the domestically developed New York City variant.
It comes just a week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that less than 0.01 percent of Americans had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and later contracted the disease.
“ About 5,800 breakthrough cases have been reported to the CDC so far, ” wrote the federal health agency CNN in an email.
“To date, no unexpected patterns have been identified in the demographics or vaccine characteristics of the case.”
The CDC also told CNN that seven percent of those 5,800 cases – or 396 people – were later hospitalized and 74 of them died from COVID-19.