Why breakthrough COVID cases are concerning

ByStacey Sager and Eyewitness News via WABC logo
Friday, September 24, 2021
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Haley Nelson, who's fully vaccinated, didn't start feeling symptoms of COVID until the day after dinner with family and friends.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Haley Nelson, who's fully vaccinated, didn't start feeling symptoms of covid until the day after a dinner with family and friends.

Nelson's family of 4 and their some of their guests - all fully vaccinated - got breakthrough cases of covid earlier this month.

"Which is why I made Haley go get tested," said her mom, Geri Nelson. "She said, 'Oh I think it's just a cold.' You really don't know that anymore."

The cases are examples that vaccines may not protect from the Delta variant, but they are protecting us from serious illness.

In fact, the Nelsons' friends, Rhonda and Henry Michaels, were barely sick at all. Rhonda said she might not have known if Haley not gotten tested.

"I would not have gone out to be tested because my symptoms were like, having a seasonal allergy," Rhonda Michaels said.

"So, we could've been seated in a restaurant that took our temperature, we had a vaccine card, and we could have been spreading it in a restaurant, with no one knowing, including ourselves," Henry Michaels said.

That is the major concern about these breakthrough cases. The spread from the vaccinated to the un-vaccinated, who will get sicker. The doctors tell us the rate of breakthrough infections- is a moving curve with the passage of time.

"Which is why I think we need to settle on this issue of boosters, because as you get out past 6 months, that's when the rates start rising," Dr. Bruce Farber, Northwell Chief of Epidemiology, said.

"We received our vaccinations in February," Rhonda said.

Haley had her second dose at the end of April.

"It's certainly not perfect because we're vaccinating people against a virus that no longer exists. We're vaccinating people against an ancestral strain. We're now facing a delta strain," Dr. Farber said.

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