The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received reports of 4,115 patients with COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases who were hospitalized or died. Of those cases, 26% of hospitalizations were reported as asymptomatic or not related to COVID-19, and 19% of the 750 fatalities were reported as asymptomatic or not related to COVID-19.
The data, which includes information through June 21, is amid a backdrop of 150 million people who are fully vaccinated in the U.S. Nearly half of the breakthrough cases, or 49%, involve females, and 3,124, or 76%, occurred in patients ages 65 years and older.
Officials have long predicted vaccine breakthrough cases would be reported, as “no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people.” The agency has also warned there would be a “small percentage” of vaccinated people who get sick, require hospitalization or even die from COVID-19.
“The number of COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infections reported to CDC likely are an undercount of all SARS-CoV-2 infections among fully vaccinated persons,” the agency noted. “National surveillance relies on passive and voluntary reporting, and data might not be complete or representative. These surveillance data are a snapshot and help identify patterns and look for signals among vaccine breakthrough cases.”
The agency noted that “no unexpected patterns” have been identified in the reported breakthrough infections. It also states that vaccines remain effective and everyone ages 12 and older who have not received it should get one as soon as possible.