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COVID Breakthrough Infections

by Amy Monk, Montgomery County FCS Agent/Staff Chair

Breakthrough Infections: What’s up with that?!

The recent surge of COVID infections has caused many to wonder if the vaccine has done its job. After all, many of us know of folks who have been vaccinated but have tested positive for the virus infection. So, what’s up with that?! 

These are called “breakthrough infections” and are becoming more common as the Delta variant surges. The good news is that the vaccine is proving effective in reducing severe symptoms, including hospitalizations and deaths. The vaccine has been shown to be 79% effective against symptomatic infection and 96% effective against hospitalizations related to the Delta variant. 

So, it’s the unvaccinated that are at the greatest risk of complications from the Delta variant. In June, the Arkansas Department of Health found that 91% of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths were among unvaccinated individuals. The numbers for July reflect similar data, with 88% of cases and hospitalizations and 85% of deaths being among the unvaccinated.

How contagious is the Delta variant?

The Delta variant is highly contagious, even more so than the common cold, the flu, or even chickenpox.  New evidence suggests that the Delta variant can be spread by vaccinated people. But the highest spread of cases and severe outcomes is happening in places with low vaccination rates, and virtually all hospitalizations and deaths have been among the unvaccinated.

View vaccination rates in your county

Hopefully this information will encourage you to get vaccinated. Remember, no vaccine is 100% effective but this one is proving to be a really good thing and that’s what’s up!

View our COVID-19 vaccine FAQ page for more information.


Misinformation & Disinformation by Dr. Bryan Mader 

Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People | CDC 

5 Things To Know About the Delta Variant > News > Yale Medicine