Health officials continue push for more vaccinations, reassuring effectiveness despite breakthrough cases

Posted at 6:51 AM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 06:51:09-04

CLEVELAND — On Wednesday, Ohio reported 4,600 cases. The report is well above the state’s 21-day average of 2,700 and delta variant remains the dominant COVID-19 strain.

As more breakthrough cases are being reported, health officials are reminding people the vaccines are working to help fight off serious illness.

What tells us whether the vaccines are doing what they're designed to do is whether we are seeing severe cases of hospitalization and death,” said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of Ohio Department of Health during a press conference earlier this month.

Still, Vanderhoff warned the vaccines are not 100%. There is still a chance of getting COVID-19 and experiencing mild symptoms.

Once the virus gets there, though, these vaccines have done a very good job of preparing your immune system to recognize that the enemy is there, to mobilize the troops, to move in and take care of it,” he explained.

Children, regardless if they're healthy, remain at risk of COVID-19. Specifically those 12 and younger who can't get a vaccine yet. Doctors say it's another reason why getting vaccinated is important. Even with the breakthrough cases, the vaccine can help stop the spread of the virus to others. For healthy individuals, doctors say vaccines offer about a 60 to 70% protection.

“Even in those cases of breakthrough infection, it appears that vaccinated individuals shed virus for only a few days compared to the week or two weeks of that an unvaccinated person,” said Dr. Amy Edwards, pediatric infectious disease specialist at University Hospitals.

But if you are vaccinated and test positive, you don't have to quarantine as long.

“It would be a very simple thing for me to mask, for instance, for those three or four days here at home to protect my kids as opposed to like the 10 or 14 days that you have the distance if you're unvaccinated,”Edwards said.