Never Getting Sick Was Never Really The Point Of The Covid-19 Vaccines

Reports of people experiencing breakthrough coronavirus infections after getting vaccinated keep surfacing. It can be alarming to read headlines about more people getting sick or stories about the awful symptoms that come with it.

But these cases don’t mean the shots are a failure – it means they’re working.

When the scramble for a Covid-19 vaccine started last year, health officials were hopeful one would have even just 50% efficacy against severe disease and death, says Monica Gandhi, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of California, San Francisco. “Even a not-so-great vaccine would make a huge dent in the pandemic,” she added. Each of the three vaccines available in the US – and the three available in the UK – have performed much better than that.

“It was so astounding. And that’s what played out in the real world,” Gandhi says. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 97% of people who were hospitalised because of Covid-19 were unvaccinated; 99.5% of fatalities are among unvaccinated individuals. If you’re vaccinated, you don’t have to worry about getting very sick or dying.

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