With millions of people in Los Angeles County now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, public health officials said Thursday evidence is becoming clearer that the shots provide exceptional protection against sickness and death from the virus.
Data on “breakthrough cases,” or people who test positive for coronavirus despite being vaccinated, shows that only 0.00036% of fully vaccinated people went on to die from the virus, Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director, said in a news briefing.
Of the nearly 3.3 million fully vaccinated people included in the data, 12 contracted COVID-19 and died, and four of them had severely weakened immune systems, Ferrer said.
“We do already know that people with weak immune systems may not generate adequate protection in response to the vaccine,” she said. “So this finding is a signal to us that people whose immune systems are suppressed may need to continue to take additional steps to protect themselves in seasons and in situations where COVID and other respiratory viruses are spreading more easily.”
A total of 933 people, or about .03%, tested positive for the virus after being fully vaccinated. And 71 of them, or .002%, were hospitalized for those infections, according to the data.
“These numbers show that the vaccine is working extraordinarily well to prevent infection, illness and death in almost everyone vaccinated,” Ferrer said.
She added that the positive tests include those who are asymptomatic with no known exposure, and who are required to test for work or to receive medical care. There’s also likely to be people who received a false positive test result.
Ferrer cited another study done at a hospital in Houston, Texas, that showed 170 of about 23,000 fully vaccinated people were hospitalized with COVID, while 1,700 of about 64,000 unvaccinated people were hospitalized. That’s 0.7% versus 2.7% and yields a vaccine effectiveness rate of about 99%, she said.
NOTE – Flip these numbers and look at it this way: 99.3% of vaccinated people are disease-free, while 97.3% of UNVACCINATED people are disease-free. That is 99 versus 97. What risks are you willing to take, in order to be in the 99 group instead of the 97 group?