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VACCINE TEAM | Q&A on ‘breakthrough cases,’ those with needle phobia

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 4:37 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As we continue to watch vaccines roll out across Kentucky, we are here to answer your questions.

Are there any statistics on if any new cases of COVID-19 are people who have been vaccinated?

While rare, “breakthrough cases” do happen.

In clinical trials, the approved COVID-19 vaccines were very effective in preventing COVID-19: Moderna, 94.1% effective; Pfizer, 95% effective; and Johnson & Johnson, 66.3% effective. But that’s not 100%.

In December, Kentucky State Auditor Mike Harmon tested positive for the virus shortly after he received his first dose of the vaccine. In a January interview, he said he still believes the vaccine is safe and effective.

While the exact number of “breakthrough cases” isn’t available, some states and health systems have released findings. In Michigan, 246 fully vaccinated people tested positive for COVID-19 between January and March. More than 1.7 million people in Michigan are considered fully vaccinated.

Even if you test negative for COVID-19, do you still need the vaccine?

Deciding whether to be vaccinated is a personal choice, but doctors say being vaccinated for COVID-19 offers protection for you and others.

“Our society really needs everyone to be vaccinated so that we can stop transmission. And that means the virus stops replicating. It stops mutating and making these variants that keep coming up, and we can have safe communities and start going back to normal life,” said Dr. Melanie Swift, co-chair of the Mayo Clinic COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation and Distribution Work Group “These vaccines are our quickest and safest way to get immunity so we can go back to normal life and end the pandemic.”

In clinical trials, the approved vaccines were very effective in preventing COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control also believes that getting a COVID-19 vaccine also helps keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.

Will there be a vaccine for people that are afraid of needles?

Currently, the only way to be vaccinated is through a needle, syringe and glass vial containing the vaccine.

Researchers are working on alternatives, and the race to vaccinate billions around the world from COVID-19 could speed things up.

In England, Enesi Pharma Ltd. is developing a device to implant something smaller than a grain of rice under someone’s skin.

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