Some fully vaccinated people may still get sick if exposed to variants, CDC warns

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CNN Friday that the agency is tracking the...

Posted: Jun 25, 2021 3:14 PM
Updated: Jun 26, 2021 3:45 AM

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CNN Friday that the agency is tracking the Delta coronavirus variant, among others -- and warned that there is a small chance a fully vaccinated person could still get infected if they're exposed.

'Current data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States offer protection against most variants currently spreading in the United States. However, some variants might cause illness in some people even after they are fully vaccinated,' CDC spokesperson Jade Fulce told CNN in an email on Friday.

While Covid-19 vaccines are effective, Fulce said no vaccine is '100% effective at preventing illness.'

And with millions of people getting vaccinated against the virus, some who are fully vaccinated 'will still get sick if they are exposed,' Fulce said.

'However, people with breakthrough infections may get less severely ill or have a shorter illness than they would have if they had not been vaccinated.'

That's why experts are especially worried about people who have not yet gotten their Covid-19 shots.

More than 53% of the US population has received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose and more than 45% is fully vaccinated, CDC data shows.

'Please get your second shot'

As officials urge more people to get their shots, the US surgeon general warns a big obstacle stands in their way: Misinformation.

'There is so much misinformation out there about the vaccine, coming through so many channels -- a lot of it being spread on social media,' Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN's Erin Burnett. 'It's inducing a lot of fear among people.'

'Two-thirds of those who are unvaccinated in polls say that they either believe the myths about Covid-19 or think that they might be true,' he added.

Experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have estimated that 70 to 85% of people in the US will need to become immune to the virus through vaccination or infection in order to control community spread. But after initial surges, vaccination rates have now slowed across the country.

And more than 1 in 10 people who have received one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine have missed their second dose, according to data shared with CNN by the CDC.

That statistic is especially concerning to experts because studies have shown that the vaccines are much more effective against the Delta variant after the two-dose series is completed.

'Please get your second shot,' CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a Friday NPR interview. 'What we do know is you get some protection from the first shot, but really that second shot gives you breadth and depth of vaccine coverage to really be able to tackle this Delta variant and other variants as well.

'If you missed your second within the time window, get it whenever, get it now, but do get that second shot,' Walensky added.

Officials worried about unvaccinated Americans

The Delta variant is believed to be more transmissible and cause more severe disease than other strains. Murthy said he is worried for those who are unvaccinated as the variant spreads.

In Los Angeles County, the impact is already clear. Nearly all of the Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Los Angeles County are occurring among people who are unvaccinated, county health officials said Thursday.

Out of nearly 437,000 positive coronavirus cases reported in L.A. County since December 2020, 99.6% of those were among individuals who were unvaccinated, health officials said in a press release.

'The virus is still with us,' Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said at a press conference. 'Even now, we need to be careful to mask and maintain distance from people outside of our households, especially if they're not yet vaccinated.''

Missouri hospitals stretched thin

Missouri is the state with the largest proportion of the Delta variant of Covid-19 infections, according to the CDC. And hospitals in the state are feeling the stress of managing Covid-19 patients on top of their regular intake, one hospital leader told CNN's Ana Cabrera on Thursday.

'Both hospitals here in town are stretched,' said Erik Frederick, chief administrative officer at Mercy Hospital Springfield in Springfield, Missouri.

'We saw a very rapid escalation in our in-patient census starting June 1, we went from 26 to 90 in about three weeks. To go back to last year when our peak started, it took us six to seven weeks to escalate that quickly. Today to hit 97, it really took us almost two months to hit that level which we've done in under a month.'

Frederick said a return of typical hospital patients is exacerbating the issue.

'The difference between last year and this we have traditional business back we didn't have last year during the initial surge. The demand for beds is higher for both Covid and non-Covid patients. It's definitely a stretch.'

Frederick said there is also a high amount of pressure on available labor.

'The staff are right back into the mix of it, and I don't think they were fully recovered from last year,' he said.

Smell and taste come back, studies show

In a bit of good news, researchers reported Thursday that those who did not regain their sense of taste and smell when they cleared their Covid-19 infections should get them back after a year.

Studies confirm that many, if not most, Covid-19 patients say their sense of smell is affected -- a condition called anosmia or hyposmia. Because smell and taste are closely linked, many people feel their ability to taste food normally is also affected when their sense of smell is disrupted.

An ongoing experiment of about 100 people who lost their sense of smell in early 2020 showed it can take months for it to come back, but it does. Some patients didn't realize or appreciate it, however, the international team of researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association's JAMA Network Open.

'At eight months, objective olfactory assessment confirmed full recovery in 49 of 51 patients (96.1%),' they wrote. Two continued to have an abnormal sense of smell a year later -- one who couldn't smell much and another who had an abnormal smell sense.

'Our findings suggest that an additional 10% gain in recovery can be expected at 12 months, compared with studies with 6 months of follow-up that found only 85.9% of patients with recovery,' they wrote.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 482902

Reported Deaths: 9425
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33063488
Hinds31021589
DeSoto30610358
Jackson23687348
Rankin21340370
Lee14909220
Madison14166271
Jones13404227
Forrest13160240
Lauderdale11601305
Lowndes10443176
Lamar10214130
Pearl River9098221
Lafayette8241137
Hancock7514112
Washington7102150
Oktibbeha6964124
Monroe6514164
Neshoba6475201
Warren6464164
Pontotoc630393
Panola6250126
Marshall6126123
Bolivar6115144
Union574186
Pike5613136
Alcorn537290
Lincoln5303131
George471472
Scott459196
Leflore4476140
Prentiss446779
Tippah446480
Itawamba4444100
Adams4416116
Tate4394101
Simpson4335112
Wayne433066
Copiah431787
Yazoo423386
Covington415792
Sunflower4148104
Marion4099104
Leake397586
Coahoma3957100
Newton370875
Grenada3556104
Stone350860
Tishomingo336289
Attala325387
Jasper314162
Winston304691
Clay296473
Chickasaw287065
Clarke282190
Calhoun266141
Holmes262187
Smith250649
Yalobusha221047
Tallahatchie220450
Walthall211058
Greene209045
Lawrence206833
Perry199953
Amite198452
Webster196542
Noxubee178939
Montgomery172454
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162137
Tunica153334
Benton142535
Kemper138640
Choctaw127026
Claiborne126834
Humphreys126637
Franklin116728
Quitman103926
Wilkinson101936
Jefferson91333
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 784484

Reported Deaths: 13921
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1111691760
Mobile707171225
Madison49549625
Baldwin36108489
Shelby36062314
Tuscaloosa33661547
Montgomery33066676
Lee22407219
Calhoun21041405
Morgan19734334
Etowah19001459
Marshall17619274
Houston16697382
St. Clair15361303
Cullman14506257
Limestone14505187
Elmore14387260
Lauderdale13436280
Talladega12855234
DeKalb12140236
Walker10524329
Blount9649156
Autauga9642137
Jackson9325156
Coffee8793175
Dale8529172
Colbert8482182
Tallapoosa6616177
Escambia6553120
Covington6420165
Chilton6342143
Russell602455
Franklin5758101
Chambers5370133
Marion4769117
Dallas4676187
Pike460096
Clarke459878
Geneva4371116
Winston422994
Lawrence4107108
Bibb407380
Barbour343270
Marengo325683
Monroe317152
Butler316490
Randolph304456
Pickens301873
Henry300357
Hale291584
Cherokee288353
Fayette277973
Washington245148
Crenshaw237069
Cleburne231150
Clay226765
Macon218658
Lamar193342
Conecuh181346
Lowndes170758
Coosa168033
Wilcox159736
Bullock148842
Perry136336
Sumter124336
Greene120642
Choctaw73326
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While some cool mornings are again in store for the weekend, afternoons start to warm up a bit, so plan on dressing in layers if you're heading to the MSU or Bama games, because you'll need to utilize them in different ways.
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