Medical

Fully vaccinated people can still get COVID-19; here’s why

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Infection is possible with the coronavirus even after being fully vaccinated.

Health experts are referring to these patients as “breakthrough cases.”

So, why is this happening?

“There is certainly a possibility that someone who has an impaired immune system or perhaps someone who is undergoing chemotherapy or may have an immune system disorder might not amount as good of a response to the vaccine,” said Dr. Paul Driscoll, medical director for Franciscan Physician Network Central Indiana.

While the number of breakthrough cases is small, Driscoll isn’t surprised. In fact, it’s something to be expected. While the vaccines are extremely effective, he says, they are not 100% effective.

The data collected so far is specific to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but could grow as more people are vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson shots.

People don’t get the maximum response until two weeks after the full vaccine dose, so it’s important people remain cautious during the two weeks after the shot and moving forward.

“You have to understand the vaccine is not a forcefield around you,” Driscoll said. “It’s still possible to spread the virus and become infected. There is a very low chance of that if you’ve been immunized. But again, we need to continue with masking and socially distancing and hand washing until we get a large proportion of the population vaccinated.”

MORE STORIES

Pixel Image