Three fully vaccinated Hawaii residents contract COVID-19, report says

March 24, 2021 in News by RBN Staff


Source: PennLive

A flight crew member shares his digital information with state officials after arriving at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)AP


When people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and yet still get infected, the Department of Health refers to them as “breakthrough cases.”

According to a report by KITV4, three Hawaii residents that were fully vaccinated are now infected with COVID-19.

Doctors the ABC News affiliate spoke with said this does not come as a surprise nor should people be alarmed: the vaccine “doesn’t prevent infection but it does lower the risk of hospitalization and severe symptoms.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “current vaccines are between 66 and 95 percent effective.”

The report gave as an example, a “breakthrough” case that involved a healthcare worker, who after visiting multiple cities in the U.S. tested positive upon returning to Oahu.

The news outlet cited Dr. Melinda Ashton, chief quality officer with Hawaii Pacific Health, who says that’s an example of “why traveling may increase risk of infection.”

“Absolutely you need to be careful during those times when you’re in the airport, on the airplane, with other people in larger groups,” Ashton said.

The numbers are a clear sign vaccines offer protection.

Currently, the report stated that across the state only five people infected with coronavirus require an ICU bed, while last September, at its peak, the number was as high as 65.

KITV4 cited Dr. Julius Pham, chair of the COVID-19 committee at Queen’s Medical Center, who believes “it’s a clear sign vaccines offer protection against hospitalization.”

“We haven’t seen those type of numbers since early in the pandemic,” Pham said. “We’re still having about 50-60 cases per day in the state but our hospitalization numbers are down more than the rate of infection in the state.”

This is a common question still being asked about the vaccines.

“Are people diagnosed with COVID-19 after vaccination, more or less infectious?”

Dr. Michael Walter of the Kalihi-Palama Health Center said, “Over time, as more people get vaccinated, we have more time under our belt with this vaccine, we have a better idea of how long the protection lasts.”

Of the fully vaccinated individuals who tested positive, according to the health department, they did not become severely ill and “none are known to have transmitted the virus,” the report added.