Los Angeles Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer announced the Covid-19 breakthrough infection cases today (August 19).
- In March 2021, when Americans first began hearing about the Delta variant of Covid-19, breakthrough infections among fully-vaccinated Angelenos accounted for just 2% of that month’s case total.
- By June, when Delta accounted for 50% of all variants in Los Angeles, breakthrough infections among fully-vaccinated residents had risen to 20% of all identified cases.
- In late July, county officials reported that the Delta variant had overwhelmed all others, accounting for more than 90% of all positive tests analyzed for variants. As a result, the ratio of breakthrough cases increased to 30%, local health officials announced today.
Ferrer noted that the percentages of fully-vaccinated Angelenos being infected and hospitalized have also been rising over the past three months.
- Fully-vaccinated people represented only 5% of L.A.’s hospitalized Covid patients in April.
- By July, that number had risen to 13%.
Of the fully-vaccinated county residents as of Tuesday, 27,331 have tested positive. Of which, 742 were hospitalized and 68 have died.
Ferrer also said: “We may be starting to see a little bit of the waning of protection (provided by vaccines), particularly among older people.” Ferrer cited the example of early-adopter Israel, which has 60% of its population fully-vaccinated but seems to be seeing decreasing protection from vaccines. The country has recently begun a round of booster shots.
“I share the concern,” said Ferrer about the increasing number of hospitalizations among vaccinated people, “but I also think the number is so much lower (than it could have been).”
Rise in breakthrough infections among the vaccinated in 7 states
Preliminary data from seven states suggests that breakthrough COVID-19 infections among vaccinated people may be on the rise due to the more contagious Delta variant.
Breakthrough cases accounted for about 1 in 5 newly diagnosed cases in six of the states, according to The New York Times. Hospitalizations and deaths among vaccinated people may be higher than previously thought as well.
“Remember when the early vaccine studies came out, it was like nobody gets hospitalized, nobody dies,” Robert Wachter, MD, chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told the newspaper.
“That clearly is not true,” he said.
The New York Times analyzed data in seven states – California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia – that are tracking the most detailed information.