With the pandemic raging on over a year later, it can feel as if the vaccine has no effect on whether or not you’ll get Covid-19. If you watch the nightly news or read the newspaper, you’ve likely heard of breakthrough infections – cases of people who get infected with Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated. Many people are concerned about their health. So what is the actual likelihood that you’ll get Covid-19 if you’re vaccinated?
Likelihood of Getting Covid-19 for Fully Vaccinated People
As the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns, no vaccine is 100% effective. That means that even for fully vaccinated people, there is still a chance of getting infected with Covid-19. Breakthrough infections can occur with a variety of intensities – for some vaccinated people, Covid-19 feels like a mild cold. In rare cases, a breakthrough infection can require hospitalization. Breakthrough infections can even lead to death in extremely rare cases.
Despite this, being fully vaccinated reduces your risk of infection and of hospitalization substantially. In a recent study published by the CDC, people who were vaccinated were far less likely to develop Covid-19, be hospitalized, or die from it.
The study found that vaccinated people were five times less likely to get Covid-19 compared to those who were not vaccinated. They were 10 times less likely to be hospitalized. Additionally, vaccinated people were 10 times less likely to die from it.
In another report from the New York Times, it was estimated the risk of a vaccinated person getting Covid-19 is about 1 in 5,000. That number jumps to 1 in 10,000 in areas with low transmission rates.
Per the CDC, 11,440 vaccinated people have been hospitalized for Covid-19. This number is misleading, as over 2,400 of them were hospitalized for another condition and had no symptoms of Covid-19. Ultimately, just 8,949 vaccinated people were hospitalized because of Covid-19 symptoms. That brings the risk of being hospitalized for Covid-19 down to 0.00005% after vaccination.
The risk of dying from Covid-19 related illness is even lower for vaccinated people – 0.00001%.
Why Are Vaccinated People Getting Covid-19?
No vaccine is completely effective. Although the numbers are low for vaccinated folks, Covid-19 health risks are still concerning. So why are we seeing breakthrough cases? There are two main reasons. First, new variants are making people sick. The new variants, like the Delta variant, can be twice as infectious as the original variant.
Additionally, dwindling immunity from the vaccine can impact your likelihood of getting Covid-19. This is why it’s so important that booster shots be approved by the FDA and become available to the public. While there is movement from Pfizer on this front, we’re still waiting for FDA approvals.
Despite our precautions, no one is completely safe from getting Covid-19. However, getting vaccinated cuts your risk down immensely. For your health and the health of the public, a vaccination – and potentially a booster shot – is the best thing you can do.