Vaccine breakthrough cases (where someone becomes sick with the disease after being up to date on vaccinations) are expected and normal. No vaccine works 100% of the time, but there is still a lot of value in getting vaccinated. We know these vaccines are safe and help keep people from ending up in the hospital or dying from COVID-19. If you do get sick, it is likely that your symptoms will be milder than if you didn't get vaccinated.
Based on available data, COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases remain uncommon. You can learn more about breakthrough data in Minnesota at COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Weekly Update.
There are a few reasons we have started to see more vaccine breakthrough cases:
As more people are vaccinated while COVID-19 virus is still in our communities (especially when a lot of disease is circulating), more of the cases we identify will be in vaccinated people. The vaccine will never fully protect everyone from disease.
Things people choose to do may be more or less risky, such as going to large gatherings, hanging out in crowded settings, traveling, etc. It also depends on how much COVID-19 virus is currently circulating in a community and vaccination rates.
Vaccination continues to be the best tool in our prevention toolbox against COVID-19. People who are vaccinated will have a less severe illness and are much less likely to be hospitalized or die than people with similar risk factors who are not vaccinated. It is still important to continue to use other tools for best protection, such as masking, frequent handwashing, getting tested when needed, and keeping physical distance from others.
Most Minnesotans who are newly diagnosed with COVID-19 or admitted to the hospital are unvaccinated. With highly-contagious variants circulating in Minnesota, it has never been more important to get vaccinated.
People who have been vaccinated should make sure they still get tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19 disease.