UW Health doctor addresses COVID-19 breakthrough cases

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 7:51 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Breakthrough cases are on the rise among those who are vaccinated against COVID-19. But UW Health Physician for adult and pediatrics infectious disease, Dr. Joseph McBride said the vaccine is still doing its job.

McBride said no vaccine is 100% perfect. But he said it shouldn’t discourage anyone from getting it. “Breakthrough cases for any vaccine has always been reported. Nothing of course if 100-percent guaranteed, especially in medicine. But know that they’re less severe than those without the vaccine.”

He said those who are still on the fence about the vaccine should weigh the risks. “For the vaccinated people, they have a decreased risk of incidents of infections and also severity of infections. So things like hospitalizations and death are ten times less in nationwide data in the vaccinated when compared to the unvaccinated.”

McBride stated that the vaccine is controlling the pandemic well. “If we had a completely unvaccinated population we would be seeing such more dramatically high numbers.”

The doctor said the virus should be thought about like a forest fire. “So we the humans are fuel for this. So if we can protect us humans as best we can, the fire is less likely to spread in those areas.”

He said the vaccine has three main jobs. “To lower the rate of infection, to lower the severity of [the] infection and then to increase public health by limiting how much circulating virus there is. And far in a way the virus is accomplishing these three goals.”

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, out of 100,000 people who are vaccinated, 125 of them test positive for COVID-19. And out of the 125 people who are positive, nearly five of them have to be hospitalized.

“Those who are unvaccinated don’t look at this data as cynicism, look at this data as additional protection that the vaccine can give for real-world scenarios,” Dr. McBride said.

Meanwhile, more than 18 people, out of 100,000 people who are not vaccinated and test positive, go to the hospital. “The vaccines are helping the individual and the public health, and they’re doing it well,” McBride said.

He said the goal is to keep hospitalizations low and prevent deaths, which she said the vaccines are helping with.

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