Why are so many vaccinated people getting COVID-19 lately?
There are a couple of factors to take into account, starting with the appearance of the highly contagious omicron variant, which is more likely to reach people even if it does not cause severe disease. Also, its peak coincides with the holiday season in many places.
The population may mistakenly think that COVID-19 vaccines will completely prevent infection. Still, they are developed primarily to avoid developing the most severe impacts of the disease, said Louis Mansky, a virus researcher in Minnesota.
And vaccines continue to do their job in that regard, especially in those who have received the booster dose.
Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna formulas, or one of Johnson & Johnson’s, continue to provide strong protection against a severe case of omicron. Although these initial doses are not very effective in preventing infection with the new variant, the booster doses, especially those from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, increase antibody levels to help prevent disease.
The omicron variant appears to replicate much more efficiently than its predecessors. And if an infected person has a high viral load, there is a greater chance of passing it on to others, especially if they are not vaccinated. In addition, the vaccinated population infected is more likely to suffer mild symptoms if they develop them since vaccines activate multiple defenses in the immune system, making it much more difficult for the omicron to overcome them.
The safety recommendations have not changed. Doctors say you should wear a mask indoors, avoid crowds, and get vaccinated. Although vaccines will not always prevent you from contracting the virus, they will make it much more likely that you will not die or have to go to the hospital.