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Fully Vaccinated People In LA Have Contracted COVID-19, But Numbers Are Low

Image of A healthcare worker hands a patient a COVID-19 testing kit at a drive-thru testing site at The Forum.
A healthcare worker hands a patient a COVID-19 testing kit at a drive-thru testing site at The Forum.
(Courtesy of L.A. County)
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Though extraordinarily rare, we now have a better idea of how many so-called "breakthrough" COVID-19 cases have been reported in Los Angeles County.

Note: A breakthrough case is when a fully vaccinated person becomes infected with COVID-19.

More than 3.3 million people in L.A. County are considered fully vaccinated. Since vaccinations began in December, the county has record just 933 breakthrough cases. Among those, 71 people were hospitalized, and 12 died.

Chart shows concentric circles indicating the number of people fully vaccinated in L.A. County 3,297,577 and people with that group who have tested COVID-19 positive (933), hospitalized (71), died (12)
A graphic — not to scale — illustrates so-called "breakthrough" cases in fully vaccinated people.
(Courtesy L.A. County Public Health)
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L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer says four of the 12 people who died had severely weakened immune systems.


"We do already know that people with weak immune systems may not generate adequate protection in response to the vaccine. So this finding is a signal to us that people whose immune systems are suppressed may need to continue to take additional steps to protect themselves," she says.

Ferrer says such low figures show how well the available vaccines work to prevent severe COVID-19 infection and death.

And even in cases where fully vaccinated people test positive for COVID-19 there appears to be a benefit to having been vaccinated.

As Dr. Francesca Torriani, UC San Diego infectious disease researcher told NPR last month:

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"It would also appear the rare infections that occur are [generally] less severe, so it would also protect us against severe disease, which is great."

What questions do you have about Southern California?