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Morning Brief: Breakthrough Cases, School Lunch, And Dope Picnics

A healthcare worker at UCI Health Center is vaccinated against COVID-19. Healthcare workers across California will be amongst the first to recieve the COVID-19 vaccine as hospitals are overwhelmed.
(Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s July 22.

If you’ve been following along with recent COVID-19 news, you likely know that a phenomenon known as “breakthrough cases” is occurring among vaccinated people. The term refers to instances in which a person is fully vaccinated, but still contracts the virus.

However, it might surprise you to hear that scientists fully expected this to happen, and while we don’t wish the coronavirus on anyone, it’s generally not nearly as scary as it sounds.

Our colleagues at NPR report that with any vaccination, some individuals will still be susceptible to contracting the given illness.

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"Even with a 95% efficacious vaccine, you will have one in 20 vaccinees who are exposed [to and] get the disease," said Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, director of the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the University of Maryland.

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The number of breakthrough cases is likely going up, then, because of basic arithmetic: As more people get vaccinated, even if breakthroughs are rare, a rising number of cases will be among the vaccinated.

However, experts across the board agree that the vaccine is doing its job. Otherwise healthy, vaccinated people who contract the disease are far less likely to have severe symptoms, wind up in the hospital, or die from the virus.

"Breakthrough infections, they tend to be mild — they tend to be more like a cold," said Dr. Carlos del Rio, professor of medicine and infectious disease epidemiology at Emory University.

In fact, the vast majority — 97% — of people who are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, according to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What matters, said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, is "the vaccine is still doing what it is designed to do — keep people out of the hospital and out of the morgue."

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • Congresswoman Maxine Waters asked the U.S. Department of Justice to launch a civil rights investigation into an alleged “deputy gang” known as the “Executioners” operating out of the Sheriff’s Department’s Compton station.
  • A couple whose gender reveal party sparked a 22,000 acre fire last year has pleaded not guilty to a range of charges that include involuntary manslaughter.
  • Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced former movie producer who was convicted of rape in New York, pleaded not guilty in an L.A. courtroom to 11 counts of sexual assault involving five women.
  • All California public school students will now be eligible for free school meals thanks to a new law.
  • Ride share drivers picketed in support of the PRO Act, which would give them increased bargaining power to advocate for fair pay.

Before You Go ... How To Look Dope At A Picnic

picnic time!
It's time for a picnic!
(Toa Heftiba/Unsplash)
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When the pandemic forced restaurants to shift to take-out, picnics presented the perfect solution. And this summer will be no different; we're gearing up for another few months of fun outdoor gatherings.

How is that going to happen if you show up with boring food no one really wants to eat? LAist is here to help. With a little planning, anyone can be a picnic hero. Use our Official Summer 2021 Picnic Guide to win friends, impress Tinder dates and revel in the glory of being the dopest person at your next picnic.

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