Breakthrough of COVID-19 cases among the vaccinated and what the solution may be

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Posted at 7:31 PM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 11:35:54-05

According to Santa Barbara County health’s COVID-19 data, as of November 11th, 149 people who were fully vaccinated got COVID-19.

In San Luis Obispo County, 23% of recorded COVID-19 cases appeared in fully vaccinated people. That number represents a cumulative percentage since June of this year. We spoke with health officials to see what is behind the rise.

“We do know from some data that the vaccine will wane over 6-9 months. Especially the older you get the more the vaccine will wane. People that are 65 will wane from 90% effective rate to 60% effective rate at around 6 months," said Dr. Thomas Vendegna, chief medical officer of French Hospital Medical Center.

Local health officials say there may be a solution to achieve a stronger COVID-19 immune response.

"The booster takes you back up to 90%. I highly recommend the booster especially for the older people," said Vendegna."

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said data is showing booster shots effectiveness.

"When we compare rates of COVID-19 disease, between those who are vaccinated with two doses, and those who have received a booster dose, the rate of disease is markedly lower. For those who received their booster shot, demonstrating our boosters are working," said Walensky.

As the holiday season nears, health officials say safety precautions will become increasingly important.

“We are going to possibly mingle with people who are unvaccinated," said Vendegna," So I really stress those other options such as wearing a mask and being outside, limit your gatherings to smaller gatherings especially if you know their vaccination rate."

In both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County, the booster shot is available to all adults 18 years or older. Booster shot appointments can be made through this website.

This article has been updated to reflect that 23% of positive COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County appeared in county residents who were fully vaccinated. A previous version of the article incorrectly stated that 23% of fully vaccinated residents tested positive for the virus.