Alaskans who have been vaccinated for Covid-19 are experiencing breakthrough cases like never before. The November statistic from the Department of Health and Social Services Division of Epidemiology now says 42 percent of the diagnosed cases of Covid are among those who have been vaccinated.
The number is steadily rising. As more people are vaccinated for Covid, more breakthrough cases are being diagnosed. In November, 60 percent of Alaskans over the age of 12 were vaccinated.
It’s important to note that not all Covid-19 cases are reported to health agencies or doctors. Some are so mild or are without symptoms, so people don’t realize they have Covid.
According to the Department of Health and Social Services, the breakthrough cases tend to be milder than the Covid infections among those not vaccinated. The department also notes:
- Covid-19 vaccines continue to provide strong protection, especially against hospitalization and death.
- Most Covid-19 hospitalizations in Alaska might have been prevented by vaccination.
- Covid-19 cases have become more common among fully vaccinated persons than they were in the initial monthsafter vaccine roll-out, but fully vaccinated people continue to be less likely to have Covid-19 than people who aren’tfully vaccinated.
- Booster doses further reduce the risk of infection and hospitalization.
- CDC recommends that fully vaccinated persons wear masks in public indoor settings in areas with substantial to highcommunity transmission.
- While people can be infected with SARS-CoV-2 multiple times, prior infection confers partial protection against Covid-19.
- Vaccination provides additional protection in those who have been infected and is recommended regardless of history of prior infection.
- The extent to which prior infection confers protection against infection with the Omicron variant is unclear. There is evidence that even in persons with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection, vaccination provides an added layer of protection.
- During November 2021, nearly all circulating SARS-CoV-2 viruses in Alaska belonged to the Delta lineage. No Alaska-specific data are yet available on hospitalizations or deaths due to the Omicron variant surge in late December 2021.