The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports show that as of Aug. 30, 12,908 persons with severe breakthrough cases of COVID-19 are that of fully vaccinated persons. With more than 173 million Americans already fully vaccinated, this number represents a risk of less than 1 in 13,000 chances of experiencing a severe breakthrough case for those who have received their full doses. 

Data from the CDC suggests that in these breakthrough cases, older adults and those with underlying illnesses and multiple medical conditions are most at risk. About 70% of the reported breakthrough cases are individuals aged 65 and older with 87% resulting in death. 

According to CNN, a preprint study by the CDC suggests the median age of fully vaccinated individuals who have been hospitalized for severe COVID-19 is 73 years old with 71% of them having three or more underlying illnesses such as auto-immune conditions, diabetes and heart disease.

Unvaccinated patients admitted in hospitals with severe Covid-19 record a median age of 59 years old and about 56% reported to have several underlying medical conditions.

The Delta variant accounted for half of COVID-19 cases reported between the months of June and July with unvaccinated adults found to be 10 times more likely to be sent to the hospital. Data suggests that the risk gap is greater among adults under the age of 50.

Dr. Hyung Chun, associate professor of cardiology at Yale School of Medicine who recently published a study said, "As effective as the vaccines are, with emerging variants and increasing cases of breakthrough infections, we need to continue to be vigilant in taking measures such as indoor masking and social distancing."

At the same time, Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccinologist and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine also believes that the current rise of breakthrough infections are due to the vaccines showing greater waning of immunity over time citing that demographics of severe breakthrough cases are similar to those who are generally at risk of a severe infection.

“That's why, for instance, Israel, when they first announced their booster plan to give a third immunization, they focused more on older individuals,” Hortez explained.

Most of the data analyzed by the CDC are based on voluntary reports from various states. A total of 4,700 hospitalized individuals between January 24 to July 24 were analyzed by the CDC through a surveillance network that tracks laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 associated hospitalizations. The COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) recorded data from 99 counties in 14 states, which represents about 10% of the US population. 

vaccination-6291875_960_720 Representation Image Covid-19 Vaccine Vials Johaehn/ Pixabay