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What should I know about breakthrough infections and the delta variant?

The CDC recently stated that more than 80% of all of the circulating strains of COVID-19 in our country is the Delta variant. In this Fast Fact, Joe Gastaldo, MD,System Medical Director of Infectious Diseases at OhioHealth, says for people who are not vaccinated, the Delta variant is more contagious, meaning it spreads easier to people. However, we aren’t certain yet if the Delta variant is associated with a higher severity of illness. The good news is that the vaccines give you a wonderful layer of protection from the Delta variant. When vaccinated you are less likely to become infected, but more importantly, you’re less likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19. Now, there are reports of some breakthrough infections with the Delta variant and people who are fully vaccinated. That’s not unexpected. These vaccines do not induce sterilizing immunity. Moving forward, we will likely see more breakthrough infections, as more Americans get vaccinated. Do not be alarmed about breakthrough infections. If people do have breakthrough infections, they are going to be asymptomatic (positive for COVID-19, but without symptoms) or have minimal symptoms and not require hospitalization.

Want to learn more about common COVID-19 questions? Check our Fast Facts page.

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