COVID-19, the pandemic that has rooted up lives worldwide, continues to affect normalcy as we know it. A lot has changed and continues to change, and many of us wonder if this will ever end. With the advent of vaccines, hope that had evaporated for so many, started to bloom again. Scientifically, these vaccines, while not promising to make people untouchable by the virus, give a great fighting chance against long-term effects and death. Recently, there have been reports worldwide of breakthrough infections, but is it something to worry about?
The Truth About Vaccines
Vaccines are not formulated to prevent folks from ever getting infected at all. Rather, they are to protect from severe disease and death, exactly what the COVID-19 vaccines are statistically proven to do.
Breakthrough infections are when a fully vaccinated person contracts the virus, regardless of the symptoms, and these reports, have a lot of the general public on edge about getting vaccinated. These breakthrough infections have resulted in mild symptoms, if any, indicating that the vaccines are doing what they were designed to do. In Iceland, for example, most of their recent COVID-19 cases are among the vaccinated population. These infections though, have shown to be profusely mild. Hospitalizations and deaths having remained low, with only 2% people requiring medical attention of 1,300 reportedly affected.
Studies show that individuals with breakthrough infections may still infect offers. While this is so, being vaccinated means you’ll get the better of or conquer the virus quicker than your unvaccinated counterpart, thus lessening the time that you are considered contagious and at risk of spreading it to others.
With this knowledge, we can breathe a sigh of relief. But why is it happening and what then does this mean for us?
Immunity Wanes Overtime
Recent studies from the United Kingdom indicates that the protection or immunity we receive from the COVID-19 vaccines begins to dwindle after a period of approximately 4-6 months. This would explain why as the more infectious variants continue to circulate, we will see a rise in the breakthrough vaccinations, emerging months after many people worldwide have already been fully vaccinated. Vaccine effectiveness, however, is significantly high, so the protection offered is not critically affected and explains why we might need booster shots in the foreseeable future. More information about Covid Vaccine Wearing Off And Breakthrough Infections.
One’s level of exposure to the virus is possibly another reason for breakthrough infections. As a fully vaccinated person, if you have limited contact with infected people or areas, you are least likely to develop symptomatic infection. However, if you interact with positive cases on a regular basis or for extended periods, this could make it much more difficult for your immune system to ward it off, possibly explaining the reason for healthcare workers getting breakthrough infections.
A Positive Note
Breakthrough infections, though worrisome, are no reason to panic. Breakthrough infections could serve as some sort of booster dose in their own way. While the evidence on this may not be concrete, it is not an unfathomable point given what we have come to understand about our immune system and how it works.
Experiencing a breakthrough infection re-exposes your immune system to the virus’ spike protein. This will boost antibodies that will fight against the spike. This will increase your level of protection against the virus as your body recognizes and can effectively fight off the virus.
COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon. It might be something we have to live with – an endemic – if it continues to remain amongst the various world populations. Even if COVID-19 remains, misinformation or the lack thereof are not issues that have to plague us as well. Proven studies and credible information exist and, it is in our best interest to ensure we stay informed and protected against this disease.
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