(CNN) – For fully vaccinated people, the risk of still getting Covid-19 – described as a “breakthrough infection” – remains extremely low, a new study from New York suggests.
Among a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, among 417 Rockefeller University employees who were fully vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna injections, two or about .5% of them had penetrating infections later.
“We have characterized credible examples of vaccine penetration manifesting as clinical symptoms,” the researchers wrote in their study. “These observations in no way undermine the importance of urgent efforts being made at the federal and state levels to vaccinate the U.S. population. They also support efforts to advance a new vaccine booster (as well as pan-coronavirus vaccines) and provide increased protection against variants.” “
Researchers at Rockefeller University found that versions of the coronavirus with several differences from the original virus caused a breakthrough infection.
The variant that infected one of the patients had the E484K mutation, which was first found in variant B.1.351 originally identified in South Africa. E484K has been dubbed an “escape mutant” because it has been shown to be able to escape some of the antibodies produced by coronavirus vaccines. One of the mutations found in the infections of both study participants was D614G, which appeared early in the pandemic.
One of the breakthrough infections was in a healthy 51-year-old woman who received the second dose of the Moderna vaccine on February 19. Nineteen days later, on March 10, after the development of symptoms, she tested positive for Covid-19.
The second breakthrough infection was in a healthy 65-year-old woman who received the second dose of Pfizer vaccine on February 9. She later learned that her partner, who had not been vaccinated, tested positive for Covid-19 on March 3rd. in the following days, the woman developed her own symptoms. It was positive on Covid-19 on March 17th.
More research is needed to determine whether similar findings regarding breakthrough infections or variants will occur among a larger group of participants from different parts of the United States.
Experts say some breakthrough cases of Covid-19 are expected in people who have been fully vaccinated because no vaccine is 100% effective.
Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CNN that the agency has so far received less than 6,000 reports of breakthrough coronavirus infections among more than 84 million people who have been fully vaccinated nationwide.
The CDC said cases of the discovery occurred in people of all ages who were vaccinated, but just over 40% were in people over 60 years of age. They were also more prevalent in women and 29% were asymptomatic.
The agency said it had developed a national database of Covid-19 discoveries so that state health departments could report them
“Breakthrough vaccine infections make up a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated. The CDC recommends that all eligible people receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available to them,” the CDC said in a statement to CNN.
This story was first published on CNN.com, “Only 2” breakthrough “infections among hundreds of fully vaccinated people, new research reveals”