Understanding COVID cases between those with and without vaccinations

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – COVID case numbers among vaccinated people, also known as “breakthrough COVID infections” are on the rise. Breakthrough COVID cases don’t make up the majority of COVID related hospitalizations in the country, but health experts say it’s important to know the difference in severity of getting COVID with or without the vaccine.

People in Siouxland share mixed emotions on the rise in breakthrough COVID cases.

“Yes, I am concerned because, you know this is a pandemic that I don’t feel like it’s going to loosen up. The masks, you know, it’s going to eventually become the norm,” said William Wabasha, a resident of Sioux City.

“Not too concerned, I’ve already contracted COVID once. I’ve gotten vaccinated before and I’m very careful around the people I hang around,” said Matt Housted, a resident of Sioux City.

Dr. Michael Kafka, the Medical Director at UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s, explained how vaccinated people fare when contracting the virus.

“They still seem to do fairly well in preventing these people who are getting infected, fully vaccinated. But they’re not ending up having to go to the hospital with any higher rate. Most of their infections are actually asymptomatic, and the only way they know that they’ve got an infection is because they’ve been following them and testing them,” said Kafka.

But Dr. Kafka explains how these risks are increased for those who aren’t vaccinated.

“These are the folks that are making up a good 85 to 90 percent of the cases of hospitalized patients at this point. Also, even though you may become infected, you’re less likely to shed enough virus to make someone else get infected, so you’re less contagious,” Kafka said.

And if the pandemic continues to worsen, people are concerned with its effects on more than just everyone’s health.

“The only problem that I foresee with that is businesses closing down again. They are already struggling right now. Jobs are coming back, and the economy taking another hit would be too detrimental to our country,” said Housted.

Dr. Kafka urges all people make sure they get vaccinated since healthcare workers are once again being overstretched by the rate of hospitalizations around not just the United States, but the world.

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