CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – One day after Kanawha County reported its first COVID-19 death of a fully vaccinated person, concerns are being raised by others who are fully vaccinated.
Health experts that we spoke with today say the percentage of people that have died from COVID-19 that were fully vaccinated is around 1.3 percent. Those experts say getting vaccinated is still your best defense against the virus.
“Even when a vaccine is highly effective, a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated will get COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus that causes it,” said West Virginia Epidemiologist Shannon McBee.
McBee says breakthrough cases occur for all vaccine-preventable conditions. “As of July 1st, West Virginia has identified 883 breakthrough cases which represent .1% of fully-vaccinated West Virginians.”
Dr. Sherri Young with the Kanawha Charleston Health Department says we need to look at all factors. “Even if somebody has been fully vaccinated, we need to look at the whole patient. What other conditions did they have? Did they get those vaccinations on time? How long had it been since those vaccines have passed?”
Dr. Young adds that with the number of cases on the rise, now is the perfect time to roll up your sleeve. “While we’re seeing those numbers go up, we have the opportunity right now to change that, so anyone who’s been holding off for that vaccine for the perfect moment, this is it,” emphasized Young.
Dr. Young says they are still looking at the possibility of booster shots for those who are already fully vaccinated, and if it comes to that, the priority would be for those who are immune-compromised.