TAMPA, Fla. — Dr. Robin Hauser has worked hard to take every precaution as a pediatrician. But when COVID-19 hit her home, she said the virus also infected her.
Hauser said she was fully vaccinated at the time, making her case a breakthrough case.
“I didn’t get very sick I wasn’t hospitalized but I do say although you’re not supposed to quarantine after an exposure if you’ve been vaccinated you should really self-monitor and if you feel like you’re sick you should test because it’s still possible you could have COVID,” she said.
The CDC reports out of more than 75 million people fully vaccinated, it received about 5,800 reports of breakthrough infections, with 29 percent of them asymptomatic.
“Although this number is from 43 states and territories and likely an underestimate it still makes a really important point. These vaccines are working,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, said during a news conference.
Some health experts said the numbers show vaccinations are effective.
“This basically shows you the vaccine efficacy at 90 plus percent really is that number because we’re barely seeing any breakthrough infections,” said Michael Teng, Ph.D., an associate professor of medicine at USF Health.
More studies are looking at cases like these.
A recent one at The Rockefeller University published in The New England Journal of Medicine found 2 of 417 people it studied had a breakthrough infection. Researchers found multiple mutations in both viral samples.
Another study released in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report looked at nursing homes in the Chicago area, finding two-thirds of 22 possible COVID breakthrough infections were asymptomatic.
“If we can get all vaccinated outside the facilities too we can see the same high-quality results right we can see lack of transmission we can see very very few people getting re-infected,” said Teng.
Dr. Hauser said her case is being checked for variants.
“We were able to check my antibody levels to the vaccine and I had a great antibody response to the vaccine which was great and they’re now sequencing my virus,” Hauser said.
Despite her case, she’s still confident in the vaccines.
“I do tell people yes you should still get vaccinated because we really need to all reach that herd immunity for this to get a little bit more under control so we can go back to normal,” she said.