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Dear Monica,

Can fully vaccinated people infect other vaccinated people with the delta variant?

We know vaccines are not 100% and that you need less of the Delta virus to transmit infection. We know that breakthrough infections are also on the rise, currently about 10% nationally. However, a Kaiser Family Foundation Study found the rate of breakthrough cases reported among those fully vaccinated is well below 1% in all reporting states. More often vaccinated people who may have been infected don’t even know it or have minor symptoms that don’t need medical attention.

More than nine in 10 COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths occurred among people who are unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated.

That said, not all states are reporting breakthrough cases.

The bigger risk is a vaccinated person infecting an unvaccinated person, which is why mask guidelines are changing back, especially in indoor areas where there is less ventilation. While breakthrough infections are happening, the vaccines are still 97% effective in preventing severe disease, which is what they were meant to do in the first place. But the other safety protocols, such as masks, distancing and hand washing should continue regardless.


Monica Robins is the Senior Health Correspondent at 3News. The information provided in this column is for educational and informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this column or on our website.

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