coronavirus vaccine

Breakthrough Infections With COVID Variants Reported, But Cases Appear Mild

Two patients had "at-home cases of COVID-19," one expert said

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Two reports of so-called coronavirus breakthrough infections — in which fully vaccinated people get the illness anyway — suggest that the vaccines still offer strong protection against severe disease even in the face of variants, NBC News reports.

The cases, which were detailed Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, were those of two women out of more than 400 fully vaccinated study participants who were tested for COVID-19 weekly. Both women developed mild cases and recovered quickly.

A co-author of the study, Dr. Robert Darnell, a professor and senior physician at Rockefeller University in New York City, said the two cases aren't cause for alarm.

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"They certainly didn't need to be hospitalized," he said. "They had at-home cases of COVID-19."

As the number of fully vaccinated people increases in the U.S., so, too, will reports of breakthrough infections rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that it had received reports of around 5,800 breakthrough infections out of more that 77 million fully vaccinated people.

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