Studies show COVID-19 vaccines are working; infection after vaccination rare

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Two recent studies found few people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 become infected, The New York Times reported March 23. 

Out of 8,121 fully vaccinated employees at Dallas-based University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, just four became infected in the weeks following, according to a report published March 23 in the The New England Journal of Medicine. A separate analysis also published March 23 in the same journal found seven of 14,990 fully vaccinated employees across UC San Diego Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA contracted COVID-19 two or more weeks after their second dose. 

The findings underscore vaccine efficacy, but also reiterate the importance of staying put with COVID-19 safety measures. 

"We felt really strongly that this data should not lead people to say 'Let's all get vaccinated and then we can all stop wearing masks,'" Francesca Torriani, MD, lead author of the California study and infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego Health, told the Times. "These measures have to continue until a larger segment of the population is vaccinated." 

Dr. Torriani said most of the people in the analysis who developed a COVID-19 infection after being fully vaccinated had no symptoms or mild symptoms, indicating the vaccines were protecting against severe disease. 

The CDC is investigating breakthrough COVID-19 cases, or those that occur after someone is fully vaccinated. So far, there is no evidence that variants are contributing to breakthrough cases, an agency spokesperson told the Times. 

Pfizer and Moderna are also expected to release data indicating how often such cases occur in the coming months. 

To read the full New York Times article, click here. 

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