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Breakthrough COVID cases? Utah Department of Health has the numbers

This undated photo shows Intermountain Healthcare staffers working in a hospital during the early COVID-19 pandemic. Breakthrough COVID-19 cases remain extremely low for vaccinated Utahns.

This undated photo shows Intermountain Healthcare staffers working in a hospital during the early COVID-19 pandemic. Breakthrough COVID-19 cases remain extremely low for vaccinated Utahns. (Intermountain Healthcare)



Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Breakthrough COVID-19 cases remain extremely low for vaccinated Utahns. Breakthrough cases occur in people who've been vaccinated against the virus, but might test positive.

The Utah Department of Health tracks the number of breakthrough COVID-19 cases on its website, coronavirus.utah.gov.

So far, the department said there have only been about 5,500 breakthrough cases, with 19 deaths. On Friday, the department reported a total of 438,479 cases and 2,494 deaths since the pandemic began. The number of breakthrough infections works out to 0.375% of total cases and 0.0013% of deaths.

Charla Haley with the Utah Department of Health says the coronavirus vaccines are "very effective."

"It's just not 100% effective," Haley told KSL NewsRadio. "And it's also a lot better for you than getting sick with COVID."

Prevent infection

Information provided by the health department says the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are 95% effective in preventing infection with COVID-19, though slightly less effective at about 88% against the Delta variant currently in circulation.

That doesn't mean people who've been vaccinated have nothing to worry about.

"We do know that people who've been vaccinated can still sometimes spread the infection, depending on if they have a variant," she said.

Haley says the department may be able to say which of the vaccines is most effective in preventing breakthrough infections, but she says, "we're not there yet."

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Dan Bammes

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