MINNEAPOLIS — Some new numbers from the Minnesota Department of Health show a very small percentage of Minnesotans vaccinated for COVID-19 still caught the virus.
They're being referred to as "breakthrough cases."
According to MDH, there have been 89 reported breakthrough cases in Minnesota, with a small number of them involving hospitalization.
That number may sound alarming, but health officials say not when you consider more than 800,000 people have been fully vaccinated.
"That's well below one-tenth of one percent, an incredibly small number of cases," said Kris Ehresmann, MDH Infectious Disease Director.
Health officials say there should be no major concerns when it comes to these statistics.
"No vaccine gives an entire population 100% protection, as with any vaccination program," said Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn, and Internal Medicine Doctor with Hennepin Healthcare.
Case in point, the flu vaccine, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says only offers 40 to 60% protection from developing severe illness. The COVID vaccines currently available are anywhere from 72 to 95% effective.
Dr. Lichtsinn says a vaccine's efficacy is solely based on an individual's immune response.
"Some people may not mount enough of a response to the vaccine so that they have that full level of protection that they can fight off this virus without any symptoms at all," said Dr. Lichtsinn. She went on to say, "We don't know yet enough about if there are specific risk factors that make one person more likely than another to have a good response to this vaccine."
However, what health experts do know is that with a rise in COVID variants, we all must continue to do our part to slow the spread until every who wants a vaccine, can get one.
"The urgency and the importance of getting vaccinated is actually even higher than ever," said Dr. Lichtsinn.
"These vaccines are safe and effective and they are our best bet for ending the pandemic and moving on to those brighter days we are all anticipating," said Ehresmann.
State health leaders say there were no deaths reported in the 89 breakthrough cases.