coronavirus

As COVID-19 Breakthrough Cases Emerge in North Texas, Experts Encourage Vaccine

As of Thursday, only 124 fully vaccinated people had been hospitalized for COVID-19 in Dallas County

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As the delta variant takes hold in North Texas, breakthrough cases -- when a fully vaccinated person contracts COVID-19 -- are becoming more common. Still, health officials say the vaccine is doing its job.

In the last week in Dallas County, fully vaccinated people accounted for about 20% of new COVID-19 cases.

"With the delta variant, even vaccinated persons can get infected,” Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang said.

That's part of why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently changed its mask guidance, urging those even with the vaccine to wear masks indoors in certain places.

Health officials said while the number of those breakthrough cases may seem alarming on the surface, it requires context.

"These vaccines are preventing serious illness, hospitalizations, death," Huang said. "These are still a small, a fraction of the cases, and almost all of the hospitalizations we're seeing are in unvaccinated persons."

As of Thursday, only 124 fully vaccinated people had been hospitalized for COVID-19 in Dallas County and 16 have died.

Looking at the country as a whole, the CDC reported as of July 19 just .003% of those with both doses of the vaccine have been hospitalized or died.

When it comes to the unvaccinated, hospitalizations continue to climb.

President and CEO of the DFW Hospital Council Stephen Love said on Tuesday, there were more than 1,400 hospitalized in the area and 25% of people in adult ICU beds had tested positive for COVID-19.

“The number of children, adolescents, pediatrics if you will that have been hospitalized in the last 30 days have more than tripled,” Love said.

And with many of them too young to get the vaccine, experts urge if not for yourself, to get the vaccine for those you love.

"Again, if people who are eligible have not received it, that's what we need first is for those persons to get the vaccine," Huang said. "It's so easy and it's readily available. Please, we need people to take advantage of it."

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