KEY POINTS

  • The county's breakthrough cases account for 0.1% of all fully vaccinated people
  • Tennessee has given at least one dose to 43% of its population
  • Being fully vaccinated reduces the risk of infection by 91%

Three people in Davidson County, TN have died of the novel coronavirus despite being fully vaccinated for COVID-19. 

Officials for Metro Health in Davidson County said the three deaths were among the area’s 370 reported breakthrough cases, 17 of which resulted in hospitalization. Davidson County health officials have fully vaccinated 333,824 residents, which means the breakthrough cases account for 0.1% of all fully vaccinated people.

"Based on that percentage, the vaccine appears to be far more effective here than the CDC's estimated 94/95% effective rate," Metro Health Spokesman Brian Todd wrote in an email to Fox 17.

Statewide, Tennessee has reported more than 1,000 breakthrough infections and 27 deaths as of July 23. Only 43.2% of the state’s total population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines a “breakthrough” infection as someone who tested positive for COVID-19 at least two weeks after getting the single-dose Johnson & Johnsons vaccine or the second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. 

Health experts noted that breakthrough cases are expected to happen, noting that the highest efficacy rate of a vaccine was reported at 95%. 

"The COVID-19 vaccines we have in the U.S. do work very well. But no vaccine works 100% of the time," CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen said. “If you have multiple encounters every day with unvaccinated people, and there is a high level of community transmission in your area, your chances of having a breakthrough infection after vaccination will increase."

A study conducted by the CDC in June found that being fully vaccinated reduces the risk of infection by 91%. People who have been partially vaccinated against the novel coronavirus are 81% less likely to contract COVID-19.

“Findings from the extended timeframe of this study add to accumulating evidence that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are effective and should prevent most infections,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky said in the report.

As of Tuesday, 56.9% of the total population in the U.S. have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 49.2% have been fully vaccination against the virus. 

AstraZeneca produces its vaccine in Thailand for use domestically and in neighbouring countries AstraZeneca produces its vaccine in Thailand for use domestically and in neighbouring countries Photo: AFP / Madaree TOHLALA