KEY POINTS

  • Oregon health officials are investigating four cases of individuals who contracted COVID-19 after getting vaccinated
  • The Oregon Health Authority noted that the vaccines "reduced the severity of illness" for those who tested positive
  • The CDC said those who have been fully vaccinated no longer need to quarantine if they are exposed to a person with COVID-19

Four people in Oregon tested positive for the coronavirus after receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, health officials said.

The state's Health Authority said it is investigating the four "breakthrough cases" involving individuals whose symptoms range from "asymptomatic to mild." They are considered breakthrough cases as the individuals all got sick at least 14 days after receiving the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"We are working with our local and federal public health partners to investigate and determine case origin. Genome sequencing is underway, and we expect results next week," Oregon's Health Authority said in a series of tweets on Friday.

The Health Authority assured the public that such instances are not considered "unexpected" and should not be a cause for doubt or panic.

"Clinical trials of both vaccines presently in use included breakthrough cases. In those cases, even though the participants got Covid-19, the vaccines reduced the severity of illness," the agency explained.

"Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a Covid-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get the virus," the agency continued. "Getting as many Oregonians as possible vaccinated remains a critical objective to ending the pandemic."

Two of the four cases originated in Yamhill County, and the other two came from Lane County. To date, Oregon officials are still gathering more data on the cases to provide more information to the public.

Pfizer and Moderna are the only two companies that have received emergency use authorization for their COVID-19 two-dose vaccines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Studies have also indicated that the vaccines supplied by the two companies are, on average, 94% effective against the virus. Should a vaccinated individual contract the virus, the vaccine would also be able to lessen the severity of their symptoms.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also updated its guidance to state that people who have been fully vaccinated no longer need to self-isolate should they get exposed to someone who has COVID-19. If said vaccinated individuals display symptoms of the virus, however, they would then have to quarantine to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

Vaccinated individuals are also still urged by the CDC to follow the established safety measures even after receiving the second dose of the vaccine, including wearing face masks, observing social distancing and avoiding large crowds in general.

The CDC data documented the 10 cases of anaphylactic shock among a reported 4,041,396 first doses of the Moderna vaccine The Moderna COVID vaccine is pictured. Photo: AFP / Ronny Hartmann