• The number of breakthrough cases in Georgia accounts for 3% of the state's total cases
  • The health agency in South Carolina only records breakthrough cases that led to hospitalizations or deaths
  • The severity of a person's breakthrough infection is determined by their health condition

More than 1,000 people in several states have tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated against the virus, according to data from different health departments.

In the city of Augusta in Georgia, health officials recorded 743 breakthrough infections between Jan. 1 and Aug. 17. These figures represent 3.97% of the state’s 18,697 total number of COVID-19 cases, according to the Department of Public Health.

In neighboring South Carolina, officials for the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported 406 breakthrough infections since the beginning of the pandemic. However, the health agency only records COVID-19 cases in fully vaccinated people if the patient was admitted to a hospital or died.

South Carolina has so far reported 695,489 COVID-19 infections, according to the New York Times' data.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday published new data on COVID-19 death and disease that showed an increase in confirmed coronavirus infections among individuals who have been fully vaccinated against the virus.

In Los Angeles County alone, approximately 25% of the state’s 43,000 reported infections from May through July 25 occurred in fully vaccinated individuals. At least 3% occurred in partially vaccinated individuals, and 71.4% involved the unvaccinated population.

Despite the number of breakthrough cases, only 0.05% were admitted to an intensive care unit and only 0.25% were placed on a ventilator.

In comparison, 1.5% of unvaccinated patients were admitted to an intensive care unit and 0.5% required a mechanical ventilator, according to Reuters.

Dr. Rodger MacArthur, an infectious disease physician at the Medical College of Georgia, said breakthrough cases are expected, noting that none of the currently available vaccines are 100% effective in preventing infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.

“We are going to have some breakthrough cases. Some of those cases are going to require hospitalization. You can get it. It’s just impossible to predict, at this time, who is going to get it among the vaccinated, who is going to be that breakthrough case, and which of those breakthrough cases will result in hospitalization,” MacArthur said, according to WJBF.

He also added that a person’s health condition plays a role in the severity of their breakthrough infection.

“The biggest comorbid condition, or the one that puts individuals at the highest risk, especially in the age group below 60 years of age throughout Georgia, is obesity,” he said. “We’re seeing that in children as well as adults. If an individual has any comorbid conditions, they really need to get vaccinated.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been examining the real-world performance of the two vaccines since they were first authorized among health care personnel, first responders and other frontline workers
A Houston boy, who was unvaccinated but otherwise healthy, died of COVID-19, marking the first case of a pediatric patient without underlying health conditions in the city. AFP / Patrick T. FALLON