Well over 100 Oregonians have tested positive for COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated with the COVID shot in what are known as “breakthrough cases,” state health officials have confirmed.

The Oregon Health Authority said that 168 COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases have been identified in vaccinated individuals through April 2, including three deaths.

As of Thursday, more than 824,00 Oregon residents had been fully vaccinated, according to KATU, an ABC affiliate out of Portland. The breakthrough cases represent about .02% of the fully vaccinated population.

Public officials from OHA said this serves as a reminder that while the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines are “highly effective at preventing severe COVID-19 illness and death, no vaccine is 100% effective, and vaccine breakthrough cases will occur.”

The Moderna and Pfizer COVID vaccine have proven to be up to 95% effective against the virus, while the Johnson & Johnson shot was shown to have up to a 66% efficacy against COVID-19.

“It's not at all surprising. We knew the vaccines weren’t 100% effective, which means some people were going to get the virus despite being vaccinated," Dr. Paul Cieslak of OHA told KATU. "Given how many people are being vaccinated and how prevalent the virus is out there, we knew we’d see some cases, so we’re not at all surprised by it.”

The breakthrough cases were identified in 25 counties within Oregon. The locations of the three deaths were not reported, OHA said.

Of the 168 cases reported, 11% of patients were hospitalized within 30 days following their positive COVID test, with most occurring in people over the age of 65 or having underlying health conditions, the agency said. The three deaths account for less than 2% of the vaccine breakthrough cases, and OHA said that none of the cases were associated with any COVID-19 variants.

According to the health agency, a vaccine breakthrough case occurs when an individual tests positive for the virus at least 14 days after they receive the final dose of the vaccine. OHA said this can be prevented by wearing face masks, observing social distancing guidelines, and by avoiding social gatherings.

OHA said that while there have been vaccine breakthrough cases in the state, they only represent a “very small portion” of the fully vaccinated population.

The vaccine breakthrough cases are being investigated by state and local epidemiologists, who are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Oregon has an overall total of 168,795 positive cases of the virus, with 2,439 COVID-19 deaths, according to OHA.

This is not the first instance of people testing positive for COVID after receiving the vaccine. Earlier in April, 102 people in Washington tested positive for the virus after being fully vaccinated, while over 200 Michiganders contracted COVID after being inoculated. Three people died from the virus.

In Hawaii, three people tested positive for COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine, and in Minnesota, 89 residents contracted the virus after having the COVID shot.

On Friday, CDC reported that over 66.2 million people had been fully vaccinated, accounting for 19.9% of the American public.

Finland surprisingly announced it too was halting use of the vaccine Finland surprisingly announced it too was halting use of the vaccine Photo: Lehtikuva / Markku Ulander