Breakthrough case rate in NC ticks up, remains low, after 7K more cases come in


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The state identified about 7,000 more breakthrough cases of COVID-19 in the past week.

A report released Thursday by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says the total count of cases among fully vaccinated people rose to 29,683 between Jan. 1 and Aug. 21.

The rate of breakthrough cases ticked up again but remained at the low level that health experts expect.

That translates to about 6 breakthrough cases for every 1,000 vaccinated people, or 0.6 percent. It was at about 0.49 percent, or just under 5 cases for every 1,000 vaccinated people, a week earlier.

Those numbers are consistent with findings from the Kaiser Family Foundation. It calls breakthrough cases “extremely rare” and says the rate is “well below 1 percent in all reporting states.”

DHHS uses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition of a fully vaccinated person as someone for whom two weeks has passed since their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or their only dose of the Johnson & Johnson product.

There were just under 5 million people in the state who received those final doses as of Aug. 6 — two weeks before the cutoff of Aug. 21.

DHHS also says that, compared to fully vaccinated people, the unvaccinated are almost 4 1/2 times more likely to catch COVID and nearly 15 1/2 times more likely to die from it.

The agency says both figures are adjusted for age.

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