‘Unusual’ that vaccinated NC State baseball players test positive for COVID-19, Triangle health experts say

NC State

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — After COVID-19 forced N.C. State out of the College World Series, the university reported that some of the players who tested positive had previously been vaccinated.

Infectious disease experts from Duke and UNC say that’s unusual if the players were fully vaccinated.

“The reality is that for vaccinated people the number of breakthroughs typically are incredibly low,” explained Duke infectious disease expert, Dr. Cameron Wolfe.

Currently, the CDC only tracks breakthrough cases that result in hospitalization or death. CDC statistics show 4,115 of those cases among more than 150 million fully vaccinated people.

If fully vaccinated people do test positive, doctors say they’re less likely to get very sick and less likely to spread the virus.

“If you’re unlucky enough to be one of the breakthroughs, your symptoms are mild; often they are nonexistent,” Wolfe said.

“If you cough or sneeze on me and you are dripping with COVID-19, this is not like a raincoat vaccine that’s going to prevent the virus from getting in my nose,” explained UNC infectious disease expert, Dr. David Wohl. “It might get in my nose, and it might stay there for a little bit, but hopefully the vaccine will help me fight it off and make it less likely that it will hurt me or that I will shed it to other people.”

Even with the more contagious Delta variant becoming more common in the U.S. doctors say the vaccines we have are still protecting people from COVID’s worst consequences.

“At the end of the day, surely the biggest advantage of any vaccine is to keep you from getting sick enough to go to the hospital or heaven forbid pass away that is the goal here,” said Wolfe.

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