KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -- More and more states are reporting hundreds of people testing positive for COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated. It’s happened in the Kansas City metro, too.
Monday, the University of Kansas Health System reported that of 12 people on the COVID floor today, three of them had already been vaccinated.
When the vaccines were first being tested for emergency authorization approval, effectiveness wasn’t about not testing positive for COVID. It was about not getting seriously sick from it.
“The main focus was on preventing hospitalization, severe disease and death,” recalled Dr. Dana Hawkinson, M.D., the Health System’s Director of Infection Prevention and Control.
He offered real-world proof of that part working. People in nursing homes, one of the first groups to get vaccinated, aren’t coming to the hospital -- his included -- with COVID-19 like they were before vaccinations took place.
“They are in those facilities where the virus could just ravage through that,” Hawkinson remarked. “Hopefully more people on down the line continue to get the vaccine because we know that it can protect you against going to the hospital.”
At least two, if not all three, of the vaccinated COVID-positive patients at KU’s hospital on Monday came in for something else and got tested as a matter of procedure. Hawkinson said two were asymptomatic. The third had symptoms but he was unsure if it was those symptoms that brought that person to the hospital or something else.
No vaccine protects everyone from getting infected, he said, but there’s plenty of good reason to get vaccinated anyway. Besides not ending up hospitalized, a published study in Israel suggested it’s effective at preventing even asymptomatic disease.
And, as more people roll up their sleeves, the data set goes from tens of thousands in a trial to millions in the real world. That could bring better answers about whether people can stop wearing masks and distancing in more and more situations.
“We believe you are less likely to be able to spread it if you are vaccinated, so that’s the important thing, but further studies are needed. So, until that time, we need to continue to do all of those other measures,” Hawkinson concluded.
There have been reports in other states about deaths among those who tested positive after being vaccinated. Health officials in those states are still not certain whether the deaths were caused by COVID-19 or something else.