COVID Update: Vashon Records First Known "Breakthrough" Case in Vaccinated Patient
7/14/2021 1:27 PM
July 14: COVID-19 is on the rise in King County and Vashon's case count has jumped by four cases in the last several days to a total of 125 since the pandemic began last year. That remains a good record compared to the other King County communities, an infection rate about one-third of the county as a whole. However, the trends are cause for concern and one of the new Vashon cases gives us an important reality check, a breakthrough infection of a vaccinated patient.
"We may feel we are done with COVID, but COVID isn't done with us. We still have COVID on Vashon," explained Dr. Zach Miller, an infectious disease expert and leader of the contact tracing team for the Vashon Medical Reserve Corps. "About 10% of our population aged 12 or more is unvaccinated, and that's not counting all the younger kids who are not yet eligible to get the vaccine," Dr. Miller emphasized.
It's also important to remember that COVID-19 vaccines are about 90% effective at preventing disease for fully vaccinated people. That leaves another 10% of Vashon residents who are at risk of catching the disease, even though they are vaccinated. We have had at least one of these "breakthrough" cases on Vashon and they will continue to occur. So, even though the vaccines are almost 100% effective at preventing serious disease and hospitalization, you can still get sick, pass the disease on to others, and potentially face long haul effects from COVID.
"If you add up these two factors, well over 2,000 Vashon residents are still at risk, about 20% of our neighbors and family members," Dr. Miller emphasized.
Here are steps you can take:
· Get fully vaccinated. It's the very best COVID prevention tool we have. If you've got your first dose, complete the course and get full protection.
· If you have symptoms, don't wait. Get tested right away and quarantine yourself so you don't spread the disease.
· Listen to your gut if you are going into a situation where you are exposed to people you don't know. You can make the choice to mask and distance.
· Be extra careful if you travel, even for essential purposes. Most Vashon cases continue to be related to travel outside our area.
If you test positive or believe you've been exposed to someone who has tested positive, contact the Vashon Medical Reserve Corps hotline at (844) 469-4554.
[-- updated 14 Jun 5:27pm]