Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky shared that vaccines will not block the transmission of COVID-19, especially its more contagious Delta variant. She added that while the vaccines work well in suppressing severe health issues resulting from COVID-19 infection, it’s a different story for preventing transmission.
Walensky related during an interview with a big media outlet that fully vaccinated individuals can still get infected with COVID-19, which are referred to as “breakthrough infections.” When asked why most experts always seem to dismiss the possibility of these breakthrough infections, Walensky replied that what’s important is not the number of fully vaccinated people getting infected with COVID-19 but the benefit of getting the vaccine.
“With one hundred sixty-four million people who are vaccinated, we should expect tens of thousands perhaps of breakthrough infections,” Walensky pointed out. “Those breakthrough infections have a mild illness, they are staying out of the hospital, and they are not dying.”
However, Walensky had this to say when asked if fully-vaccinated people can still pass COVID-19 to their children or older people with underlying conditions: “Yes, they can with the Delta variant,” she explained. “Our vaccines work well with regard to severe illness and death, but what they can’t do anymore is prevent transmission.”
The CDC Director then reminded that even if you are already fully vaccinated, it is still crucial that you wear a mask. Wearing one is essential if you frequently have contact with a person who is not vaccinated or can’t get vaccinated, or perhaps somebody who is immuno-suppressed or has co-morbidities, particularly in public indoor settings.