38 fully vaccinated in Hawaii still got coronavirus, slightly above national rate

Always Investigating

HONOLULU (KHON2) — A total of 38 people in Hawaii have come down with COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated. That number of “breakthrough” cases slightly outpaces national numbers.

Always Investigating has the latest.

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KHON2 found out the cases are largely asymptomatic or mild and still show what officials call a “miracle” level of vaccine efficacy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday, April 15, that about 5,800 out of nearly 77 million fully vaccinated people nationwide have still contracted COVID-19, 0.007%.

Always Investigating asked the Health Department to disclose more updated data on Hawaii’s breakthrough cases and found 38 individuals tested positive out of more than 220,000 people.

That is a rate of 0.017%, after widespread use of mostly the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for which clinical testing said as many as 5% or more could still come up positive.

“I talked to a doctor today on Kauai who described the vaccine to me as a miracle,” said Brooks Baehr, a spokesperson for the Hawaii Department of Health. “For the most part, the people who have experienced these breakthrough cases have not become tremendously ill.”

Some skeptics point to breakthrough cases — and continued mask rules and emergency orders — as reasons to hold off getting a shot. KHON2 wanted to know how the Health Department will renew confidence in all vaccines, especially after Johnson & Johnson doses were put on hold over potentially dangerous blood clots.

“Let’s get some more data. Let’s put it before the scientists and the doctors so they can consider it,” Baehr said. “We still believe that Johnson & Johnson is a safe vaccine, and ultimately it’ll probably get rolled out again. But there may be restrictions; they might have age restrictions or gender restrictions.”

“Once people find out the science,” Baehr said, “they begin to realize that, yeah, this is a good thing, and maybe not all that stuff I see on the internet can be believed.”

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