CHICAGO (CBS) —Â Six million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given in Illinois, but a small group of people have still contracted COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated. They are called breakthrough cases.
Illinois is reportingÂ roughly 400 of the breakthrough cases, which is less than .02% of those fully vaccinated, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.READ MORE: Jensen Elementary Mother Dies From COVID-19 After Daughter Exposed At School
CBS 2 has learned six Illinoisans have died from COVID-19 after getting the full vaccination. But for some perspective, 238 Illinoisans once died from COVID-19 in one day.
“Weâve had fewer than 100 cases, but we have had cases here in Chicago of people who have been fully vaccinated,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. “Nobody has needed to be hospitalized. Nobody has died.”
Arwady said most of those people were asymptomatic and got tracked because the city does âroutine testing in high risk settings.â
The stats for Illinois, a much larger sample size, look a little different. From the very first Illinois COVID vaccination on Dec. 15 until March 31, the state says 2.2 million Illinoisans received their final shots. Of those, 399 still tested positive for the virus and of those, 17 were hospitalized from COVID-19. Six died.
But health experts say itâs important to keep context.READ MORE: Woman Struck And Killed When Car Jumps Curb, Hits Building In Gresham
“When we compare these numbers to people who are unvaccinated, we have an incredibly decreased rate of infection, two hospitalizations, and three deaths,” said Dr. Sharon Welbel, Cook County’s top epidemiologist.
Among the three vaccines, effectiveness at preventing COVID ranges from 95% with Pfizer and 85% with Johnson and Johnson.
“Even a vaccine thatâs 90% to 95% effective is not 100% protective,” said Arwady.
Welbel says itâs a reminder that the vaccine isnât fail proof, and breakthrough numbers like these are exactly why many health experts are saying even if you are vaccinated, keep the masks on and social distance for the time being.
“I hope that people understand that the risk of getting COVID and dying from COVID is significantly greater, at this point, than getting vaccinated,” she said.MORE NEWS: Cook County Gives $200,000 Grant To Social Service Agency Lawrence Hall
Illinois is certainly not alone. Breakthrough cases have also been reported in Minnesota, Florida and Washington state.