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Idaho, Washington Each Report Nearly 100 "Breakthrough" Coronavirus Cases

Courtesy of State of Idaho

SPR's Doug Nadvornick reports.

Washington and Idaho health officials say each state has recorded about 100 cases of people who contracted Covid after receiving a vaccine. Those are called “breakthrough” cases.

In Washington, the number is 102. In Idaho, it’s 97.Kathryn Turner is Idaho’s deputy state epidemiologist. She says that number represents a tiny percentage of the 250,000 Idahoans who are fully vaccinated for the coronavirus.

“Eighty percent of them had either very mild symptoms, this would be something similar to allergy symptoms or a head cold. Or they experienced moderate symptoms, similar to flu-like symptoms in which most people feel really crummy for a couple of days and then feel better," she said.

Turner says only three of those people needed hospitalization. All of them had pre-existing conditions that may have contributed to their symptoms.

In Washington, state health officials also say most of the “breakthrough” people have had mild symptoms. Eight have been hospitalized. Officials say they’re investigating two cases where patients, both in their eighties, died to confirm if those are applicable.

As to how the two states compare to “breakthrough” cases in other states, Kathryn Turner says it’s too early to tell.

“Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton of national data yet on vaccine breakthrough cases. The CDC is collecting these data from all states and jurisdictions into a database, but not a lot has been released yet," she said.

She says Idaho is trying to get as many of those “breakthrough” samples into labs so they can be analyzed, but it often takes up to two weeks to get results back in those cases.