Cases of people who developed Covid-19 after vaccination are "expected" and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is tracking that data as more people get vaccinated, a CDC official told CNN on Tuesday.
The official said it’s important to study and genetically sequence “breakthrough” infections amid concerns that new variants might evade the immune protection offered by vaccines.
“We are tracking and looking at sequencing those vaccine breakthrough cases to see what are the similarities of the cases,” the CDC official told CNN.
The checks are “timely” because more people are getting vaccinated.
Current CDC guidance says that vaccination status shouldn’t affect treatment for Covid-19, but that health care providers and local health departments are encouraged to request the specimen be held and to report the case to their state health department.
CDC will work with the state health department to collect information about the case.
It also asks patients to report post-vaccination infections to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS.
The Department of Health and Human Services has previously established an interagency effort to research emerging variants and monitor how they could affect vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.
The CDC official told CNN that the agencies are working together to analyze any variants that might be disproportionately causing infection among vaccinated people and will eventually issue guidance as data is gathered.
The official underscored that vaccine trials have been designed to show protection against symptomatic disease but not necessarily asymptomatic infection and transmission.
The CDC lists a number of “variants of concern” it is monitoring for their potential to spread more easily or evade antibodies. However, none rise to the agency’s highest level, a “variant of high consequence”; this would signify that our methods to combat the variant have “significantly reduced effectiveness.”