COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases have increased in Washington state, the Department of Health says, but vaccines continue to provide protection. Breakthrough cases recently increased 43%, according to a Thursday news release. The state counts a breakthrough case if a person tests positive for COVID-19 via a PCR or antigen test and has received their final vaccine dose over two weeks prior. The state believes the increase is related to the record-breaking surge in disease activity across the state.
The newer variant appears to evade vaccine immunity to a greater extent than previous variants, DOH Chief Health Officer Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett said in a news release, but vaccines and boosters still effectively lower the risk of hospitalization and death.