Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Click Here to Support KAZU's Fall Membership Drive!

Breakthrough COVID Cases And What They Mean For The Ongoing Pandemic

(Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
(Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

Bruce Vanderhoff is chief medical officer for Ohio’s Department of Health. Knowing the virulence of the Delta strain of COVID, he has this warning for the unvaccinated:

“You only have two choices left: Either you get vaccinated, or you are going to get COVID-19,” he says.

But there are more and more headlines about so-called breakthrough cases among people who already got their shots. Sean Fruit of California is one of them:

“It was extremely frustrating because we just spent a year and a half avoiding this thing,” he says.

White House Chief Medical Advisor Anthony Fauci says no vaccine is 100% perfect.

“It’s not surprising that you are seeing breakthrough infections,” he says.” The good news is that the people without do get infected generally have either no symptoms or very mild symptoms.”

Today, On Point: Pushing beyond the frightening headlines to the facts about so-called breakthrough cases.


Travis Dagenais, he’s fully vaccinated but caught COVID over the Fourth of July weekend while visiting Provincetown on Cape Cod.

Dr. Julie Morita, executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Former member of President Biden’s COVID-19 advisory panel during his presidential transition. (@DrJulieMorita)

Jennifer Nuzzo, epidemiologist and global health security policy scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. (@JenniferNuzzo)

Jim Mangia, president and CEO at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center.


This article was originally published on

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit