Despite long-haulers’ fight for recognition, any discussion of the pandemic still largely revolves around two extremes—good health at one end, and hospitalization or death at the other. This ignores the hinterland of disability that lies in between, where millions of people are already stuck, and where many more may end up. The coronavirus is here to stay, and even as vaccines diminish the threat of hospitalization and death, we don’t know yet how well they will protect against the disability of long COVID.
But no one knows the odds of developing long COVID after a breakthrough infection. The only formal data come from an Israeli study that tested about 1,500 fully vaccinated health-care workers and found 39 breakthrough cases, of whom seven still had symptoms after six weeks.
Nationally, internal CDC documents obtained by the Washington Post estimate 35,000 breakthrough infections a week, or about two hundredths of a percent (0.02%) of all fully vaccinated people.
Less fear, more caution. “The takeaway,” says Medical Director Cecilia Stuopis, “is that our individual risk is small, but our collective responsibility is great. In other words, while we are well-protected by vaccination, to keep our community safe, we need to be willing to add additional layers of protection for now — masking indoors, distancing, and avoiding risky situations. The virus isn’t going away, and we can’t control how it will evolve, but we can control how we respond, and that can change the course of the pandemic.”
Adjusted VE during this Delta predominant period was 66% (95% CI = 26%–84%) compared with 91% (95% CI = 81%–96%) during the months preceding Delta predominance.
Choosing KN95 masks:
The bottom line: a few good brand names include Powecom, WWDOLL, Hotodeal, WellBefore, Hope Health Supply, and Evolvetogether.