MDH reports 89 ‘breakthrough’ cases of COVID-19 after becoming fully vaccinated; Ehresmann says ‘it’s not surprising’

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The Minnesota Department of Health has identified 89 "breakthrough" cases of COVID-19.

Director of Infectious Diseases Kris Ehresmann said a "breakthrough" case is when a person gets COVID-19 after the two weeks following getting fully vaccinated. She said it’s not surprising.

"No, no, because the vaccine is not 100% effective," she said.

Ehresmann said so far, MDH has interviewed 81% of the 89 people with "breakthrough" cases.

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"There are 30 of 72 cases [that] were symptomatic, so that means that 42 of 72 cases didn’t have any symptoms at all, and so I think that’s important to keep in mind," Ehresmann said.

She says it means even if you’re vaccinated, you could still get the disease, be asymptomatic and pass it along to someone else.

"That’s why we are continuing to say even though you’ve been vaccinated, it’s important when you’re out and about, that you continue to mask, that’s why health care workers continue to need to wear personal protective equipment on the job even if they’ve been vaccinated," she said.

MDH’s goal is to get 80% of Minnesotans vaccinated. Ehresmann said once that happens, officials and experts will re-evaluate to make sure Minnesota has reached herd immunity to ward off the major spread.

"I’m concerned about is this race between the vaccines and the variants. We want to make sure that we can get as many people vaccinated as possible," Ehresmann said.