Does it matter if you’re in a community with a lot of infection? Are you more likely to get a breakthrough infection?


Wen: Yes, and that’s why it matters what’s going on around you even if you are fully vaccinated. Risk is additive. The vaccine protects you well, but if you are constantly exposed to people who are carrying coronavirus, at some point you could have a breakthrough infection.

I’ve used the analogy before of a raincoat. The vaccine is an excellent raincoat. If you’re in the occasional drizzle, you’ll probably be fine. But if you’re going from thunderstorm to thunderstorm, at some point, you could get wet.

This is also why we have to see vaccination as not just an individual choice. Even if you’re vaccinated yourself, it matters if others around you are vaccinated, too.

Do we know how common breakthrough infections are or whether people who are vaccinated but get infected are able to transmit to others?

Wen: These are really important questions, and unfortunately, we don’t know the…

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