Rising reports of ‘breakthrough infections’ fuel vaccine skeptics, scramble reopening plans

The marquee of the New Amsterdam theater appears in New York, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. The hit Broadway show “Aladdin” was canceled Wednesday night when breakthrough COVID-19 cases were reported within the musical’s company, a day after the show reopened,

By Tom Howell Jr. - The Washington Times - Thursday, September 30, 2021 Disney’s “Aladdin” shut down on Broadway just two nights into its long-awaited reopening, Harvard Business School moved its MBA classes online, and a State Department spokesman kicked off this week by saying he had to quarantine for 10 days. The common thread? Infections in people who have been vaccinated, which are being reported with increasing frequency and are complicating efforts to reopen society and promote the shots. Disease trackers in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere say vaccinated people have much better protection against COVID-19 than unvaccinated people and even greater protection against the worst outcomes. But the vaccines’ ability to prevent infection waned during the delta surge over the summer. The trend reveals itself in a steady trickle of reports of symptoms or positive tests in vaccinated people. It also is bedeviling efforts to convince vaccine holdouts. “You all can still get COVID, right?” Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal, who is unvaccinated, recently told a room of vaccinated reporters pressing him on his holdout status. Public health experts say breakthrough infections will be reported with great frequency as a bigger share of the population is vaccinated and society reopens after months of closures and COVID-19 restrictions. They also said the vaccines are designed to avoid the worst outcomes from COVID-19, such as hospitalization and death, so people should accept that COVID-19 will become akin to seasonal flu or a bad cold. “The incidence is going to increase as people get back to their activities and have more exposure in the face of a more contagious variant. That’s not surprising. However, if you look at who is constituting the bulk of infections, it’s still the unvaccinated,” said Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “The fact that breakthrough