State health officials urge all NJ residents to get vaccinated, despite COVID-19 breakthrough cases

State health officials say that more than 18% of all positive COVID-19 cases in New Jersey are among people who are vaccinated against the virus.

News 12 Staff

Aug 10, 2021, 2:18 AM

Updated 984 days ago

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State health officials say that more than 18% of all positive COVID-19 cases in New Jersey are among people who are vaccinated against the virus.
The statistic is fueling an already explosive fire for those who are hesitant to get the vaccine. But health experts still say that those who have not gotten the vaccine yet, should consider getting the shot. They say that getting the vaccine is still the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“I am a COVID survivor. Last year I had COVID,” says James Louissaint, of Irvington.
As a COVID-19 survivor and father of an 11-year-old who is not yet eligible to receive the vaccine, Louissaint says that her knows how important it was for him to get the vaccine. News 12 New Jersey spoke to him while he received his second vaccine shot at an Essex County vaccine clinic in Maplewood.
“If everyone complied and got vaccinated, I’m pretty sure that we could beat this thing. And keep the variants at bay,” he says.
Dr. Lewis Nelson, chair of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, explains the importance of getting vaccinated.
“People who get the vaccine, even if they test positive, don’t get very sick. They don’t die. They have a low risk of being hospitalized,” he says.
Data from the state shows that while 18.5% of positive COVID-19 cases between July 20-26 were breakthrough cases, only 3% of hospitalizations were among vaccinated patients. No fully vaccinated patients died from the virus.
Nelson says that the vaccine doesn’t just protect individuals. It also helps keep those who can’t get the vaccine safe and protects everyone from potentially worse variants.
SEARCH FOR A CURE: Statistics and State Resources
“There’s a public health role as well,” Nelson says. “If everyone around you is vaccinated, your risk of transmitting it is low. And the risk of someone getting it is low. That means the risk is negligible.”
Nelson says that the virus is able to mutate among the unvaccinated.
“If we increase the mutation rate by increasing the infectivity - we do run the risk of developing a variant that completely escapes the current vaccines. That would bring us right back to where we were last March where no one was vaccinated,” he says.
Nelson also says that New Jersey residents should start wearing masks indoors again. This aligns with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Data from the CDC states that all 21 counties in New Jersey have a “substantial” or “high risk” of transmitting the virus. The agency says that even the vaccinated can carry the virus in their noses or throats, spreading the virus, without exhibiting any symptoms.


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