Hundreds of El Pasoans have tested positive for COVID-19 after being vaccinated, according to city officials.
City leaders said 752 people in El Paso tested positive after receiving the vaccine.
El Paso’s Public Health Authority Doctor Hector Ocaranza said he is unsure if the positives came after the people impacted first or second doses.
He said that information is not known at this time.
“Even though it’s not common it is possible,” Ocaraza said.
Experts call it ‘breakthrough infections’ after testing positive for COVID-19 after getting a vaccine.
More than 325,000 people in El Paso have received at least one dose of a vaccine, meaning 752 is a small number.
The city tracks this number by calling those who have tested positive and asking if they have been inoculated.
“Since February we have been asking whether they have been vaccinated,” Ocaranza said.
Ocaranza said in some of those cases it has ended up in hospitalization.
“It’s about 10 percent of those 752 so we know that but the vast majority of the people do not have to be hospitalized,” Ocaranza said.
Immunized people can still get infected for a number of reasons.
“If you receive the vaccine today and you go back 14 days from that and you were exposed then you probably got it from x y z place or a gathering you attended,” Ocaranza said.
Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines are around 95 percent effective. This leaves a small margin of error for them to not work.
“No vaccine is going to be 100 percent effective in preventing some of that infection,” Ocaranza said.
Ocaranza said you should not panic or have doubts and that vaccines are very effective in preventing serious illness.
“We know for example the flu shot people might still get some milder disease but it definitely will help them prevent ending up in the hospital or lead to severe complications,” Ocaranza said.
Ocaranza encourages people to go onto their epcovidvaccine.com website and under ‘Facts’ you can register for the V-Safe Health Checker.
It’s a tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
Through V-safe, you can quickly tell the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Depending on your answers, someone from CDC may call to check on you and get more information. It will also remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one.