Wondering where COVID-19 cases are coming from? Experts answer

We’ve heard several questions lately about where COVID-19 cases are coming from, and if they’re a result of breakthrough cases. On Wednesday, June 23, State Epidemiologist and Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger and Sky Lakes Medical Center Chief of Medical Staff Dr. Robert Jackman provided answers.  

Here are the timestamps for each question: 

7:19 – Are you tracking which vaccine the breakthrough cases are happening in? 

8:08 – Is there a breakdown of breakthrough cases by vaccine? 

8:54 – Why get the vaccine if you can still get COVID-19? 

10:51 – Do breakthrough cases account for natural immunity? 

13:00 – Can you please let us know for each COVID-19 death whether the person had been vaccinated? 

14:05 – Is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine protective against the Delta variant? 

15:17 – What about boosters? 

16:28 – How long should people wait to get vaccinated after they’ve been sick with COVID-19? 

17:31 – How is breakthrough data gathered? At testing or treatment or with hospitalization? 

18:30 – Where are the breakthrough cases occurring, through community spread or close contacts? 

19:24 – There is data showing that natural immunity from other SARS viruses can last up to 17 years, why should we assume that immunity from this SARS virus is different? 

21:01 – Do you have any sense for how clean the breakthrough data is, i.e. when folks complete their injections are they strongly advised to continue getting tested if they come down with respiratory symptoms, or is it possible that mild breakthrough cases are not being logged because folks assume they are immune and therefore don’t get tested? 

22:19 – Is there any data on whether breakthrough cases are more frequent in immunocompromised people? 

23:20 – I notice you hardly ever mention pediatric cases. Once 12 and up were eligible, you admitted there had been several pediatric surges and that cases in that age range were a big problem. Shouldn’t parents of younger children be aware of the risk level? 

25:43 – Could someone who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine three months ago also get a Pfizer or Moderna dose to help increase protection against breakthrough cases? 

27:23 – If a person received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine dose in another country with a different vaccine than the ones offered in the U.S., can you later get vaccinated here and how long do you have to wait to take the first dose in the U.S.?

This article first appeared in the June 28, 2021 issue of Oregon Coronavirus Update.