Fauci says some ‘breakthrough’ infections after vaccinations ‘inevitable’

It seems like common sense, but the nation’s top infectious disease expert wants to make sure people understand that a vaccine with 95 percent efficacy is not 100 percent effective.

Anthony Fauci on Monday said it is inevitable that some people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will still get a “breakthrough” infection, because no vaccine is 100 percent effective.

What this means: A breakthrough infection is when a person contracts an illness despite being vaccinated against it. Fauci noted that there will be hundreds, and maybe thousands of instances of completely vaccinated people getting infected with COVID-19.

The key is to compare the small number of infections to the tens, and eventually hundreds, of millions of people who’ve been vaccinated, Fauci said. And even if a vaccine fails to protect against infection, it often protects against serious disease.

“We see this with all vaccines, in clinical trials, in the real world,” Fauci said during a virtual White House briefing. “No vaccine is 100 percent efficacious, or effective, which means that you will always see breakthrough infections, regardless of the efficacy of your vaccine.”