WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Six fully vaccinated people who attended an outdoor wedding in Texas got COVID-19, a new study says.
- All the breakthrough infections were in guests over 50.
- There were two serious cases, including one death: an attendee who’d had India’s Covaxin vaccine.
In April, 92 people gathered in Texas for a wedding. To lower the chances of COVID-19 infection, the festivities were held outside under a large, open-air tent. All 92 guests were required to be fully vaccinated.
Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine said viral sequencing suggests “the strain containing the Delta variant was transmitted to wedding guests from two patients travelling from India. With no history of vaccine failure in these patients, our observations suggest these are true cases of vaccine breakthrough, mediated by the Delta variant.”
Three females and three men ages 53-69 tested positive for COVID-19. Three were overweight, but none had significant comorbidities or a history of failed vaccination.
The first people to get sick were a man and woman who traveled from India, Forbes reported. The man had no health problems, but the woman had diabetes. Both had gotten two doses of the Covaxin BBV152 vaccine before leaving India.
They tested positive for COVID 4 days after the wedding, and the man became so ill he was hospitalized. Six days after the wedding, he died, according to reports.
Two people who’d gotten the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and two people who received the Moderna vaccine interacted with the first two people, and they also tested positive. One of them, a man in his 60s, had to be hospitalized.
The researchers said their findings suggest the Delta variant “may possess immune evasion” in patients that received the Pfizer, Moderna, or Covaxin vaccines.
“It’s very difficult with a sample size as small as this to give any sort of definitive or cut-and-dry answer as far as, ‘oh, Pfizer is better than Moderna, or better than Covaxin.'” study author Timothy Farinholt from Baylor College of Medicine said.
“What is important to glean from this is that it isn’t over until we reach some sort of theoretical max vaccination point, and we start curbing the spread of whatever variant is currently predominant.”
Rochelle Walensky, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has said vaccinated people should still get a COVID-19 test if they experience symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat, or cough, which can be indicative of a mild Delta infection among fully vaccinated people.
“What I would say is if you have those upper-respiratory symptoms and you’ve been vaccinated, you should absolutely get a COVID-19 test,” Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 briefing last week.
But she also stressed that preliminary data from the past few months suggested that 99.5% of coronavirus deaths in the US were occurring in unvaccinated people.