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Nearly 300 North Dakotans catch COVID after getting vaccine

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 3:48 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - As the vaccine becomes more available, the more we learn about its effectiveness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 95 million Americans have been inoculated.

But states are seeing an increasing number of fully-vaccinated people still getting sick.

Health professionals have warned about going to the new normal too soon after being vaccinated. And here’s why: just because you have the vaccine, doesn’t mean the virus goes away.

Chris Larson lives in a Mayville long-term care facility and has been fully vaccinated since January.

He follows his guidelines and the guidelines of the unit. But despite all of that, he knew he wasn’t invincible.

“I have said that to myself every single day: I have the vaccine. That doesn’t mean I’m not gonna get it. I just hope and pray that if I do get it, it’s not as bad as some of these other cases we hear about,” Larson said.

And Larson has reasons to be cautious. Not only does he live with other long-term care residents, but he’s been sick before. In 2017, he was on a ventilator for pneumonia for three months.

“My lungs were beat up. They were beat up like nobody’s business. It was bad,” Larson said.

He managed to avoid going on a ventilator or even going to the hospital. He says the vaccine kept the symptoms for getting worse.

Chris isn’t alone in catching the virus despite being vaccinated. They’re called “breakthrough” cases.

According to the DOH, 299 people in North Dakota have contracted the virus despite being fully vaccinated.

“In comparison to other vaccines, they’re definitely similar and up there with other vaccines like chicken pox, measles, mumps and rubella. They’re more effective than the flu vaccine we give every year,” DOH Immunization Director Molly Howell said.

According to the CDC, there have been 835 hospitalizations and 132 deaths after inoculation across the entire United States.

This is a rate of one and a half deaths out of more than 1 million vaccinations.

All that can be done for now is for the DOH to send the data to the CDC, and then vaccine manufacturers in hopes the numbers will improve.

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