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PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264179, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736506


As of March 2021, three COVID-19 vaccines had been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the United States. Each has substantial efficacy in preventing COVID-19. However, as efficacy from trials was <100% for all three vaccines, disease in vaccinated people is expected to occur. We created a spreadsheet-based tool to estimate the number of symptomatic COVID-19 cases among vaccinated people (vaccine breakthrough infections) based on published vaccine efficacy (VE) data, percent of the population that has been fully vaccinated, and average number of COVID-19 cases reported per day. We estimate that approximately 199,000 symptomatic vaccine breakthrough infections (95% CI: ~183,000-214,000 cases) occurred in the United States during January-July 2021 among >156 million fully vaccinated people. With high SARS-CoV-2 transmission and increasing numbers of people vaccinated in the United States, vaccine breakthrough infections will continue to accumulate. Understanding expectations regarding number of vaccine breakthrough infections enables accurate public health messaging to help ensure that the occurrence of such cases does not negatively affect vaccine perceptions, confidence, and uptake.

COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/epidemiology , /statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Incidence , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Time Factors , United States/epidemiology , Vaccination Coverage/statistics & numerical data