Coronavirus infections and serious illness from the disease among vaccinated New Yorkers are “incredibly rare,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, citing newly released city data.
Breakthrough infections — when someone contracts the coronavirus despite being immunized for it — account for few of the Big Apple’s COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations resulting from them, new figures compiled from January through August show.
Just 0.33 percent of New Yorkers who have completed their vaccine series have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, the data shows. Among those forced to the hospital from virus complications, 97 percent were not vaccinated, according to the tally.
“There are some breakthrough cases, that’s true, but the bottom line is that vaccines overwhelmingly work,” de Blasio said during his daily press briefing, held remotely Wednesday morning on Staten Island.
“What the data proves is that breakthrough cases are incredibly rare.”
The promising numbers for vaccinated people hold even after the virulent Delta variant emerged in the five boroughs earlier this summer.
Data collected from Jan. 17 through Aug. 17 shows the COVID-19 vaccines have warded off infection and illness among New Yorkers. During that time, unvaccinated people accounted for 96.1 percent of all COVID-19 cases, 96.9 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations and 97.3 percent of COVID-19 deaths, according to the city’s health department.
“Our new health department analysis shows that the vaccines continue to be highly effective against the coronavirus, including the Delta variant,” said Dr. Dave Chokshi, the commissioner of the agency.
“The vaccines continue to protect the outcomes we most want to avoid: hospitalizations and death.”
“Yes, there is still transmission, but the transmission does not harm the vast, vast majority of vaccinated people,” said Dr. Mitch Katz, head of NYC Health + Hospitals.
As the highly contagious Delta variant spreads, vaccines have been slightly less effective at preventing people from catching the virus.
Still, the city’s top doctor said instances where people who have received their shots and subsequently fall ill with COVID-19 “remain uncommon” as the more infectious version of the virus, first found in December 2020, had spread in the five boroughs.
“COVID-19 cases in vaccinated people remain uncommon but have increased in recent weeks,” Chokshi said, ascribing the increase to the Delta variant.
“What it shows is that, in the most recent weeks, people who are unvaccinated are 13 times more likely to be hospitalized compared to people who are fully vaccinated, and 3 times more likely to be infected.”
According to city data, 75 percent of New Yorkers have received at least one jab of a COVID-19 vaccine.
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