Breakthrough infections rise, as booster platform opens

Breakthrough infections rise, as booster platform opens

A growing number of people who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are catching the virus as their immunity wanes, official figures have indicated.

According to data presented on Thursday by Greece’s National Organization for Public Health (EODY), around 40% of new reported infections over the past few days have been among fully vaccinated people. Breakthrough infections also appear more prevalent among adults up to 59 years old.

Last Sunday, for example, 1,539 — or 39.8% — of the 3,869 infections reported concerned people who had completed vaccination and around 70% were in the that age range.

A breakdown of Sunday’s figures was also provided for the different vaccines. 

Among those who had received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 40% were in the 40-59 age group, 30% were 18-39 and 15% were aged 60-79.

Likewise for the Moderna vaccine, 55% were 40-59 years old, 30% were 18-39 and 15% were aged 60-79.

The picture was different with regards to the AstraZeneca shots, which were mostly delivered within three months of each other. Here, the majority of breakthrough infections, or 45%, concerned people in the 60-79 age group, and 25% each were in the 18-39 and 40-59 categories.

However, the 18-39 age group accounted for 65% of all breakthrough infections with the single-shot Johnson&Johnson vaccine — which was taken up in large numbers by young people on the islands ahead of the start of the tourism season last April — while those aged 40-59 years old made up 25%.

Keeping closer track of breakthrough infections, EODY also plans to change the way it reports the trajectory of the virus in its daily bulletin by providing the percentage of fully vaccinated individuals among new cases and fatalities. Right now, the breakdown only concerns patients in intensive care.

In a related development, the platform opens on Friday for Covid-19 booster shot appointments for the general population.

Booster shots are advised for people over the age of 18 six months after having completed vaccinated with the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca shots.

People who took up the J&J shot in the first round can get a booster two months later.

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