New York Yankees say eight vaccinated members tested positive for COVID-19
NEW YORK - Multiple positive COVID-19 tests among vaccinated members of the New York Yankees illustrate that while it is possible to contract COVID after being vaccinated, the symptoms are typically far less severe.
According to CNN, eight members of the New York Yankees tested positive for coronavirus this week after being inoculated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two weeks ago, the baseball team said Thursday.
The infected Yankees include coaches, staff members and one player.
Jason Zillo, the team's vice president of communications, said that while seven of the infected individuals do not have symptoms, third base coach Phil Nevin showed symptoms, but is now feeling better.
CNN notes that the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 72% effective against COVID-19 among US trial participants and 85% effective against severe COVID-19.
The other vaccines in use by residents of the US, which are two-dose vaccines produced by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, are both about 95% effective.
Health experts say it is not possible to contract COVID-19 from any of these vaccines, as none of the vaccines actually contain coronavirus.
However, if a fully vaccinated individual does get COVID-19, their symptoms will likely be far less severe than if they were not vaccinated at all.
Dr. Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, said the fact that almost all of the infected Yankees don't have symptoms shows how "remarkably great" the vaccine is at preventing people from getting sick from COVID-19.
CNN notes that though there have been reports of 'breakthrough' infections among vaccinated people, these represent a small fraction of the more than 117 million people in the US who are fully vaccinated.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that in those cases, "the resulting infection is more likely to have a lower viral load, may be shorter in duration, and likely less risk of transmission to others."
It's also vital for individuals to remember that they are still vulnerable to infection immediately after receiving a vaccination, because the inoculation doesn't fully kick in until about two weeks after the last dose.
According to CNN, the Yankees have been playing under relaxed health and safety protocols after reaching an MLB-recommended 85% threshold of vaccinated team members in late April.
The New York State Department of Health released a statement regarding the team's recent announcement about its positive COVID-19 cases.
The statement said, "While there have been anecdotal reports of New Yorkers who have had a positive COVID test 14 or more days after receiving their last vaccine dose, DOH is investigating those cases along with the ones linked to the Yankees further to determine if they meet the formal CDC definition of vaccine breakthrough."
The Yankees are scheduled to travel to Baltimore ahead of their series against the Orioles, Friday.
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