Vaccines and Breakthrough Infections

Vaccines work and they work very well.

Unfortunately, they don’t work 100% of the time.

Vaccines and Breakthrough Infections

A breakthrough infection is the term for when you get sick despite having been vaccinated and responding to the vaccine.

Two kids with smallpox - one vaccinated and one unvaccinated. Can you guess which is which?
Two kids with smallpox – one vaccinated and one unvaccinated. Can you guess which is which?

On the plus side, breakthrough infections are typically much milder than what you would have gotten if you were unvaccinated.

For example, compared to chicken pox in an unvaccinated child,  breakthrough chicken pox:

  • causes fewer chicken pox lesions (less than 50 lesions vs 200 to 500 lesions)
  • goes away faster (4 to 6 days vs at least 7 days)
  • has less or no fever
  • is less contagious

And that’s just another good reason and benefit to getting vaccinated.

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