Fully-vaccinated Miami-Dade residents are getting infected with COVID-19

A Miami-Dade County commissioner remained hospitalized Tuesday after reporting COVID symptoms. It’s still unclear if he was the victim of the new more contagious Delta variant, the dominant strain in the U.S.

Jose “Pepe” Diaz, the commission’s chairman, and Isidoro Lopez, his chief of staff, tested positive. Diaz checked himself in at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Diaz and Lopez were both vaccinated against COVID-19. They had been working near Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, search crews, and other leaders at the site of the Surfside building collapse.

Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert with Florida International University, said those who are vaccinated should still remain cautious. She said COVID-19 vaccines are effective, but there are some people who while fully vaccinated will still get sick.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention refers to these as “vaccine breakthrough cases” and the agency is working with state and local health departments to identify patterns. As of July 6, the CDC received reports of 5,186 patients with COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infections who were hospitalized or died.

Marty said this shouldn’t dissuade anyone from receiving the COVID vaccine since it does offer a high level of protection in the majority of people.

“The vaccine is a way to prepare your body ahead of time,” Marty said.

Erin Michelle Newberg, a Miami-Dade County resident, said she received the Pfizer vaccine and was diagnosed with COVID last week. Israeli researchers found the Pfizer vaccine is less effective against Delta infections.

“So many of you expressed your friends who are vaxed are sick,” Newberg wrote on Instagram. “Yep. this vax allegedly subsides symptoms. false. not for me at least.”

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