COVID-19 breakthrough cases: 5 most common symptoms

Archive, COVID Blog, COVID Facts, July, Month

Breakthrough cases are rare but expected with mass vaccination programs.

As of mid-July, more than 159 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Among the vaccinated, there are more than 10,000 reported “breakthrough” cases, which is defined as testing positive for COVID-19 once fully vaccinated (two or more weeks after receiving the second vaccine dose).

Medical professionals and public health experts expect these cases with mass vaccination programs. No vaccine is 100 percent effective, but the medical community rejoiced when two COVID-19 vaccines proved to be more than 90 percent effective against the coronavirus.

The vaccine rollout has been successful, but breakthrough cases occur. However, those testing positive after vaccination have been observed to experience less severe symptoms, if any at all. This has kept the vast majority of breakthrough cases from having to be hospitalized, and it has kept them from dying.

Breakthrough cases are rare, and a breakthrough hospitalization or unfortunate death is even more rare.

This has prompted public health experts to assure people that the vaccines are working as they’re designed to.

While the symptoms associated with unvaccinated COVID-19 remain largely unchanged, researchers from the ZOE COVID Symptoms study have been tracking the most common symptoms reported in vaccinated breakthrough cases:

  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of smell

These symptoms differ from the most common symptoms still reported by unvaccinated COVID-19 patients:

  • Fever
  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle/Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Loss of taste/smell

The benefits of being vaccinated have been well documented, with health professionals urging everyone eligible to get one of the safe and effective vaccines.


The latest COVID-19 guidelines

Get the latest COVID-19 information, include current guidelines, from the CDC.

Click here

Get vaccinated

Find your nearest COVID-19 vaccination site.

Click here