Three Hawaii residents who were fully vaccinated against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, according to the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH).
All three patients had received both doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, reported KITV4. They all experienced mild symptoms and did not appear to spread the disease to others, the DOH told the news station.
COVID-19 vaccines don’t prevent infection, however they mitigate severe symptoms and lower the risk of hospitalization, health experts say.
One of the patients, an Oahu-based health care worker, received the second and final dose of the vaccine in January. The worker traveled to several U.S. cities about a month later, and tested positive following routine testing upon returning to Hawaii as per travel protocol.
Contact tracing hasn’t identified any additional infections among close contacts of the health care worker.
It isn’t clear which vaccines each of the three patients received.
Lt. Gov. of Hawaii, Josh Green, urged people not to be discouraged by the news, as the vaccines work “in a huge percentage of people.”
“Remember, 95 percent of people get immunity from the vaccines and five percent don’t from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine,” Green told news station KHON2.
“Some people are going to dive on to this and say, oh, then the vaccine doesn’t work. No, it does work. It works in a huge percentage of people, but not everyone and that’s an important message,” he added.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who have previously been infected with COVID-19 should still get a vaccine.
“You should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again,” the CDC says on its website.
People who received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma should wait 90 days before getting a vaccine, the agency added.
Another CDC webpage states that getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection or immunity.
“Current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection. However, experts don’t know for sure how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity,” it states. “COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness.”
CDC director Rochelle Walensky on Monday said that fully vaccinated people should not begin traveling.
“Related to spring break, they are not the demographic we’ve been focusing in on with regard to travel,” she told reporters at a press briefing, adding that even if fully vaccinated people travel, they “go out and they mix with people who are not vaccinated.”
“We’re so close to vaccinating so many other people, so I would just encourage and remind people that now is not the time to travel,” she said.
Hawaii’s health department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment by The Epoch Times.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.