The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will report only those breakthrough cases resulting in hospitalization or death. The agency also lowered the testing threshold, but only for the fully vaccinated.
As more reports surface of breakthrough COVID cases, in and outside the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today said it will change how breakthrough cases are reported, effective May 14.
According to a on the CDC’s website, the agency said to help “maximize the quality of the data collected on cases of greatest clinical and public health importance” it will stop reporting weekly COVID unless they result in hospitalization or death.
Both changes will result in lower overall numbers of reports of breakthrough cases in the U.S.
In an RT-PCR test — the gold standard for detecting SARS-CoV-2 — RNA is extracted from the swab collected from the patient. It is then converted into DNA, which is then amplified.
“If the were to be lowered to 24 it would mean that CT values in the range 25-34 would not be considered positive,” according to the Indian Council of Medical Research, as by The Indian Express. “A benchmark of 35, therefore, means that more patients would be considered positive than we would get if the benchmark were 24.”
In other words, lowering CT threshold parameter may lead to missing infectious persons.
Because the change in how the CDC will report breakthrough cases is still being implemented and won’t take effect until May 14, the CDC did not report new numbers this week.
According to the latest available numbers, as of April 26, the CDC 9,245 people had tested positive for COVID at least two weeks after getting their final COVID vaccination. About 9%, or 835, people required hospitalization and 132 died.
Of the hospitalized patients, 241 were said to be asymptomatic or having an illness not related to COVID, and 20 deaths were reported as asymptomatic or not related to the disease.
“These surveillance data are a snapshot and help identify patterns and look for signals among vaccine breakthrough cases,” the CDC . “As CDC and state health departments shift to focus only on investigating vaccine breakthrough cases that result in hospitalization or death, those data will be regularly updated and posted every Friday.”
According to the , actual vaccine breakthrough numbers are likely higher as the surveillance system is passive and relies on voluntary reporting from state health departments and may not be complete. In addition, some breakthrough cases will not be identified due to lack of testing. This is particularly true in instances of asymptomatic or mild illness, CDC added.
According to , 62.2% of the island’s adult population has received two doses of COVID vaccines. That compares with 55.9% for Israel, the second most vaccinated nation. and AstraZeneca’s Covishield are the being administered in the Seychelles.
“Despite all the exceptional efforts we are making, the Covid-19 situation in our country is critical right now, with many daily cases reported last week,” Peggy Vidot, the nation’s health minister, said at a Tuesday.
On a per capita basis, the Seychelles outbreak is worse than India’s raging surge. Peaking at an average of just more than 100 new cases a day is a big deal in a country with a population of fewer than 100,000 people, .
Of those cases, 84% are Seychellois and 16% are foreigners, , clinical professor of medicine at Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine,. Just under two-thirds of those are either unvaccinated or have only had one dose, and the remainder have had two doses, Lucey added.
A comparison between Sinopharm, Covishield and unvaccinated infected persons could be done using genetic sequencing and data on the severity of their infections, . “Given the widespread international use of these two vaccines there are global implications to what is happening now in the Seychelles.”
Officials at a gave little detail on what could be behind the infection surge other than to say people were taking fewer precautions against the virus than before and the surge may be due to celebrations after Easter.
“As more time passes and more people are fully vaccinated, it is likely that additional post-vaccination cases will occur,” the California Department of Public Health said in a statement.
Post-vaccination cases are recorded if a person tests positive for SARS-Cov-2 two weeks after receiving J&J or completing the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccination.
The state health department did not have information on hospitalizations and deaths attributed to breakthrough cases.