Immunocompromised more likely to have breakthrough COVID cases, hospitalization

Today, the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), American Lung Association and American Thoracic Society released the following statement in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations:,

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Today, the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), American Lung Association and American Thoracic Society released the following statement in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations:

Recently, there has been a dramatic rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations due to the highly contagious Delta variant. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review, vaccinated immunocompromised people are more likely to have breakthrough infections leading to hospitalization. The CDC reports that “44% of hospitalized breakthrough cases are immunocompromised people.”

Our organizations urge every eligible person to get vaccinated, to wear a mask in indoor public spaces no matter your COVID-19 vaccination status, and to follow other CDC guidelines like maintaining social distancing, including avoiding crowded indoor spaces, washing your hands often, and staying home if you feel unwell. It is important for everyone to follow CDC guidelines; these recommendations are especially important to protect the immunocompromised population, including those with cancer, who are at higher risk for COVID-19 hospitalization and death, even when vaccinated.

Currently, three COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, safe and effectively reduce your risk of severe illness. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Comirnaty, has recently received full Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

Wearing a mask is the best way to minimize the number of droplets and aerosols you inhale and decreases your risk of infection. If you are infected, experiencing or are asymptomatic, wearing a mask reduces your risk of spreading the virus and infecting others. Wearing a mask has no impact on oxygen levels, even for those with chronic lung diseases.

We encourage everyone to wear a mask according to CDC recommendations and to get their COVID-19 vaccine to not only protect themselves, but to protect those for whom the vaccine offers less protection, those who are immunocompromised, and those who can’t get vaccinated, such as children under age 12.


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More information:
COVID tracker weekly review: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-n … COVIDview/index.html

Provided by
American Thoracic Society

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