Over One-Third Of Vaccinated Americans Became Infected With COVID After The Jab: Poll

Over one-third of Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 now say they became infected with the virus after being fully inoculated, signifying how the highly contagious Omicron variant has driven an increase in breakthrough cases.

In a new poll released by Axios/Ispos on Tuesday, 36 percent of respondents said they either recently tested positive or believe they had COVID after being fully vaccinated. That compares to just 22 percent of respondents in mid-December, and only six percent from last summer, according to the poll.

The new numbers show how the Omicron variant, which was first detected in South Africa in November, has quickly ramped up infections across the nation. So far, research has suggested that Omicron is more contagious than other strains of COVID-19 and is more capable of evading levels of immunity.

However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains that two doses of the coronavirus vaccine and a booster shot provides a significant level of protection against the virus. The agency also notes that fully vaccinated people are much less likely to develop serious symptoms or die from the virus than those who are unvaccinated.

In some places across the country, up to 80 percent of those hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

Caroline Goldzweig, chief medical officer of Cedars-Sinai Medical Network, previously told Newsweek: "The vaccines were never designed to keep us from getting COVID. What they are doing is preventing us from getting really sick from COVID and needing to be hospitalized and dying from COVID."

"What we know now is that this Omicron variant seems to get around the vaccines. We also know that immunity starts to wane, it starts to decrease over time in pretty much everyone, and that's why the booster is important to sort of 'rev' your immune system back up and give you protection from these newer variants," she added.

Manhattan Doctor Craig Spencer recently added on Twitter: "Every patient I've seen with Covid that's had a 3rd 'booster' dose has had mild symptoms. By mild I mean mostly sore throat. Lots of sore throats. Also some fatigue, maybe some muscle pain.

"No difficulty breathing. No shortness of breath. All a little uncomfortable, but fine," in comparison to unvaccinated populations, which are much more likely to become severely ill and require intensive care treatment.

COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infections
36 percent of Americans now say the became infected with Covid-19 after being fully vaccinated. Here, a vaccine is prepared for administration at Union Station in Los Angeles, California on January 7, 2022. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

The latest poll also found that nearly 90 percent of Americans say they know someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic first began two years ago. As the Omicron variant continues to drive a surge in cases, more than 50 percent also said they believe it will be more than a year — or possibly never — before they can return to a pre-COVID life.

"It's 'America retrenches,'" said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs, according to Axios. "People all of a sudden are being assaulted again by the virus and therefore they're changing. And if they're not, somebody very close to them is."

In the past week, the U.S. reported more than 5.2 million COVID-19 cases and 11,523 deaths, according to data compiled from Johns Hopkins University.As of Tuesday, more than 74 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while more than 62 percent are fully vaccinated, the CDC reports.

"The risk of infection, hospitalization, and death are all much lower in vaccinated compared to unvaccinated people. Therefore, everyone ages 5 years and older should get vaccinated to protect themselves and those around them, including family members who are not able to be vaccinated from severe disease and death," the CDC states on its website.

The latest survey was conducted from January 7-10 using a nationally representative sample of 1,054 Americans age 18 or older. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.