MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Florida – Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe Martinez started experiencing flu-like symptoms earlier this week and has since tested positive for COVID-19, his office said Wednesday.
The commissioner who represents District 11 isolates himself. His staff and others who have been in close contact with him are getting tested for the virus on Wednesday, his office confirmed.
His colleague Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz has also tested positive for the virus, as has his chief of staff, Isidoro Lopez.
All three had been vaccinated against COVID-19. It is still unclear whether they fell victim to the new, more contagious Delta variant.
Dr Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at Florida International University, said on Tuesday those who are vaccinated should always remain cautious. She said COVID-19 vaccines are effective, but there are people who, although fully vaccinated, will still get sick.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling them vaccine breakthrough and the agency works with state and local health departments to identify trends.
As of July 6, the CDC had received reports of 5,186 patients with breakthrough infections from the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the CDC, 4,909 have been hospitalized and 988 have died.
Marty said that shouldn’t deter anyone from getting the COVID vaccine because it still protects against hospitalization.
“The vaccine is a way to prepare your body in advance,” Marty said, comparing it to preparations for hurricane season.
A Associated Press analysis last month government data available from May showed that “breakthrough” infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for less than 1,200 of the more than 107,000 hospitalizations related to COVID-19. It’s about 1.1%.
And only about 150 of the more than 18,000 deaths from COVID-19 in May were in people who were fully vaccinated. This translates to about 0.8%, or five deaths per day on average.
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