NEW YORK – Nine members of the New York Yankees, including players and staff, have tested positive for coronavirus.
All of them had been vaccinated with the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The infections may cause some to question that vaccine’s effectiveness.
The information submitted for its emergency use authorization indicated the Johnson and Johnson vaccine had a 66% efficacy against any symptomatic COVID, including mild illness. When you consider protection against moderate to severe COVID, the efficacy went to 72% in the United States. Against severe disease it was 85% effective.
Only one of the nine people in the Yankees’ outbreak had any symptoms and they were reportedly brief and mild. The remainder had no symptoms and were identified during routine testing done three times a day for surveillance.
The infections are not unexpected and the fact that only one person had any symptoms and no one is seriously ill is a good sign the vaccine is performing as expected.
Repeated daily testing in workplaces is very unusual, but the Yankees have provided a natural laboratory to understand how the virus can spread silently even with vaccines.
Even though the CDC has lifted mask requirements for those who are vaccinated, it’s important to be sensible. If you are exposed to droplets or aerosol with COVID in it, there’s a good chance it will still infect you. With the vaccine, your immune system has a headstart in fighting against it.