Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Hawai´i Identifies First 3 “Breakthrough” Cases of COVID-19

March 12, 2021, 5:51 PM HST
Listen to this Article
1 minute
Loading Audio...

The Hawai´i Department of Health (DOH) on Friday noted the state’s first three “breakthrough” cases of coronavirus, which isn’t so positive a term as it sounds.

A breakthrough case describes an incident in which a fully vaccinated person (someone who received both doses) later contracts COVID-19.

“This number is not outside what we would expect with nearly 165,000 people in Hawai‘i who are fully vaccinated,” according to a statement released by the DOH Friday.

A vaccine with 95% efficacy will protect 95 out of 100 people. This means 5% may still contract COVID if exposed. 

“This another reason we must all do our part to keep case counts low,” the department continued. “The lower the prevalence of COVID in the community, the lower the chance any of us, even those who have been vaccinated, will be infected.”


It is important to note that none of the individuals with “breakthrough” COVID became severely ill and none are known to have transmitted COVID to another person. Studies on all three currently approved vaccines circulating in the US notes that they are nearly 100% effective at stopping positive cases from resulting in hospitalization and/or death, in other words “severe” cases of COVID-19 infection.


“The vaccines are preventing serious illness as they are designed to do,” the department said.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Mahalo for Subscribing


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments (25)