What are the chances of getting COVID-19 after being vaccinated?

Following the disruptions of the unrest in certain provinces in South Africa, the country’s vaccination roll out is gaining momentum again, but what are the odds of contracting COVID-19 after getting vaccinated? 

Bhekisisa reported that 8.3 million people have received at least one dose while 3.3 million people are fully vaccinated. While the next age group, 18-35, will be able to get vaccinated from 1 September. However, people who have been vaccinated are still able to pick up COVID-19. 

Here’s what you need to know about the odds of contracting COVID-19 while vaccinated. 


Bhekisisa took an in-depth look at the breakthrough infections in the US which found that only a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated get infected with the virus again and if they do, it seems to be a mild version. Breakthrough infections refers to people who get sick despite being vaccinated.

“The CDC compiled data from 49 out of America’s 50 states: of the 163 million Americans who had been fully vaccinated by July, 6 587 people had been hospitalised or died as a result of breakthrough infections,” stated Bhekisisa.

“As the US data on breakthrough infections show, only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated get infected with SARS-CoV-2, and the infections tend to be mild. The infections are generally mild, because what COVID vaccines are best at doing is to protect us from falling severely ill — or dying — if we develop COVID-19,” stated Bhekisisa.

ALSO READ: Covid-19 Vaccine Latest: WHO support for SA vaccine production


Data from the United Kingdom shows that the two-jab Pfizer vaccine, reduces your chances of being hospitalised as a result of the Delta variant by 96%. Pfizer is currently being given to the designated age groups in South Africa.

However, there are still cases of mild infections in those who have been vaccinated. 

“The protection offered by the same vaccine against developing milder forms of COVID caused by the Delta variant, is lower than the protection it offers against falling severely ill. England data shows one jab offers 36% protection against such infection and two shots reduce your chances of infection by 88%,” according to Bhekisisa.


Different variants of the virus, such as the Delta or Beta variants, can alter the efficiency of the vaccine. 

“Variants of concern (this is how the World Health Organisation refers to forms of the virus that could potentially cause problems) are different versions of the virus, which have undergone structural changes which alter their behaviour in a significant way,” according to Bhekisisa.

So, in conclusion, the vaccine does not guarantee that you won’t be infected with COVID-19 or any of the variants. However, it reduces your chances of ending up in an intensive care unit (ICU) or dying from the virus.

ALSO READ: Four things you need to know before walking into a vaccination site

Source: thesouthafrican.com