What it’s like to get COVID-19 after taking second dose of vaccine


By August 4, 2021, India had administered 48.52 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and recorded 2.6 lakh breakthrough infections. While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), USA, defines a breakthrough COVID-19 infection as one that occurs at least 14 days after a person receives the second dose of their COVID-19 vaccine, the Indian Health Ministry appears to define these as COVID-19 infections that occur after taking both one as well as two doses of the vaccine. By August 3, 1.71 lakh breakthrough infections had been recorded in people who were inoculated with just one dose of the vaccine. The number was lower for those who were fully vaccinated with two doses – 87,049 breakthrough infections were recorded by the same date in this demographic.

The Union Health Ministry as well as several experts have pointed out that breakthrough infections are not unexpected, because no vaccine is 100% effective at preventing infections. In fact, INSACOG, the Union government’s genome sequencing consortium, said on September 1 that the breakthrough infections reported in India were well within the expected numbers.

What is it like to get a breakthrough infection? Are the symptoms as severe as they would be if you are unvaccinated? TNM spoke to several people who got breakthrough infections over 14 days after they were fully vaccinated with two doses.