INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s leaders cite the dramatic drop in the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 as one reason Hoosiers should get the vaccine.
Indiana’s governor, state health experts and other medical leaders also note the small number of cases diagnosed in people who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The morning of the Indianapolis 500, while talking on-air with 13News, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb lauded the state’s vaccine program, saying it is working.
“The proof is in the pudding. The facts speak for themselves. 99.3% of all of our new COVID cases are from unvaccinated folks,” Holcomb said.
A WTHR viewer who saw the interview asked if the 99.3% figure is correct and where are the numbers to support that claim.
Yes, data kept by the state shows that 99.3% of new COVID-19 cases in Indiana are diagnosed in people who have not been vaccinated.
WHAT WE FOUND
In order to understand how many COVID-19 cases involve people who are not vaccinated, it is important to know how experts calculate cases in people who are vaccinated.
Those cases that occur after someone is fully vaccinated are known as “breakthrough cases.” The CDC defines a breakthrough case as a COVID-19 diagnosis 14 or more days after the person has finished a vaccine regimen. As of June, that regimen is either two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Holcomb made his comments to 13News on May 30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Indiana State Health Department keeps track of the infection and vaccine data for the state and is the primary reporting source to the CDC and other federal agencies.
As of the end of May, numbers from the state show that between Jan. 18 and April 30, 126,760 Hoosiers were diagnosed with COVID-19.
The state reports 893 of those patients were fully vaccinated, which is 0.7% of the total number of cases for that time.
That leaves 125,777 people who were not fully vaccinated, which is 99.3% of the cases.
The state calculates the number of breakthrough cases beginning Jan. 18, since that is when the first people to be vaccinated in Indiana were considered fully vaccinated.
The state provides an online update about the number of breakthrough cases in Indiana. (Click the “Breakthrough” tab in the upper right corner of the dashboard.)
While the public cannot go back to see a specific number as a certain date, the information is updated regularly. It lists the total number of breakthrough cases and what percentage of fully vaccinated people were diagnosed. As of June 21, the state counted 2,213 breakthrough cases, which is 0.082% of the people who are fully vaccinated in Indiana.
In order to determine if someone is fully vaccinated, the state told VERIFY, it compares the COVID-19 testing information with immunization data to determine if someone meets the criteria to be considered a breakthrough case.
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