Some COVID-positive cases from recent clusters were already fully vaccinated

Dr. Felix Cabrera, chief medical officer of the Department of Public Health and Social Services. (PNC file photo)

There has been some talk going around the island that some of the people who tested COVID-positive from those recently discovered COVID clusters had been vaccinated but still contracted the virus.

But Dr. Felix Cabrera, chief medical officer of the Department of Public Health and Social Services, said that 21 people from the clusters had only received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

He said that so far seven people who were fully vaccinated have contracted COVID.

But he pointed out that’s still only 0.012% of people who’ve been vaccinated on Guam.

And Cabrera said that evidence suggests that their symptoms would’ve been far worse if they hadn’t been fully vaccinated.

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“Please, please, please come out and get your second dose. Because that could make a big difference. It really does. Twenty-one positives with only the first dose, seven when fully vaccinated. So you’re triple the risk if you only got your first dose, based on Guam numbers,” Cabrera said.

He added: “There have been no admissions to GMH from those who’ve been fully vaccinated…I got that information Thursday night..and so that speaks for itself, I think.”

Over the weekend, federal officials lifted the pause on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

An advisory panel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted in favor of lifting the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was paused after six women developed rare and life-threatening blood clots, which killed one woman.

The number of such cases has since risen to 15.

Medical officials have pointed out, however, that that’s 15 cases out of more than 7 million doses given.

Also, all the cases fall within the category of people most likely to develop the condition even without the vaccine.

Cabrera told Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo that the vaccine will now come with a label that warns of the possibility of blood clots.

“It’s part of informed consent, basically, and ensuring that that information is upfront. So there are some people that voted “no” in terms of the ‘unpausing’ because they didn’t agree with the language. But they explained their ‘no’ vote, that really they wanted to vote ‘yes,’ but it’s just they had this one tiny, this one part that they were concerned about. They voiced their concern about it. Overall, there was overwhelming support to unpause the vaccine, and if anything, there was only conversation about the wording of the label,” Cabrera said.

He added: “We have every expectation that we will resume offering it. And so the question is now, in what fashion? What we’re really moving toward also was having some of the private clinics make it available to them, potentially using them on advertised days, specifically when those were some other options that we were…we actually had planned for..prior to the pause. So we may implement that this week,” Cabrera said.

He added that it’s important for the island to not let its guard down and to continue getting vaccinated.