A breakthrough cases is when someone tests positive for COVID-19 two weeks after being fully vaccinated.
A breakthrough cases is when someone tests positive for COVID-19 two weeks after being fully vaccinated. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District is investigating how two Bexar County residents contracted the coronavirus two weeks after they were fully vaccinated, the agency confirmed Friday.

No further details were available on the two cases, known as “breakthrough” cases as they occurred after the vaccinated individuals had full immunity.

With high efficacy rates demonstrated in all three COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States, breakthrough cases are rare but do occur as no vaccine is able to completely block the coronavirus from infecting someone.

However, all three vaccines were shown in their clinical trials to be 100% effective at preventing serious illness and death.

Read Thursday’s edition of The Curve:

Bexar County’s COVID-19 vaccine supply is getting its own shot in the arm.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg on Thursday said the county’s mass vaccination sites, including WellMed, the City of San Antonio, and University Health, would be receiving an additional 23,000 vaccine doses next week. That does not include private providers. According to the state’s weekly list of vaccine allocations, the county’s mass vaccination providers received 33,000 first doses this week.

“We are getting get a boost in the number of vaccines, and ultimately that’s what will get us across this threshold of herd immunity,” Nirenberg said.

The mayor also said Thursday that more than 520,000 Bexar County residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19. That’s more than a third of the number of residents who are old enough to get the shot.

San Antonio residents will finally have a much-clamored-for COVID-19 vaccine registry. The program will be initiated as a pilot for residents ages 65 and older after a unanimous City Council vote on Wednesday.

Council members have discussed creating a waitlist for would-be vaccine recipients for months but received pushback from San Antonio Metropolitan Health District officials who believed that the registry would not alleviate the stress of trying to book an appointment. The waitlist will likely take weeks to launch. Here’s reporter Jackie Wang with the story.

Public health officials are warning residents against gathering this Easter weekend, as not enough people are vaccinated yet. In his first address to the nation last month, President Joe Biden said that small social gatherings would likely be safe by the Fourth of July holiday.

If you plan to celebrate Easter in a small group make it outdoors and socially distant. Only have Easter dinner or partake in egg hunts with people who live in your home, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise. And be mindful of the local policies at City parks. The annual tradition of camping at Brackenridge Park is not allowed this year due to COVID-19 protocols, but unlike last year, residents are free to visit Brackenridge during the day as well as other municipal parks.

Although coronavirus transmission in Bexar County is relatively low, with just about 2% of those assessed for the virus testing positive, there are still hundreds of new cases being reported every day, and a rise in cases nationwide is prompting concern about the spread of more transmissible variants of COVID-19.

“I know a lot of folks are feeling a lot more comfortable because people are getting vaccinated, but we need to keep our guard up this holiday weekend,” Commissioner Justin Rodriguez (Pct. 2) said at a Thursday briefing.

Countries in Europe such as France and Italy are extending COVID-19 lockdowns that came as a result of a new surge, though countries such as the United Kingdom that have vaccinated significant portions of their population have seen cases decline.

National statistics have now confirmed what we’ve believed for months would come true: COVID-19 was among the leading causes of death in this country in 2020. According to provisional data from the National Center for Health Statistics, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer.

Two more Bexar County residents – a white man in his 70s and a white woman in her 80s – have died from the disease. With 249 new cases of the coronavirus reported in Bexar County on Thursday, the seven-day average rose by six to 190. Nearly 19% of age-eligible county residents have been fully vaccinated, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Here are the local coronavirus numbers as of 7 p.m. Thursday:

  • 205,777 total cases, 249 new cases
  • 3,152 deaths, two new deaths
  • 185 in hospital
  • 74 patients in intensive care
  • 32 patients on ventilators
  • 294,158 residents fully vaccinated

JJ Velasquez was a columnist, former editor and reporter at the San Antonio Report.