The breakthrough cases, which include both asymptomatic and symptomatic occurrences, represent less than 0.1% of immunized individuals in the Defense Department community, Santiago-Santini said.
Only 41 of the breakthrough cases have been confirmed as the Delta variant, but that’s largely a function of the difficulty and the time required to undertake the genome sequencing to test for the variant.
“Similar to the CDC, we are not able to sequence every positive breakthrough,” Santiago-Santini said. “Whole genome sequencing is the laboratory process to analyze the entire genome of an organism. … There are other limitations to sequencing, as well, such as a two to three week time period to process them.”
In mid-July, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said that about 70% of US service members had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
“That’s encouraging, but there’s more work to be done,” Kirby said. “We continue to be in the mode of encouraging troops to get vaccinated to the maximum degree.”