Metro doctor says ‘breakthrough’ COVID-19 cases were expected, unvaccinated are the most sick now

ATLANTA — Scientists here in Atlanta and throughout out the world are studying “breakthrough” COVID-19 infections, involving people who still contract the virus despite being vaccinated.

To learn more about the infections, who’s at risk and the possibilities of COVID-19 vaccine boosters in our future, Channel 2′s Justin Farmer spoke with Dr. Jesse Couk, who is an infectious disease doctor with Piedmont Healthcare.

[READ: Channel 2′s Fred Blankenship battling breakthrough case of COVID-19]

Couk said the breakthrough cases are something most doctors were expecting.

“So many are vaccinated, and cases increase with so many people vaccinated, it’s what happens with proportionality,” Couk said.


On the subject of a COVID-19 booster, Farmer asked Couk if people should expect to have to get a COVID-19 shot regularly like they do a flu shot.

“With vaccines, (it’s) not unusual to get additional doses in the future. We hope we won’t have to have one every year but we can’t rule out that possibility. We do think it’s strong possibility for an additional dose for those who are immunocompromised,” Couk said.

[READ: ‘Get it if you can’: Alpharetta police officer recovering from COVID-19 regrets not getting vaccine]

Farmer asked Couk about the makeup of people who are now currently getting sick from COVID-19.

“Most of the people who will be hospitalized and die COVID with this surge will be unvaccinated. Fortunately, older people most have been vaccinated, so one thing we’ll see with variant, we will have many cases, but we won’t have as many deaths comparatively to other surges,” Couk said.

Effective Sept. 1, all Piedmont Health employees will be required to get vaccinated.