One more note on the subject of COVID terminology. Dr. Waafa El-Sadr, chair of global health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, has another description she’d like to see made more precise: “breakthrough infections.” That’s what cases are COVID are called in people who are fully vaccinated — and in some cases boosted. “We should be saying post-vaccination infections instead,” says El-Sadr. “Breakthrough implies the vaccine has failed, when we knew from day one that these vaccines were never expected to protect 100% from developing infections. What they do is decrease the risk of getting infected and of hospitalization.” El Sadr says that just when we need unvaccinated people to go ahead and get their shots, “the term breakthrough may be undermining the importance of being vaccinated and boosted.”

Related Items