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COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Rising COVID-19 case numbers are renewing the push for vaccinations, while at the same time scientists are studying rare infections in inoculated patients. But medical experts say the breakthrough cases don’t indicate the vaccine is ineffective.

“If you look at the number of hospitalizations right now in Ohio, more than 98 percent of the hospitalizations are people without vaccines,” explained Dr. Anup Kanodia, a family physician in Central Ohio.

He pointed to a joint study by researchers at King’s College in London, Harvard University and Stanford University. It found vaccinated individuals who test positive for the virus are not only reporting milder cases than unvaccinated patients, but the symptoms are also slightly different.

The top 5 most reported symptoms among vaccinated patients include:

  1. Headache
  2. Runny Nose
  3. Sneezing
  4. Sore Throat
  5. Loss of Smell

Common symptoms identified by health agencies often include fever, dry coughing and shortness of breath.

“If you think about it…. Those are a lot more bothersome symptoms than a runny nose and sneezing,” said Dr. Kanodia.

He explained new COVID-19 mutations, like the Delta variant, appear to transmit more easily among both unvaccinated and unvaccinated groups. It’s partly why the CDC revised its recommendations this week, now encouraging everyone to wear a mask in indoor public spaces in areas where the transmission rate is substantial or high.

In Ohio, vaccination rates are holding steady around 48%. Governor Mike DeWine, as well as Central Ohio leaders, have said they don’t anticipate reinstating a mask mandate. But they are doubling down on calls for every eligible person to take the vaccine.

Dr. Kanodia said masks can provide extra protection for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. And he recommends some layer of defense to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Numbers keep going up, up, up and us not reaching herd immunity yet… it makes sense to protect ourselves,” he said.