Our story recently on Andrew Morris, a local man who contracted COVID-19 even after he was vaccinated, showed a man who did everything right to prevent an infection and who ended up asking, “What did I do wrong?”

Morris, of course, didn’t do anything wrong. The delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is everywhere. And, despite the fact Morris was one of the unlucky few to catch the virus even after he was inoculated, vaccinations still are the best way to avoid an infection.

Statistics from the Umatilla County Public Health Department show roughly one of out of every 50 people hospitalized with COVID-19 since January were vaccinated against COVID-19. Thus, about 49 out of 50 hospitalizations in the county this year were unvaccinated.

What that says is the protection rate from COVID-19 vaccinations remains very, very high. Are there breakthrough cases? Of course. Morris is a good example. But Morris didn’t end up in a hospital. He is ill, but his life isn’t in danger.

While we still believe the choice to get vaccinated should be an individual one, we also recognize that so far, the vaccines have performed as advertised.

The sad part of the entire vaccination drama is how a misconception — that somehow vaccines would totally prevent infection from COVID-19 — took root. Nine months or so ago, the vaccines were touted as a good answer to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not enough attention, though, was paid to the fact that while the vaccines were important and a good tool, they were not a silver bullet. What the vaccines do for most people is keep them free from the virus. For some, who contract the virus, the vaccine keeps them out of the hospital.

That’s why vaccines are important. While you still may become a breakthrough case, you’re most likely not going to end up in a hospital in need of in-depth and serious medical care. And breakthrough cases remain — at least for now — rare.

So far, according to the Oregon Health Authority, more than 80% of the COVID-19 cases in the state were in people who were not vaccinated.

The old rules still apply today when it comes to the COVID-19 virus and its variants. Avoid large crowds, wear a mask and if you choose to do so, get vaccinated.

COVID-19 is going to be with us from now on. We will have to learn to live it with — much like we endure a flu season each year — and continue to use commonsense measures to avoid infection.

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