Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) announced on Saturday that he had tested positive for a breakthrough case of COVID-19.
“I shared with you on Wednesday a close family member had become ill with COVID. Well, I have now tested positive and am symptomatic too,” Nehls said. “I’m experiencing moderate symptoms but I am fully vaccinated and hope it passes soon. I have been quarantining at home and will continue to do so for at least the next 10 days.”
“All Americans are free to make their own health decisions, but I strongly encourage getting vaccinated. It is scientifically proven to drastically reduce the risk of severe illness & death from COVID,” Nehls said in his post.
Nehls's diagnosis is the latest example of a lawmaker testing positive for a breakthrough infection, including three senators announcing positive tests in a single day last week.
Some number of breakthrough infections is considered inevitable, as no vaccine is able to 100 percent guarantee that a vaccinated person will not become infected, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes.
The New York Times, which analyzed preliminary data from seven states, reported last week that at least 1 in 5 new COVID-19 cases reported in six states were breakthrough cases. The news outlet noted that the delta variant may have complicated efforts to mitigate cases, even among those who are fully vaccinated.
But experts say the vaccines are still highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death, even among those who do become infected.
The U.S. has already been grappling with a surge of new COVID-19 cases as the delta variant has made its way into unvaccinated communities.
According to the CDC, 71 percent of those ages 12 and older are partially vaccinated and 60 percent are fully vaccinated.