LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — As COVID-19 continues to surge and the delta variant spreads in Los Angeles County, health officials are seeing more breakthrough cases in those who are fully vaccinated, but they have a lower risk of hospitalization and death, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

Infection rates have shown that those who are fully vaccinated are almost four times less likely to get infected with COVID-19.

“While there is clear evidence that risks are significantly reduced for vaccinated individuals, common-sense precautions are warranted by everyone at this time, in part because fully vaccinated people infected with the delta variant can transmit the virus to other people,” Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health, said.

The case rate for unvaccinated people is 243 cases per 100,000 people, while the case rate for fully vaccinated people is 66 cases per 100,000 people. 

Those who are fully vaccinated and become infected are also much less likely to get severely ill or die from COVID-19. 

Vaccinated people are about 14 times less likely to be hospitalized than those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

The hospitalization rate for fully vaccinated people is slightly less than 1 hospitalization per 100,000 people and almost no deaths are reported among people who are fully vaccinated. 

The data released by the L.A. County Department of Public Health gives significant reassurance that fully vaccinated people remain at a relatively low risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and an even lower risk for having a severe outcome if they are infected.

On Saturday, the county reported 21 new deaths and 4,229 new cases of COVID-19. 

There are currently 1,627 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and 23% of these people are in the ICU.

“For all those who are experiencing the sorrow of losing a loved one to COVID-19, our thoughts and prayers are with you,” Ferrer said.

Fully vaccinated people who contract COVID-19 and end up in the hospital tend to be those with chronic illnesses and weakened immune systems, which is why the health officials recommend taking the extra step of layering a mask on top of vaccinations.

“Fully vaccinated people are encouraged to use caution in crowded and indoor settings, especially around unvaccinated people outside of their household,” Ferrer said. “Fully vaccinated people are also encouraged to take extra precautions among people outside their household and assess how much risk there may be at events or activities they are planning to attend.”

A third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has also recently been authorized by the FDA for those with weakened immune systems, which can be administered at least 28 days following the second dose of the vaccine.

Anyone 12 and older living or working in L.A. County can get vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.

To find a vaccination site, make an appointment at vaccination sites, and much more, visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com for English and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com for Spanish.

For those that do not have internet access, can’t use a computer or are over 65, please call 1-833-540-0473 for help finding an appointment, connecting to free transportation to and from a vaccination site or scheduling a home-visit if they are homebound.

More information on COVID-19 Sector Protocols, Best Practices, COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Recovery Dashboard and additional actions can be found on the public health website www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.