AROUND 20% of people who currently have Covid-19 in Ireland have been fully vaccinated against the virus.
These patients are however only experiencing mild symptoms of the virus compared with the individuals who aren't vaccinated, according to the Health Service Executive (HSE).
Daily Covid-19 case numbers have reached around 1,500 each day for the past two weeks, and National Lead for testing and Tracing Niamh O'Beirne says that fully vaccinated individuals account for around one in five of those people.
"The current range would be anywhere between 18% and 20%. It's been increasing but then again vaccination levels have been increasing and the level of disease is also increasing. So it's not unexpected," Ms O'Beirne told Virgin Media News.
Given the presumption that vaccines are supposed to protect people from infection, the figures may surprise people, but this is a fundamental misunderstanding of how vaccines usually work.
By exposing you to a harmless amount of the virus, vaccines strengthen the body's immune system against future attack. If and when this attack comes, the body knows exactly how to destroy the invading agent.
What this means however, is that infection itself is still possible, it's just that the symptoms you experience will be greatly reduced, or even non-existent, and the time your body spends fighting the virus will be greatly reduced too.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said that it's "important to remember that [vaccinated people testing positive for Covid-19] does not mean vaccines are not effective."
"While they will not prevent every case, they provide excellent protection against severe disease and significantly reduce the risk of hospitalisation," he added.
As of this week, around 75% of Ireland's population aged 16 or above are now fully vaccinated.