US President Joe Biden participates in a CNN town hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 21, 2021 ( AFP / Saul Loeb)

Joe Biden exaggerated Covid-19 vaccine efficacy

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US President Joe Biden claimed during a CNN town hall that vaccinated people will not get Covid-19. This is false; despite the high efficacy of the shots, infections still occur among the fully vaccinated population, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.

"You're not gonna get Covid if you have these vaccinations," Biden said during the July 21, 2021 event, which came as the Covid-19 pandemic is again surging in the United States, propelled by the highly contagious Delta variant.

US President Joe Biden (L) participates in a CNN Town Hall meeting hosted by Don Lemon (R) at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 21, 2021 ( AFP / Saul Loeb)

But Biden's claim is inaccurate: the vaccines are very effective, but cases among vaccinated people are possible.

The CDC said that as of July 12, it had received reports of 5,492 patients with Covid-19 "breakthrough" infections being hospitalized or dying, out of a total of more than 159 million fully vaccinated people in the United States.

"Covid vaccines are highly effective in preventing infection and even more effective in preventing the serious illness that results in hospitalization and death," but no vaccine is 100 percent effective, Tom Skinner, senior public affairs officer at the CDC, told AFP on July 23.

During a briefing at the White House on July 22, Press Secretary Jen Psaki addressed a reporter's question regarding the president's remarks on vaccination, saying that vaccinated people were "largely protected."

"That was the point he was trying to make last night," she said.

During the town hall, Biden urged Americans to get vaccinated. "It's really kind of basic," he said, at a time when the US vaccination rate has significantly slowed.

AFP Fact Check has debunked numerous other inaccurate claims related to Covid-19 and vaccines.

July 26, 2021 This story was updated to correct the spelling of exaggerated in the headline.