coronavirus

2,509 New Breakthrough COVID Cases in Mass.

The new report brings the total number of breakthrough COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts to 456,391 and the death toll among people with breakthrough infections to 2,201

Massachusetts Coronavirus
NBC10 Boston

Massachusetts health officials on Tuesday reported around 2,500 new breakthrough COVID cases over the last week, and two more deaths in people with breakthrough cases.

In the last week, 2,509 new breakthrough cases -- infections in people who have been vaccinated -- were reported, with 120 more vaccinated people hospitalized over the period, Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials said Tuesday. This is an 21% decrease in cases compared to the previous period -- the previous week saw 3,194 new COVID infections in vaccinated people.

The new report brings the total number of breakthrough cases to 456,391 and the death toll among people with breakthrough infections to 2,201.

It's important to note the death toll has been revised from the previous week's, which was 2,484. This is based on an update to the definition the state is now using for COVID-19 associated deaths. The state unveiled that newly revised death toll in the data released Monday. There were two new deaths among people in breakthrough infections in the last week.

These figures remain a tiny percentage of the total number of all people who have been vaccinated.

The equivalent of just 0.14% of vaccinated people have been hospitalized with COVID and 8.6% have had confirmed infections. An even smaller percentage has died: 0.04%. The report also doesn't indicate how many of the breakthrough cases are in people with underlying conditions, though it also notes that "may be undercounted due to discrepancies" in records.

Top Boston doctors talked about a new "Deltacron" variant, rising cases in Europe and Asia and whether a fourth vaccine dose is really necessary on NBC10 Boston’s weekly “COVID Q&A” series.

While vaccinated people are getting COVID-19, the virus' effects are severely blunted in them, and breakthrough cases rarely lead to hospitalizations or deaths. In December, Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials released a study that found that 97% of breakthrough cases in the state did not become severely ill and rarely led to deaths, especially among young people.

That's why public health officials worldwide continue to stress the importance of vaccination and booster shots. (If you still need to be vaccinated, here's a tool to find the closest vaccination provider to your home.

Massachusetts' COVID metrics, tracked on the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, have declined since the omicron surge and appear to have leveled out.

Experts have said that case count reporting may be a less accurate indicator during the omicron surge, given the difficulties in getting tested and widespread use of rapid tests that go unreported. Officials also warn that health care systems are still under great pressure from the influx of COVID-19 patients and related staffing shortages.

More than 14 million vaccine doses have now been administered in Massachusetts. That includes more than 5.8 million first doses of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, 4.9 million second shots, and over 341,000 Johnson & Johnson one-dose shots. Over 2.8 million booster shots have been administered.

Health officials on Tuesday reported that a total of 5,307,266 Massachusetts residents have been fully vaccinated.

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