3,741 New Breakthrough Cases in Mass., 46 More Deaths in Vaccinated People

Those breakthrough COVID infection figures make up a tiny percentage of the total number of all people who have been vaccinated

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Massachusetts health officials on Tuesday reported nearly 4,000 new breakthrough cases over the past week, and 46 more deaths.

In the last week, 3,741 new breakthrough cases -- infections in people who have been vaccinated -- were reported, with 125 more vaccinated people hospitalized, Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials said Tuesday. Their report brings the total number of breakthrough cases to 40,464, and the death toll among people with breakthrough infections to 300.

Both figures remain a tiny percentage of the total number of all people who have been vaccinated -- just 0.03% of vaccinated people have been hospitalized, and 0.87% have had confirmed infections. An even smaller percentage has died: 0.006%. 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.

While vaccinated people are getting COVID-19, the virus' effects are severely blunted in them, and breakthrough cases rarely lead to hospitalizations or deaths. That's why public health officials worldwide continue to stress the importance of vaccination. (If you still need to be vaccinated, here's a tool to find the closest vaccination provider to your home.)

Another 1,184 confirmed coronavirus cases and 21 new deaths were also reported on Tuesday, pushing the state's number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 763,859 since the start of the pandemic and its death toll to 18,293.

Massachusetts' COVID metrics, tracked on the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, dashboard, are far lower than they were in spring, and while all of the major ones have risen from their lowest points, some have dipped in recent weeks.

Massachusetts' seven-day average of positive tests ticked up to 1.79% on Tuesday. It was once above 30%, dropped under 0.5% until the delta variant began surging in the state and peaked just under 3% on Aug. 11.

The number of patients in Massachusetts hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 cases rose slightly to 584; the figure was once nearly 4,000, but reached under an average of 85 at one point in July. Of those currently hospitalized, 183 are vaccinated, 166 are in intensive care units and 92 are intubated.

Over 9.6 million vaccine doses have now been administered in Massachusetts.

That includes, from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, more than 4.8 million first shots, over 4.3 million second shots and more than 145,000 booster shots. There have been more than 312,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered.

Health officials on Tuesday reported that a total of 4,646,313 Massachusetts residents have been fully vaccinated.

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