4,034 New Breakthrough Cases in Mass., 45 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

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Massachusetts health officials on Tuesday reported more than 4,000 new breakthrough cases over the past week, and 45 more deaths.

In the last week, 4,034 new breakthrough cases -- infections in people who have been vaccinated -- were reported, with 148 more vaccinated people hospitalized, Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials said Tuesday. Their report brings the total number of breakthrough cases to 44,498, and the death toll among people with breakthrough infections to 345.

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 0.95% have had confirmed infections. An even smaller percentage has died: 0.007%. 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.)

Also, another 4,466 confirmed coronavirus cases and 36 new deaths were reported on Tuesday in a report that includes data from over the weekend, pushing the state's number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 772,932 since the start of the pandemic and its death toll to 18,394.

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. Reports on Mondays, or Tuesdays after holiday weekends, include all the data reported since Friday's update.

Top Boston doctors talk about potential vaccine mandates for domestic flights, the need for vaccine passports in Massachusetts and overall best travel practices on NBC10 Boston's COVID Q&A.

Massachusetts' seven-day average of positive tests ticked up to 1.88% 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 fell to 541; the figure was once nearly 4,000, but reached under an average of 85 at one point in July. Of those currently hospitalized, 192 are vaccinated, 144 are in intensive care units and 92 are intubated.

Over 9.7 million vaccine doses have now been administered in Massachusetts.

That includes, from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, under 4.9 million first shots, nearly 4.4 million second shots and more than 200,000 booster shots. There have been more than 314,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered.

Health officials on Tuesday reported that a total of 4,667,841 Massachusetts residents have been fully vaccinated.

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