Massachusetts health officials on Tuesday reported more than 4,400 new breakthrough cases over the past week and 18 more deaths.
In the last week, 4,415 new breakthrough cases -- infections in people who have been vaccinated -- were reported, with 111 more vaccinated people hospitalized, Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials said Tuesday. That brings the totals to 23,858 cases and 162 deaths in people with breakthrough infections.
Both figures remain a tiny percentage of the total number of all people who have been vaccinated -- just 0.02% of vaccinated people are hospitalized, and 0.53% have been infected. An even smaller percentage has died: 0.004%. 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.)
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Another 5,484 confirmed coronavirus cases and 12 new deaths were also reported on Tuesday -- the first report since Friday -- pushing the state's number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 720,175 since the start of the pandemic and its death toll to 17,921.
Tuesday's daily COVID report covers four days' worth of statistics, since they aren't published on weekends or holidays. The data from the days that were skipped is included in the report on the first business day back.
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 fell to 2.32% 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 ticked down to 601; the figure was once nearly 4,000, but reached under an average of 85 in July. Of those currently hospitalized, 160 are vaccinated, 164 are in intensive care units and 92 are intubated.
Under 9.3 million vaccine doses have been administered in Massachusetts as of Tuesday. That includes over 4.7 million first shots and more than 4.2 million second shots of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. There have been more than 304,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered.
Health officials on Tuesday reported that a total of 4,531,700 Bay State residents have been fully vaccinated.