Massachusetts health officials on Tuesday reported more than 4,500 new breakthrough cases over the past week, and 23 more deaths.
In the last week, 4,568 new breakthrough cases -- infections in people who have been vaccinated -- were reported, with 178 more vaccinated people hospitalized, Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials said Tuesday. Their report brings the total number of cases above 30,000 to 32,345, and the death toll among people with breakthrough infections to 217.
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 0.71% have been infected. An even smaller percentage has died: 0.005%. 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 1,283 confirmed coronavirus cases and 25 new deaths were also reported on Tuesday, pushing the state's number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 743,950 since the start of the pandemic and its death toll to 18,094.
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 2.1% 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 636; the figure was once nearly 4,000, but reached under an average of 85 at one point in July. Of those currently hospitalized, 211 are vaccinated, 173 are in intensive care units and 103 are intubated.
Nearly 9.4 million vaccine doses have been administered in Massachusetts as of Tuesday. That includes shy of 4.8 million first shots and nearly 4.3 million second shots of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. There have been more than 309,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered.
Health officials on Tuesday reported that a total of 4,591,864 Bay State residents have been fully vaccinated.