5,313 New Breakthrough Cases in Mass., 41 More Deaths in Vaccinated People

Both figures remain 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 5,300 new breakthrough cases over the past week, and 41 more deaths.

In the last week, 5,313 new breakthrough cases -- infections in people who have been vaccinated -- were reported, with 140 more vaccinated people hospitalized, Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials said Tuesday. Their report brings the total number of breakthrough cases to 64,120, and the death toll among people with breakthrough infections to 509.



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Both figures remain a tiny percentage of the total number of all people who have been vaccinated -- by contrast, more than 4.8 million Bay State residents have been fully vaccinated.

The equivalent of just 0.04% of vaccinated people have been hospitalized and 1.2% have had confirmed infections. An even smaller percentage has died: 0.01%. 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 Tuesday, another 1,848 confirmed coronavirus cases and 24 new deaths were reported, pushing the state's number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 821,150 since the start of the pandemic and its death toll to 18,806.

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.

Massachusetts' seven-day average of positive tests rose to 2.62% Tuesday. It was once above 30%, but had dropped under 0.5% until the delta variant began surging in the state.

The number of patients in Massachusetts hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 cases increased to 599; the figure was once nearly 4,000, but reached under an average of 85 at one point in July. Of those currently hospitalized, 230 are vaccinated, 124 are in intensive care units and 63 are intubated.

COVID cases appear to be ticking up in Massachusetts, but experts say that minor fluctuations shouldn't be worrying.

More than 10.8 million vaccine doses have now been administered in Massachusetts.

That includes, from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, over 5.2 million first shots, nearly 4.5 million second shots and over 807,000 booster shots. There have been more than 325,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered.

Health officials on Tuesday reported that a total of 4,813,177 Massachusetts residents have been fully vaccinated.

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