Breakthrough Cases in Mass. Top 100,000; Over 5 Million Fully Vaccinated

The equivalent of just 0.06% of vaccinated people have been hospitalized with COVID and 2.02% have had confirmed infections

Massachusetts Coronavirus
NBC10 Boston

Massachusetts health officials on Tuesday reported nearly 11,500 new breakthrough cases over the past week, bringing the total above 100,000, and 52 more deaths.

Tuesday also brought a milestone in the state's immunization effort: Five million people have now been fully vaccinated.

In the last week, 11,431 new breakthrough cases -- infections in people who have been vaccinated -- were reported, with 250 more vaccinated people hospitalized, Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials said Tuesday. It's a slight increase in the rate of new breakthrough cases in Massachusetts -- last week saw 11,321 new COVID infections in vaccinated people.

The new report brings the total number of breakthrough cases to 100,399, and the death toll among people with breakthrough infections to 699.

Both figures remain a tiny percentage of the total number of all people who have been vaccinated, a sum Gov. Charlie Baker crowed about Tuesday.

The equivalent of just 0.06% of vaccinated people have been hospitalized with COVID and 2.02% 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 and booster shots. (If you still need to be vaccinated, here's a tool to find the closest vaccination provider to your home.)

Top Boston doctors talk pandemic strategy as cases surge in Massachusetts, including whether a mask mandate is warranted, and share what they've learned about the omicron variant on NBC10 Boston's weekly "COVID Q&A" series.

Also Tuesday, another 4,039 confirmed coronavirus cases and 61 new deaths were reported, pushing the state's number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 916,547 since the start of the pandemic and its death toll to 19,304.

Massachusetts' COVID metrics, tracked on the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, dashboard, had been far lower than they were in spring, but have been rising lately. The discovery of omicron, a new COVID strain labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization over the Thanksgiving weekend, is being monitored in case it accelerates the recent surge statewide and across the U.S.

Massachusetts' seven-day average of positive tests rose from 4.79% on Monday to 5.18% Tuesday. The metric 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 rose to 1,410, the highest level since Feb. 5. The figure was once nearly 4,000, but reached under an average of 85 at one point in July.

Of those currently hospitalized, 422 are fully vaccinated, 304 are in intensive care units and 165 are intubated.

Nearly 12.1 million vaccine doses have now been administered in Massachusetts.

That includes, from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, over 5.4 million first shots, nearly 4.7 million second shots and more than 1.6 million booster shots. There have been more than 333,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered.

Health officials on Tuesday reported that a total of 5,008,626 Massachusetts residents have been fully vaccinated.

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