Massachusetts health officials on Tuesday reported nearly 3,100 new breakthrough cases over the past week and seven more deaths.
In the last week, 3,098 new breakthrough cases -- infections in people who have been vaccinated -- were reported, with 75 more people hospitalized, Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials said Tuesday. That brings the total to 15,739 cases and 131 deaths in people with breakthrough infections.
Both figures remain a tiny percentage of the total number of all people who have been vaccinated -- just 0.01% of vaccinated people are hospitalized, and 0.35% have been infected. An even smaller percentage has died: 0.003%. 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 people who have been vaccinated are getting COVID-19, the virus' effects are severely blunted in people who are fully vaccinated, 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.)
Another 1,290 confirmed coronavirus cases and 16 new deaths were reported on Tuesday, pushing the state's number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 699,177 since the start of the pandemic and its death toll to 17,825.
Massachusetts' COVID metrics, tracked on the Department of Public Health's interactive coronavirus dashboard, have been far lower than they were several months ago, though some have been rising in recent weeks. While breakthrough cases are being reported, officials say most new cases, and especially serious infections, are in the unvaccinated.
Massachusetts' seven-day average of positive tests rose to 2.72% on 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 rose to 575; the figure was once nearly 4,000, but reached under an average of 85 in July. Of those currently hospitalized, 165 are hospitalized, 140 are in intensive care units and 63 are intubated.
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More than 9 million vaccine doses have been administered in Massachusetts as of Tuesday. That includes nearly 4.7 million first shots and under 4.2 million second shots of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. There have been more than 299,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered.
Health officials on Tuesday reported that a total of 4,461,023 Bay State residents have been fully vaccinated.