Massachusetts health officials on Tuesday reported more than 2,500 new breakthrough cases over the past week and 18 more deaths.
In the last week, 2,672 new breakthrough cases -- infections in people who have been vaccinated -- were reported, with 496 more people hospitalized and the 18 new deaths, officials said Tuesday. That brings the total to 12,641 cases and 124 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 0.29% have been infected. An even smaller percentage has died: 0.003%.
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 1,254 confirmed coronavirus cases and six new deaths were reported on Tuesday, pushing the state's number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 690,268 since the start of the pandemic and its death toll to 17,784.
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 2.82% 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 428; the figure was once nearly 4,000, but reached under an average of 85 in July. Of those currently hospitalized, 86 are listed as being in intensive care units and 40 are intubated.
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More than 9 million vaccine doses have been administered in Massachusetts as of Tuesday. That includes over 4.6 million first shots and more than 4.1 million second shots of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. There have been more than 296,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered.
Health officials on Tuesday reported that a total of 4,427,223 Bay State residents have been fully vaccinated.