KEY POINTS

  • Majority of the breakthrough deaths occured in people over the age of 80
  • Most breakthrough cases occurred in people between the ages of 30 to 59
  • Oregon has recorded over 2,000 breakthrough cases in the week ending Aug. 28

More than 100 people in Oregon have died of COVID-19 even after being fully vaccinated against the virus, state data showed. 

At least 113 fully vaccinated Oregonians have died of COVID-19 since January. Of the deaths, at least 63 cases involved people over the age of 80. Twenty-nine cases involved people between the ages of 70 to 79, 15 in people in the 60 to 69 age group, 3 in people ages 50 to 59, and 3 in residents between the ages of 40 to 49. 

Oregon officials have yet to record breakthrough deaths in people younger than 40, according to the state data.

The number of breakthrough cases in the state has also risen to 13,166, with the majority of the cases occurring in people ages 30 to 59. At least 2,592 of the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases among the fully vaccinated population were recorded in the week ending Aug. 28. 

Since January, the state has reported 650 breakthrough hospitalizations, with 219 cases involving people over the age of 80. 

Data from the Oregon Health Authority showed that four in five COVID-19 deaths occurred in the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated population. During the same period, five in six of the state’s more than 51,000 confirmed COVID-19 infections involved people who have yet to receive a vaccine shot or are not yet fully vaccinated. 

“Both hospitalizations and deaths are extremely small in terms of percentage of those vaccinated,” Chunhuei Chi, director of the Center for Global Health at Oregon State University, told the Oregon Live. “That’s why we call the current surge a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Breakthrough cases and deaths have been on the rise amid the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant across the United States. While public health experts have said that vaccines offer protection against infections, hospitalizations and deaths, studies have shown that the effectiveness of vaccines wanes over time. 

The rise in cases among fully vaccinated people has prompted the federal government to authorize a third shot of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for people with moderate to severe weakened immune systems to boost their protection. 

Taiwan has been struggling to secure enough vaccines for its population Taiwan has been struggling to secure enough vaccines for its population Photo: AFP / Sam Yeh