• One new breakthrough death was reported in El Paso on Monday
  • The city has recorded more than 2,700 COVID-related deaths since the pandemic began
  • Health experts say breakthrough infections and deaths are expected

A dozen people in El Paso, Texas, have now died from COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated against the virus, according to authorities.

Health department officials from El Paso on Monday reported that 14 individuals have died of COVID-19 over the past week, including one fully vaccinated individual. All of the residents who died had underlying health conditions, which authorities did not identify.

Most of the fatality victims were men between the ages of 40 to 90. Two of the 14 victims were women in their 70s, according to KVIA.

El Paso has now reported 12 coronavirus-related deaths involving people who have been fully vaccinated against the virus. Overall, the city’s health officials have reported 2,744 deaths, including the unvaccinated.

The 14 new deaths come after health officials in the city reported 750 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, including 189 breakthrough infections.

The number of breakthrough cases has been rising in parts of the United States. In Oregon, a 47-year-old woman with pre-existing medical conditions died on Aug. 9 despite being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In July alone, Oregon health officials reported 10 breakthrough deaths.

In Minnesota, officials recorded 7,171 breakthrough infections, which accounts for 0.24% of fully vaccinated people in the state.

Despite the rising number of cases and deaths among the vaccinated population, health experts argue that COVID-19 vaccines still provide strong protection against severe cases and hospitalizations.

"Although we are seeing a slightly greater proportion of breakthrough cases, the vaccines are continuing to do their job," Kris Ehresmann, infectious disease expert for the Minnesota Department of Health, told the Star Tribune.

Officials for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also emphasized that there has not been any vaccine that is 100% effective in preventing infection. However, the agency, along with the Food and Drug Administration, has recently granted emergency use authorization for a third COVID-19 vaccine dose.

The third dose will be given to Americans with moderate to severe immunosuppression to help boost their protection against the novel coronavirus. Individuals who are eligible to receive the additional shot include organ transplant recipients, hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients, people receiving high-dose corticosteroids, and those with advanced or untreated HIV.

At Thammasat University Hospital, north of Bangkok, staff have had to rent a special container to store bodies after the morgue filled up
At Thammasat University Hospital, north of Bangkok, staff have had to rent a special container to store bodies after the morgue filled up AFP / Lillian SUWANRUMPHA