• The report did not indicate whether the patients with breakthrough infections had pre-existing medical conditions
  • The state noted that the COVID-19 cases may be undercounted
  • Massachusetts has reported more than 720,000 COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic

More than 160 fully vaccinated residents in Massachusetts have died of COVID-19 as the state reports over 23,800 breakthrough cases, according to the latest data. 

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Tuesday published new data on breakthrough cases reported in the state. According to it, 162 deaths were reported among the state’s fully vaccinated people since the beginning of the pandemic. The figure represents 0.004% of Massachusetts’ fully vaccinated population. 

The data also showed that authorities reported a total of 23,858 confirmed COVID-19 infections among those who have been fully vaccinated. The breakthrough infections represent 0.53% of the state’s 4.5 million fully vaccinated people. 

Breakthrough cases are on the rise across the state. Authorities reported 4,415 new breakthrough cases in last week alone, 111 of which resulted in admissions to the hospital. Breakthrough cases accounted for 40% of the state’s reported infections last week. 

The report did not indicate whether the patients with breakthrough infections had pre-existing medical conditions. It also noted that the state’s COVID-19 cases may be “undercounted due to discrepancies” in records. 

As of Tuesday, the state's total COVID-19 cases stood at 720,175 with 17,921 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Breakthrough cases and deaths continue to climb across the United States. As of Aug. 30, authorities reported more than 2,400 deaths among fully vaccinated Americans. At least 87% of the fully vaccinated people who died of novel coronavirus were aged 65 and older. 

U.S. authorities also reported 10,471 breakthrough hospitalizations, 7,282 of which occurred in patients aged 65 and older, according to an internal report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Dr. Shalika Katugaha, System Medical Director of Infectious Diseases at Baptist Health, estimated that the U.S. could be reporting 35,000 breakthrough cases weekly. However, she noted that the actual figures could be much higher, noting that some people who test positive may not be reporting their results. 

The U.S. has so far reported 40,451,429 total COVID-19 cases and 652,647 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University

vaccine-6165772_1920 Representation. Steven Brown, 68, died from COVID-19 a day after he was supposed to get his vaccine. Photo: Pixabay