• The number of breakthrough deaths represents 0.04% of the state's fully vaccinated population
  • More than 440,000 vaccinated people have also tested positive for breakthrough COVID-19
  • Case rates across the state have seen a continuous decline

More than 2,000 fully vaccinated residents in Massachusetts have died of COVID-19 since vaccinations began in 2020, state data showed.

Approximately 2,222 vaccinated individuals have died from breakthrough COVID-19 since health officials began rolling out vaccine shots in the state on Dec. 14, 2020. Of the total deaths, 190 occured between Feb. 5 and Feb. 12, 2022.

It is unclear how many of the breakthrough deaths occured in people with pre-existing medical conditions. The numbers now represent 0.04% of the state’s vaccinated population, data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health showed.

The latest report also showed that a total of 440,888 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state despite being fully vaccinated. At least 6,494 were reported between Feb. 5 and 12. The total number of cases now represents 8.4% of Massachusetts' vaccinated population.

Despite the high number of cases and deaths among the fully vaccinated, health officials still urge people to get the shots, citing evidence that shows the vaccines lower a person’s risk of getting infected or hospitalized with severe COVID-19. The shots also help prevent deaths caused by the virus.

The data from the state’s Department of Public Health comes as COVID-19 case rates across the state continue to see a downward trend. Over the past two weeks, the number of daily new cases in Massachusetts has fallen by 63%, according to an analysis of data by CNN.

On Wednesday, health officials reported 1,653 new COVID-19 cases and 46 additional deaths, bringing the state’s toll to 1,525,644 infections and 22,324 fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.

The health department’s COVID-19 dashboard puts the state’s current positivity rate at 2.90%, down by 0.10% from Monday.

Across the state, 832 people are still hospitalized with COVID-19. At least 161 patients are in the intensive care unit and 76 individuals are intubated.

Massachusetts has loosened its COVID-19 guidance on masks as virus levels continue to dip. As of Wednesday, vaccinated people are no longer required to wear a mask indoors unless they are with a family member who is immunocompromised.

This week hospitals buckled under the strain of rising infections 
This week hospitals buckled under the strain of rising infections  AFP / Peter PARKS