KEY POINTS

  • The state also reported over 4,500 breakthrough infections during the same period
  • The breakthrough deaths represent 0.005% of the state's fully vaccinated population
  • The state has reported more than 790,000 COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic

Nearly two dozen people have died of COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated against the virus in Massachusetts the past week, state data showed.

State officials reported that 23 fully vaccinated individuals across the state of Massachusetts have died after suffering from a breakthrough COVID-19 infection. The figures represent a tiny percentage of the state’s vaccinated population at just 0.005%, according to data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Health officials also reported 4,568 new breakthrough coronavirus cases during the same period, bringing the state’s total number of infections among the fully vaccinated population to 32,345. The figures represent 0.71% of the vaccinated population in Massachusetts. 

The health department’s report did not indicate how many of the new breakthrough cases and deaths were in people with underlying medical conditions.

On Tuesday, the Massachusetts health department recorded 1,382 new COVID-19 cases among the unvaccinated and vaccinated population, bringing the state’s total number of confirmed infections since the beginning of the pandemic to 796,925. 

Also as of Tuesday, the state’s seven-day average for new confirmed infections was at 1,634, an analysis by The New York Times showed. 

The state has administered more than 9.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, including 4.8 million first doses and 4.3 million second shots of vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech. At least 309,000 doses of the single-dose Johnson& Johnson vaccine have also been administered, according to NBC Boston

COVID-19 cases across the state have been on a steady rise since July, leading Gov. Charlie Baker, R-MA, to issue a vaccine mandate for executive department employees on Aug. 19. 

Under the state’s vaccine mandate, all executive department employees are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccinations on or before Oct. 17. Those who cannot take the vaccine due to medical or religious reasons may be exempted from the mandate. However, employees who were not approved for an exemption or who refused to get vaccinated on the deadline may face disciplinary action, including termination, according to Executive Order No. 595.

The mandate is expected to affect approximately 42,000 state workers and contractors in the executive department. 

President Joe Biden is set to announce the United States plans to donate an additional 500 million Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccines to the rest of the world President Joe Biden is set to announce the United States plans to donate an additional 500 million Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccines to the rest of the world Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Ethan Miller