KEY POINTS

  • Nearly 1,500 people have now died of breakthrough COVID-19 in Massachusetts
  • Health officials also reported over 46,000 breakthrough infections in one week
  • Massachusetts currently has a positivity rate of 11.40%

More than 270 fully vaccinated people in Massachusetts have died of COVID-19 over the past week as breakthrough infections climb amid the spread of the Omicron variant. 

Between Jan. 15 and 22, at least 275 breakthrough deaths were reported in Massachusetts, bringing the state’s death toll among the fully vaccinated to 1,499. The figure represents 0.03% of the state’s fully vaccinated population. 

During the same period, state health officials also reported 46,092 additional breakthrough COVID-19 infections. At least 394,602 fully vaccinated people have now tested positive for the virus in Massachusetts, representing 7.6% of all inoculated individuals, according to the latest data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Statewide, health officials reported 7,918 new COVID-19 cases and 80 additional deaths Wednesday. This brings Massachusetts’ total tally to 1,457,699 coronavirus infections and 21,187 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

As of Wednesday, there were 2,617 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state. At least 405 patients are admitted in Intensive Care Units (ICU) and 248 are intubated, the state’s hospital survey showed. 

It is unclear how many of the new cases and deaths occurred in the vaccinated. However, health experts still stress that COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths. 

As of Wednesday, Massachusetts is averaging approximately 12,000 new COVID-19 cases, up by 800 from Tuesday. However, the figures have fallen by 51% from the first week of January when the daily average rose to over 500,000, an analysis of state data by The New York Times found.

The state currently has a positivity rate of 11.40%.

Nationwide, the United States is currently reporting more than 650,000 COVID-19 cases per day, down from 800,000 daily infections over the past few weeks. But while the average number of cases has been going down, the average number of COVID-19 deaths Monday surpassed the figures reported during the height of the Delta variant. 

In mid-September, average daily deaths peaked at around 1,900. On Monday, the seven-day average was at 2,166, data from the CDC showed.

The U.S. has so far reported a total of 72,909,527 infections and 876,060 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

An illustration picture shows vials with Covid-19 vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson An illustration picture shows vials with Covid-19 vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson Photo: AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS