KEY POINTS

  • 425 additional breakthrough deaths were recorded among vaccinated people aged 14 to 105
  • Of the deceased, at least 118 people had pre-existing medical conditions
  • Nearly 1,400 fully vaccinated people have now died of COVID-19 in Washington

More than 400 fully vaccinated Washington residents died of COVID-19 in three weeks even as cases and hospitalizations across the state continue to decline. 

Between Jan. 8 and Jan. 29, health officials in Washington recorded 425 additional breakthrough deaths among vaccinated people aged 14 to 105. The median age of the breakthrough deaths was 78. 

Of the 425 who died, 118 people had pre-existing medical conditions while 306 deaths are still under investigation. At least 267 people were also admitted to the hospital with COVID-19, according to a Feb. 9 report from the Washington State Department of Health.  

During the same 21-day period, health officials recorded 164,031 new breakthrough COVID-19 infections. Washington has now reported a total of 326,338 cases and 1,394 deaths among the fully vaccinated since the beginning of the pandemic.

A breakthrough case is when a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 at least two weeks after getting fully vaccinated.

Despite the rising number of cases among the inoculated, health experts still say that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to prevent severe illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths. 

Washington’s latest vaccine breakthrough report comes as case rates and hospitalizations across the state caused by the highly transmissible Omicron COVID-19 variant show signs of subsiding. 

Despite the decline, Cassie Sauer, president of the Washington State Hospital Association, warned against flouting coronavirus preventive measures, adding that the Omicron variant will continue to persist across the state for at least a few more weeks. 

“Better does not mean it’s over. … We really don’t want people to rip off their masks or go to big parties quite yet — COVID activity remains a threat,” Sauer said in a news briefing Tuesday.

The number of cases reported in the state of Washington over the past 14 days has declined by 71%, according to an analysis of data conducted by CNN. Hospitalizations have also fallen to 1,635 this week from 1,958 recorded at the beginning of February. 

However, the number of COVID-19 deaths remains high throughout the state, with health officials recording an average of 25 to 30 new fatalities daily. 

As of Thursday, Washington recorded a total of 1,391,026 infections and 11,194 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, data from Johns Hopkins University showed.

hospital-g76adc8d3a_1920 Representative image Photo: Credit: Pixabay