KEY POINTS

  • 5,600 breakthrough COVID-19 cases have been reported in Minnesota
  • MDH will start conducting weekly breakthrough case reports
  • Gov. Tim Walz urges the public to get vaccinated as key to returning to normalcy

The Minnesota Department of Health on Tuesday said the state has recorded 57 deaths among fully vaccinated people amid the surge in infections from the COVID-19 Delta variant.

In its weekly update, the department confirmed close to 5,600 breakthrough COVID-19 cases in the state, which is 0.19% of all fully vaccinated individuals in the state. There have also been 514 breakthrough cases that resulted in hospitalization, which accounts for 0.017%; while the number of deaths equal to 0.002% of the vaccinated population.

The MDH added it would begin reporting breakthrough case numbers weekly, but warned that delays may be experienced due to lags in hospitals' reporting.

Despite the rising number of breakthrough cases, health officials still maintain that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Jabs continue to show high efficacy at preventing severe illnesses and death among the infected, even against the highly infectious Delta variant. Breakthrough cases show a shorter infection timeframe.

According to Dr. John O’Horo, infectious disease expert from Mayo Clinic, breakthrough cases are often asymptomatic. Cases are often found via testings as part of medical or travel procedures, Pine Journal noted. O’Horo said that while the vaccines seem like they don't work as intended, these are built to reduce hospitalization rates which have been successful.

Gov. Tim Walz also emphasizes the importance of vaccines as a means to returning back to normalcy. The state’s initiative of offering $100 gift cards to encourage unvaccinated people to get inoculated has boosted its vaccination rate, with over 30,000 registrants within 72 hours of implementation, MPR News reported. Walz said the program has seen an increase in jabs among rural counties with low vaccination rates.

CDC encourages everyone to get vaccinated and wear masks in indoor public places to avoid infection.

The trial will test the efficacy of combining an 'inactivated' vaccine made by China's Sinovac with a DNA-based one The trial will test the efficacy of combining an 'inactivated' vaccine made by China's Sinovac with a DNA-based one Photo: AFP / Lillian SUWANRUMPHA