KEY POINTS

  • Majority of breakthrough deaths occurred in people aged 65 and older
  • Breakthrough hospitalizations also increased to 1,329 since Nov. 4
  • COVID-19 cases among K-12 students and school staffers are rising

Hundreds of residents in Indiana have died of COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated against the virus as the number of breakthrough infections continues to rise. 

As of Thursday last week, 714 fully vaccinated residents in Indiana died of COVID-19. Of the total number of deaths, 628 deaths occurred in people aged 65 and older. The breakthrough deaths represent 0.021% of the state’s fully vaccinated population, according to data from the Indiana Department of Health.

Since the state began rolling out its COVID-19 vaccines in January 2021, health officials recorded a total of 66,428 breakthrough coronavirus infections. The number represents 1.949% of Indiana’s fully vaccinated population. 

The number of breakthrough hospitalizations has also increased to 1,329, up from a total of 1,268 recorded on Nov. 4. The figures represent 0.039% of all fully vaccinated individuals in the state.

As of Monday, the state fully vaccinated 3,417,959 individuals and administered booster doses to 53,651, according to the Indiana COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard.

The health department’s report comes as COVID-19 cases among K-12 students continue to rise again over the past week. Indiana health officials reported 3,113 new cases in the last week alone, a 29% increase from the number of infections reported the week before. 

Schools across Indiana also reported 197 new cases among teachers and 284 new infections among staff members. However, some of the cases dated back to previous weeks.

As of Monday, Indiana recorded a total of 46,710 COVID-19 cases among students, 2,527 cases among teachers and 3,867 infections among school staff members for the 2021-2022 school year.

Experts warn that the numbers could be an undercount, noting that 414 schools have yet to report their COVID-19 numbers. 

Overall, Indiana has reported a total of 1,077,372 COVID-19 cases among the unvaccinated and vaccinated since March 6, 2020. At least 1,914 infections were reported on Sunday. There have also been a total of 16,737 deaths recorded since the beginning of the pandemic.

Indiana now has a rolling seven-day positivity rate of 10.5%, with a positivity rate of 20.4% among unique individuals.

The term unique individual is used to refer to a person who was counted only once even if they tested positive for COVID-19 multiple times.

Despite the growing number of breakthrough cases, experts remain confident that vaccines are effective in stopping the spread of COVID-19. 

“The main objective of the Covid vaccine is to prevent severe disease and death, and they are still doing a good job at that,” Melissa Higdon, a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told the New York Times

vaccine-6165772_1920 Representation. A 17-year-old girl in Washington is the third person in the state to have possibly died from a COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Pixabay