KEY POINTS

  • The median age of COVID-19 breakthrough deaths was 82.5 years
  • The deaths represent only 0.002% of fully vaccinated residents in Massachusetts: State health officials
  • The state also reported 445 breakthrough hospitalizations

Nearly 10,000 residents in Massachusetts have now been diagnosed with COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated against the virus and over 100 of them have died, according to state data on breakthrough infections. 

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health published its new data Tuesday. According to the department’s COVID-19 dashboard, the state reported 9,969 confirmed COVID-19 infections involving people who are fully vaccinated. Among the overall breakthrough cases, 2,232 were recorded in the last week. 

The data also showed that 106 fully vaccinated people died after suffering a breakthrough infection. The median age of fully vaccinated patients who died of COVID-19 was 82.5 years. As per the data, the deaths represent only 0.002% of more than 4.3 million fully vaccinated residents in the state. 

There were also 50 new breakthrough hospitalizations over the past week, bringing the state’s total of immunized residents hospitalized to 445. 

Overall, Massachusetts has recorded a total of 682,240 infections and 17,743 COVID-related deaths since the start of the pandemic. 

Despite the figures, the state’s health officials emphasized that the three COVID-19 vaccines circulating in the U.S. are effective against preventing coronavirus-related hospitalizations and deaths. 

“Breakthrough cases in Massachusetts are incredibly low, and those hospitalized or who have died are even lower,” department officials said in a statement, as reported by NBC Boston. “All available data continues to support that all three vaccines used in the US are highly protective against severe disease and death from all known variants of COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get vaccinated.”

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, previously said that breakthrough infections are “rare.” However, the health agency does not record infections that do no result in hospitalizations or death. 

Additionally, an outbreak in Provincetown, Massachusetts, suggested that the total number of breakthrough cases is higher than reported. In the outbreak, state health officials reported 470 cases, with at least 350 involving fully vaccinated residents. 

Health officials found that the Delta variant caused most of the infections during the outbreak. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated patients were found carrying high levels of the virus, suggesting an increased risk of transmission, as reported by The New York Times

hospital-840135_1920 Representation. A hospital bed. Photo: Pixabay