BOSTON, MA – According to data released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health last week, almost 10,000 state residents have recently tested positive for COVID-19, despite having all been fully vaccinated, and to date at least 100 of them have died from the virus.
The Department of Public Health have reported 9,969 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 106 deaths among individuals who had all been inoculated, with 2,232 new ‘breakthrough’ cases reported alone. However, health officials were quick to point out that these numbers represent only 0.23 percent of the 4.3 million in the state of Massachusetts who have received the COVID vaccine.
Since the pandemic first began, Massachusetts officials have recorded a cumulative total of 682,240 COVID-19 infections, and 17,743 deaths related to the illness.
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Experts are attributing the increased number of breakthrough cases in Massachusetts – and indeed, across the country – to the new Delta variant of COVID, which has proven to be more contagious and potentially more resistant to currently-available vaccines.
But officials note that the effects of even the Delta variant-fueled breakthrough cases can be effective mitigated if an individual is fully vaccinated, potentially avoiding hospitalization or even death. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health – while acknowledging the number of breakthrough cases being on the rise – has stated that the recent surge in cases statewide is due to unvaccinated individuals being infected.
Medical experts, including Tufts Medical Center Epidemiologist Dr. Shira Doron, stressed the importance of being vaccinated as this latest surge in the pandemic makes its way through the country.
“Most data, with some notable exceptions, suggest that effectiveness against the Delta variant is maintained, with only negligible decrement compared to Alpha,” she said. “We do need to put some of these numbers in a more realistic context just so people don’t panic, so people make the right decisions based on the actual risk.”