There have been more than 3,000 COVID-19 infections in Massachusetts diagnosed in fully vaccinated people, according to the latest data on so-called breakthrough infections from the Department of Public Health.
As of May 17, health officials have confirmed 3,083 people have tested positive for COVID-19 after becoming fully vaccinated, which at the time represented roughly 0.12% of all fully vaccinated people in the state. It’s a small fraction and as vaccinations have increased, daily active cases in Massachusetts have been dropping precipitously.
Daily active cases of the virus in Massachusetts have dropped 77% since April 13, the peak of the last COVID spike. Officials credit the state’s vaccination rate with the success.
COVID deaths, which had been rising at the start of January, also have plummeted since vaccinations have increased. Daily deaths from the virus are now at the lowest levels since the pandemic started. Hospitalizations have fallen more slowly, but continue a downward trend.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines the term fully vaccinated at the two-week mark after receiving a second shot of a two-dose vaccine, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The CDC has reported a total of 10,262 vaccine breakthrough infections across 46 U.S. states and territories as of April 30, stressing that such cases are still quite rare. On that date, the U.S. had about 101 million people fully vaccinated. But federal officials noted that figure is likely a “substantial undercount.”
“The national surveillance system relies on passive and voluntary reporting, and data might not be complete or representative,” the CDC says. “Many persons with vaccine breakthrough infections, especially those who are asymptomatic or who experience mild illness, might not seek testing.”
The federal agency announced that beginning this month, it will no longer be monitoring all reported COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infections in favor of “only those among patients who are hospitalized or die.”
There have been a total of 7,634,963 COVID vaccine doses administered in Massachusetts to date, and 3,520,075 residents are now fully vaccinated. Roughly 59% of the state have received at least one dose, and 50% are now fully vaccinated.
Massachusetts officials reported Wednesday that there are now 8,416 active COVID infections statewide, which is down from 9,034 reported the day before. State health officials also confirmed another 382 new COVID-19 cases and 7 virus-related fatalities on Wednesday.