Data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) released on Monday shows the average age of vaccinated individuals who have died from coronavirus is 82.5 years old and that 73 percent of those who died had underlying conditions.
The new data revealed 395 hospitalizations and 100 deaths have occurred from breakthrough coronavirus cases, according to a Boston Herald report. Breakthrough cases refer to individuals who have been infected with the virus after being fully vaccinated.
As of last week, DPH data showed the Bay State had seen a total of 7,737 breakthrough cases.
The Herald observed a recent uptick in both breakthrough cases and overall infections. The outlet noted breakthrough cases were accounting for about one-third of the state’s overall cases, as the seven-day average of new breakthrough cases as of last week was 195 compared with 598 new overall cases.
Massachusetts’ pandemic low occurred in June 2021 when the seven-day average of new overall cases was down to 64.
The department said in a statement that the latest breakthrough case numbers were “incredibly low” and “even lower” for those who were hospitalized or died.
“All available data continue to support that all 3 vaccines used in the US are highly protective against severe disease and death from all known variants of COVID-19,” DPH stated. “The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get vaccinated.”
More than 4.3 million Massachusetts residents out of the state’s population of about 6.9 million have been vaccinated. One hundred breakthrough deaths, therefore, represent 0.002 percent of all fully vaccinated individuals.
The 82.5-year-old median age of the deaths is about five years older than the U.S. average life expectancy, which is 77.3 years old as of last year.
The updated details about the breakthrough deaths come after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance at the end of July “due to several concerning developments and newly emerging data signals.” The agency specifically cited the emergence of the Delta variant, saying it was more infectious and more easily transmissible than previous variants.
The CDC’s most recent guidance calls for fully vaccinated individuals to wear a mask in public indoor spaces in regions of “substantial or high transmission.” Though most counties in Massachusetts are designated as areas with “substantial” or “high” transmission levels, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has so far resisted calls from leftists — such as gubernatorial challenger Ben Downing (D), the state’s largest teachers’ union, and establishment media — to institute statewide mask mandates and universal masking of children in schools.
“Remember, the federal government makes decisions and issues guidance for the country, right? Massachusetts is a very different place than the rest of the country. … We’re certainly number one in terms of both our hospitalization rate and our vaccination rate among the big states,” Baker said of his decision, per WBUR, adding that “those things factor into how we make these decisions and they should because the vaccines work.”
A Mayo Clinic vaccine tracker shows Massachusetts is the second-most vaccinated state in the country, behind only Vermont and just barely ahead of Maine.
Write to Ashley Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.