Breakthrough infections remain low percentage of total COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts

Coronavirus Local Impact

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Breakthrough cases are being reported in the state, but the number remains relatively low. Roughly 97 percent of breakthrough COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts have not resulted in hospitalization or death, which continues the point from health professionals that getting the shot does work.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is urging people to get vaccinated after announcing over the weekend that she has tested positive for COVID-19. It’s a breakthrough case because she is fully vaccinated and has received her booster, but that’s not uncommon.

According to the State Department of Public Health, 88,968 vaccinated residents have gotten COVID-19 since December 2020. That makes up two percent of the state’s vaccinated population. Unvaccinated residents in the state were five times more likely to be infected than those who are fully vaccinated.

Dr. Daniel Skiest, an infectious disease physician at Baystate Health, told 22News, “We know that two doses of vaccine may not be that helpful. Three, which is with the booster, there is some protection especially against severe disease.”

The DPH said unvaccinated people were 31 times more likely to get COVID than those who were boosted. Health experts are concerned with the combination of holiday gatherings and the omicron variant sweeping the nation.

Although Gov. Baker has mentioned many times that he does not plan to reimplement a mask mandate in the state, some, including Dr. Skiest, question that decision.

“Considering the numbers going up, I think we should do everything we can and including mask mandate for now,” Dr. Skiest said. “I know it’s not the most popular and people are getting tired and fatigued but the virus does not get fatigued.”

President Joe Biden is expected to address the nation Tuesday, unveiling new steps his administration is taking to combat the omicron variant.

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