SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The Delta variant of COVID-19 is now the most common strain in the United States, but capturing more attention than that strain is the number of COVID-19 cases in general that are breaking through in fully vaccinated people. Tonight, we are getting the latest numbers from the state on break through COVID-19 cases here and what you need to know about staying safe.
There are cases of COVID-19 breaking through in fully vaccinated people in Massachusetts, but we spoke with a doctor from Baystate about what a breakthrough infection usually feels like.
“It seems like one minute, we were inundated with stay in, stay in, stay in then it’s okay if you have vaccinations and you might have a variant, you should still wear a mask,” said Sherry Suber of Springfield.
Suber said throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the evolving guidance. She's found a system that makes her feel safe.
“I’d rather err on the side of caution. My mother is an older adult, I have grandchildren, so I just have a comfort level with the mask,” Suber added.
Though Massachusetts' vaccination rate is high, state health officials said there are positive cases in people who are fully vaccinated and doctors said the rapidly spreading dominant Delta variant has mutated spike proteins, which make it more contagious.
“That allows it to attach better and infect human cells,” said Dr. Armando Paez with Baystate Health.
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Western Mass News is getting answers as the state’s test positive rate for COVID-19 jumped to above one percent…
However, the number of breakthrough infections in the fully vaccinated population is low. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, as of July 17, there have been 4,814 breakthrough cases or 0.1 percent of the fully vaccinated population. The number of breakthrough cases requiring hospitalization is even smaller at 272 cases. The number of hospitalized cases that resulted in death is 57 and Mass. DPH officials said 23 people with breakthrough infections died without going to the hospital.
However, Paez, an infectious disease doctor with Baystate Health, told Western Mass News these severe breakthrough cases are not the norm
“Most are mild infections some are even asymptomatic,” Paez added.
Still, Paez recommended getting the vaccine as soon as possible .
“It’s still effective in preventing serious infection,” Paez said.
In Provincetown, town officials reinstated an indoor mask mandate for those who are both vaccinated and unvaccinated following a spike of about 130 cases, some of them breakthrough cases.