Health officials in Illinois say that 81 people have died after being diagnosed with so-called “breakthrough” cases of coronavirus since the beginning of this year.
The new numbers were released by the Illinois Department of Public Health on Wednesday. According to those metrics, just 1.3% of the total number of people who have died after contracting coronavirus so far this year were fully vaccinated.
A total of 6,031 people have died so far this year due to COVID-19 or complications related to the virus.
According to state data total of 243 people who were fully vaccinated against coronavirus have been hospitalized after contracting the illness since Jan. 1.
A person is deemed to be “fully vaccinated” two weeks after receiving the second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
A “breakthrough case” of coronavirus is defined as an individual who tested positive for the virus more than 14 days after receiving their final vaccine dose.
Illinois officials do not publish the total number of breakthrough cases that have been confirmed in the state, per CDC guidelines.
According to the CDC, breakthrough cases are “expected” to occur in fully-vaccinated individuals due to a variety of factors, including the continued transmission of the illness among those who are not vaccinated.
Breakthrough infections “occur only in a small fraction of all vaccinated persons,” according to government officials.
From the beginning of the year through April 30, approximately 10,000 fully vaccinated individuals, out of more than 101 million, tested positive for COVID-19, the CDC says. In fact, the number of breakthrough cases was so low that the CDC recommended that states only track hospitalizations and deaths among those who had been vaccinated, saying that those measurements were of “greatest clinical and public health importance.”