Officials: 1.6% of COVID Deaths Have Occurred in Breakthrough Cases in 2021

Of the more than 6,500 COVID deaths, just over 100 have involved fully-vaccinated individuals

NBC Universal, Inc.

As Illinois prepares to move into Phase 5 of its coronavirus reopening plan, state health officials say that the number of so-called “breakthrough” COVID hospitalizations and deaths remains low among those who have been fully vaccinated against the virus.

According to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, a total of 413 fully vaccinated individuals have been hospitalized because of COVID so far in 2021. Of those patients, 106 died either of COVID or from complications related to the virus.

Those 106 deaths represent 1.63% of the total number of coronavirus deaths that the state has confirmed so far in 2021. According to IDPH data, a total of 6,524 residents have passed away due to COVID so far this year, with 23,014 confirmed deaths during the pandemic.

The CDC defines a breakthrough case of COVID as a case involving a person who tested positive for the virus at least 14 days after becoming fully vaccinated, and hadn’t tested positive in the preceding 45 days.

Even as Illinois moves into Phase 5 of the state’s coronavirus response plan, officials are still urging as many residents as possible to get COVID vaccinations. More than 51% of Illinois adults are now fully vaccinated against the virus, with more than 68% of adults having received at least one dose, according to officials.

Those numbers continue to rise just as coronavirus cases, deaths and positivity rates continue to drop in the state. According to the latest IDPH data, just 1.3% of COVID tests have returned positive results in the last week, and hospitalizations are at a low watermark since the first surge in virus cases occurred last spring.

COVID vaccines have been proven to be largely effective at preventing symptomatic COVID infections. According to Mayo Clinic, research shows that the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective in preventing those infections, and the Moderna vaccine is 94% effective.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 66% effective at preventing symptomatic infection, and 85% effective at preventing serious illness after contracting the virus.

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