State reports COVID cases, deaths among fully vaccinated people

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By Paul Hughes, Republican-American

State health officials on May 7 reported 242 people in Connecticut have contracted COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated against the viral disease, including three patients who died.

The breakthrough cases represent 0.1% of the more than 1.4 million fully immunized state residents, according to the state Department of Public Health.

DPH officials said the data show that cases of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated individuals are rare, and that the available Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are effective.

Of the 242 breakthrough cases, 109 people reported no symptoms of COVID-19, and 32 patients were hospitalized. There were 58 cases involving residents of congregate settings, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

The three reported deaths involve individuals with underlying medical conditions. One of the dead was in the 55-to-64 age group, a second was in the 65-to-74 age group, and the third was 75 or older.

There were 159 breakthrough cases among women and 83 among men.

“The main takeaway is that COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective and cases of infection after a person is fully vaccinated are very rare,” said Dr. Deidre Gifford, the acting DPH commissioner.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising that the breakthrough cases of COVID-19 are to be expected because no vaccine is 100% effective against an illness. The CDC says there will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, hospitalized or die from COVID-19.

The DPH and other state health departments are reporting vaccine breakthrough cases to the CDC so federal officials can monitor reported cases for clustering by patient demographics, geographic location, time since vaccination, vaccine type or lot number, and SARS-CoV-2 lineage.