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Connecticut says 'vaccination breakthrough' COVID infections rare

HARTFORD (AP) — Of the more than 1.4 million Connecticut residents who are now fully vaccinated, 242 later became infected with COVID-19, according to data released Friday from the state Department of Public Health.

Among the 242 so-called “vaccine breakthrough cases,” 109 people had no symptoms of the disease. DPH reported three deaths among vaccinated individuals who were confirmed to have had underlying medical conditions. They were between the ages of 55-64, 65-74, and 75 years and older.

Nationally, there have been 132 vaccine breakthrough deaths, DPH said.

“The main takeaway is that COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective and cases of infection after a person is fully vaccinated are very rare," Dr. Deidre Gifford, the state's acting public health commissioner, said in a statement. Cases of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated individuals in Connecticut is less than 0.1%, according to the DPH data.

"The best protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19 is vaccination, and I strongly urge all eligible Connecticut residents who have not yet gotten vaccinated to do so,” Gifford said.

Release of the breakthrough case data comes as more than 50% of Connecticut residents age 16 and older are now fully vaccinated.

Of the 242 breakthrough cases, 159 were among women; 58 occurred in congregate settings such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities; and 32 were hospitalized, according to DPH.

Connecticut continues to see new cases of COVID-19. More than 430 confirmed and probable cases were reported since Thursday. Meanwhile, the number of people hospitalized in the state for COVID-19 dropped by 15 to 436. The number of COVID-associated deaths increased by six from Thursday to Friday, to 8,137.

As long as Connecticut continues to see new cases, Gifford said it's important for residents to continue wearing face masks indoors and in large outdoor crowds, washing their hands, social distancing and limiting their gathering sizes when people's vaccination status is unknown.

 

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