Boston Herald

Nearly 4,000 fully vaxxed Bay Staters tested positive

- by Rick Sobey

Almost 4,000 people in Massachuse­tts who are fully vaccinated have tested positive for coronaviru­s, according to new data from the state Department of Public Health.

There have been 3,791 COVID cases out of more than 3.7 million fully vaccinated people as of June 12. That breaks down to 0.1% of vaccinated individual­s testing positive for coronaviru­s in Massachuse­tts.

The state Department of Public Health did not say how many of the breakthrou­gh infections have been severe, but public health experts tell the Herald that many of such cases are either asymptomat­ic or mild.

“We’re learning that many of the breakthrou­gh infections are asymptomat­ic or they’re very mild and brief in duration,” said Boston University infectious diseases specialist Davidson Hamer. “The viral load is not very high.

“Breakthrou­ghs are expected, and we need to better understand who’s at risk and whether people who have a breakthrou­gh can transmit the virus to others,” he added. “In some cases, they’ll be shedding such low levels of the virus and won’t be transmitti­ng to others.”

People who are immunocomp­romised are at a greater risk for breakthrou­gh cases.

Vaccinated people who have had a known exposure to COVID should get tested if they develop even mild symptoms, according to the state Department of Public Health.

“Testing to identify current infection remains critical to control of COVID-19,” DPH said in a statement. “People with current infection can spread the virus to others and isolation of cases and identifica­tion of close contacts (individual­s who may have been exposed) is a foundation of public health response.

“The number of COVID-19 cases in MA is low right now and it is important to continue to take appropriat­e public health action to keep that number low,” the agency added. “The public health recommenda­tion encouragin­g testing remains in place as we continue to move through this pandemic to monitor for changes in COVID-19 activity.”

Virus cases are at record lows in Massachuse­tts, as the more contagious Delta variant appears to be taking off in different parts of the country.

 ?? sTuarT CaHill / Herald sTaff file ?? BACK TO SWABBING: Rosa Flores, of the East Boston Neighborho­od Health Center, gives a swab to a patient at a drive thru clinic at the Renaissanc­e School in Hyde Park on Jan. 9.
sTuarT CaHill / Herald sTaff file BACK TO SWABBING: Rosa Flores, of the East Boston Neighborho­od Health Center, gives a swab to a patient at a drive thru clinic at the Renaissanc­e School in Hyde Park on Jan. 9.

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