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Mass. reports 11,431 new breakthrough COVID-19 cases, raising total to 2 percent of fully vaccinated people

A pharmacist prepared a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination booster.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Massachusetts on Tuesday reported 11,431 more COVID-19 cases among fully vaccinated people since last week, bringing the total since the beginning of the vaccination campaign to 100,399 cases, or 2.02 percent of all fully vaccinated people.

The Department of Public Health also reported 52 more COVID-19 deaths among fully vaccinated people, bringing the total to 699 deaths among those fully vaccinated. The number of breakthrough deaths represents a tiny fraction of all vaccinated people and underscores the protection the vaccines provide against severe illness and death.

The deaths accounted for 0.01 percent of the 4,980,654 people in Massachusetts who were fully vaccinated, the department said in its weekly update on breakthrough COVID-19 metrics, which included data reported through Saturday.

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The department also reported 250 more hospitalizations among fully vaccinated people, for a total of 2,966 hospitalizations. That represents 0.06 percent of all fully vaccinated people.

Last week, the state reported 11,321 new cases, 61 more deaths, and 273 more hospitalizations among fully vaccinated people.

State officials and public health experts have repeatedly stressed that vaccination greatly reduces hospitalization, severe illness, and death as a result of COVID-19. They have encouraged booster shots for fully vaccinated people as a way to shore up protection from the virus amid data that show immunity from the vaccines wanes over time.

As of Tuesday, 5,008,626 people in Massachusetts have been fully vaccinated, according to the department.

On Monday, Governor Charlie Baker said Massachusetts’ COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to be driven by unvaccinated people, even as hospitalizations rise among those who are fully vaccinated.

“If you look at the hospitalization rates of the vaccinated and the unvaccinated in Massachusetts, if the unvaccinated got vaccinated, we drop our hospitalization rates by 50 percent,” Baker said.

Both COVID-19 hospitalizations and hospitalizations among fully vaccinated people have been rising in Massachusetts since about mid-November, meaning vaccinated people are not making up a larger share of hospitalizations. Data show the number of vaccinated people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 has hovered around 30 percent since the state began reporting that metric in August.

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Amanda Kaufman can be reached at amanda.kaufman@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandakauf1.