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Nearly 97 percent of vaccinated residents in Mass. who caught COVID avoided hospitalization, death, public health officials say

A vaccination event at a school in Boston.Bloomberg/Photographer: Allison Dinner/Blo

Nearly 97 percent of Massachusetts residents who’ve contracted COVID-19 after getting vaccinated have avoided severe health outcomes such as hospitalization or death, the state Department of Public Health said Monday.

The DPH confirmed the tally in a statement.

According to the release, DPH culled the 97-percent figure from a review of breakthrough cases in the Commonwealth, and the agency also zeroed in on the unvaccinated population.

The review found unvaccinated residents are five times more likely to get infected than fully vaccinated residents, and that unvaccinated residents are 31 times more likely to become infected than fully vaccinated residents who’ve received a booster, the statement said.


Residents are considered fully vaccinated once they have two shots of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single-shot J&J poke.

The review, DPH said, also found that 99.9 percent of breakthrough cases among fully vaccinated people under age 60 did not result in death. Among breakthrough cases for residents over 60, 97 percent did not result in death, the statement said.

No deaths have been reported in breakthrough cases among those under age 30, officials said.

“The data are clear. This review shows that fully vaccinated people in Massachusetts have near-universal protection from severe illness and death and that boosters are demonstrating even stronger protection from COVID,” said state Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders in the DPH release. “Amid the season of gathering indoors and the emerging Omicron variant, the time to get vaccinated and boosted is now. It is the best gift of protection for yourself and your loved ones.”

The review findings were released on the same day Mayor Michelle Wu announced new vaccine requirements for some indoor spaces in the city, as well as a new vaccine mandate for the city’s 18,000-strong workforce.

Beginning Jan. 15, patrons of affected businesses, including indoor dining, fitness, and entertainment establishments, will be required to show proof of vaccination upon entering the premises. Additionally, the city is requiring vaccination of all city employees, and eliminating an option for city workers to be regularly tested instead of being vaccinated. Under the new mandate, city workers will have until Jan. 15 for a first vaccine dose and until Feb.15 for the second dose, unless they are granted an accommodation for medical or religious reasons.


Starting March 1, kids ages 5 to 11 will have to show proof of at least one dose, and that age group will have to show proof of full vaccination to get into the businesses starting May 1.

Vaccination continues to be the most effective tool we have against Omicron and all COVID-19 variants,” said Acting DPH Commissioner Margret Cooke in the DPH statement. “The data indicates that fully vaccinated and boosted individuals are well protected from severe outcomes of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death, and the Department of Public Health strongly urges all residents to get vaccinated and, when appropriate, get a booster.”

Material from prior Globe stories was used in this report.

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com.