Public health officials have identified 168 “vaccine breakthrough” cases in which people vaccinated against COVID-19 have later tested positive for the virus, including three fatal cases, the Oregon Health Authority announced Thursday.
OHA called the finding a useful reminder that no vaccine works 100% of the time, although the agency reiterated that the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines being distributed in the state “are all highly effective at preventing severe COVID-19 illness and death.”
COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases are instances in which an individual tests positive for the disease at least 14 days after receiving the final dose in a vaccination series. OHA noted that the 168 breakthrough cases identified so far represent a small fraction of the more than 800,000 Oregonians who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Also Thursday, OHA reported 678 new confirmed or presumptive cases, including 22 in the mid-valley, to bring the state’s cumulative total to 168,795. Oregon added five more COVID-related fatalities, raising the state’s death toll to 2,439 since the start of the pandemic.
The agency did not immediately release details about the state’s latest fatalities, although data on the OHA website suggested that none were mid-valley residents.
Benton County has now recorded 2,632 cases of COVID-19 and 18 deaths associated with the disease. Linn County has a cumulative total of 3,965 cases and 61 deaths, according to OHA data.
The United States has experienced more than 30.7 million infections and a total of 556,106 deaths associated with COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.
Across Oregon, 168 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Thursday, down three from the day before, OHA reported. The number in intensive care fell by four, to 38.
More than 2.1 million doses of vaccine have been administered in Oregon, OHA reported. More than 1.3 million Oregonians have received at least one shot, and 824,299 are fully vaccinated.
Approximately 175 million vaccinations have been given nationally, according to the CDC.