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State: 217 COVID-19 cases found among 1.7M fully vaccinated

April 14, 2021 GMT

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — State health officials said Wednesday that 115 more cases of fully vaccinated people testing positive for COVID-19 have been discovered out of 1.7 million people who have been fully vaccinated in Washington.

A total of 217 of the breakthrough cases, as they are known, have now been recorded in 24 of the state’s 39 counties, the state Department of Health said.

Officials also said Wednesday they are investigating five suspected deaths of people who experienced vaccine breakthrough. The people who died were between 67-94 years old and all had multiple underlying conditions, officials said. Four lived in long-term care facilities.

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Officials said breakthrough cases are expected with any vaccine. The breakthrough cases in Washington represent about .01 percent of the fully vaccinated population.

A person is confirmed with vaccine breakthrough if they test positive for COVID-19 using a PCR test or antigen test and received their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine over two weeks before the positive test.

“Finding evidence of vaccine breakthrough cases reminds us that, even if you have been vaccinated, you still need to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands to prevent spreading COVID-19 to others who have not been vaccinated,” Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Secretary of Health, said in a news release, adding that officials encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.