561 COVID-19 cases reported in vaccinated Minnesotans

561 COVID-19 cases reported in vaccinated Minnesotans Photo: Minnesota Department of Health/WDIO

Created: April 16, 2021 10:59 AM

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Health officials say hundreds of Minnesotans full vaccinated against the coronavirus became infected with COVID-19.  Data from the state Department of Health shows the vaccines are highly effective in Minnesota, but that it remains unclear how well they protect against the more contagious variants of COVID-19.

According to Director of the Infectious Disease Division, Kris Ehresmann, there have been 561 breakthrough cases in Minnesota.  During the MDH COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, Ehresmann explained a breakthrough case is when a person is at least two weeks out from having received their second dose of vaccination (in a two-dose series,) and has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Minnesota reports 561 breakthrough cases, according to MDH. There were 66 cases that needed hospitalization, with nine in the intensive care unit.  Ehresmann says there were 6 deaths in the breakthrough group.

Ehresmann and Jan Malcolm, Commissioner of the Department of Health talked about 'breakthrough' cases during the MDH COVID-19 briefing on Thursday.

RELATED STORY: Minnesota COVID-19 Data Update
MDH reports 89 'breakthrough' cases of COVID-19 after becoming fully vaccinated
 (from March 25, 2021)

Althought the vaccines have shown to be very effective at preventing COVID-19 illness in those who are vaccinated, more research is needed to determine what degree the vaccine may prevent someone who is vaccinated from passing along the virus to other people. According to MDH, someone who is vaccinated might be exposed to COVID-19 but have no symptoms. Officials do not know if that person could still spread COVID-19 to others and not know it. 

Minnesota health officials say this is why it is still important for everyone, whether vaccinated or not, to continue to follow public health recommendations, including wearing a mask.

Of the breakthrough cases, health officials say the vaccinated people with the most severe cases tended to be older. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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