Unvaccinated Pennsylvanians are nearly eight times more likely to die from COVID-19.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG (KDKA) – The vast majority of Pennsylvanians who are getting COVID-19, being hospitalized and dying are unvaccinated, according to data on breakthrough cases released by the Department of Health Tuesday.

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According to the state, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people made up 97% of deaths in 2021, 95% of hospitalizations and 94% of cases.

The Health Department says this means unvaccinated Pennsylvanians are almost eight times more likely to die and about seven times more like to become infected. Health officials say symptoms are also less severe in those who are vaccinated.

“No vaccine has 100% efficacy, so post-vaccination cases are to be expected. It’s important to also remember that COVID-19 vaccines were developed to help people stay out of the hospital and avoid death, not just positive cases,” Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam said.

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The CDC defines breakthrough cases as people who test positive for COVID-19 14 days after becoming fully vaccinated, though Beam said the term can be misleading, “because the vaccine is continuing to do its job even against more recent variants, including the delta variant.”

The Health Department says the latest breakthrough data proves vaccines are working, and Beam continued to push for more people to get vaccinated.

Just over 67% of Pennsylvanian adults are fully vaccinated as cases continue to surge and hospitalizations climb.

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Data on breakthrough cases can now be found on the Health Department’s website.