Arizona's health department promises more transparency around breakthrough COVID-19 cases

Published: Wednesday, December 8, 2021 - 2:10pm
Updated: Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 8:00am
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For the first time, Arizona's state health department has released a report detailing the frequency of breakthrough COVID-19 cases among vaccinated people. It shows nearly 30% of Arizona’s COVID-19 cases in October were breakthrough cases, an increase over previous months. Still, the vast majority of deaths in the state recently have been among unvaccinated people. 

Medical experts say breakthrough case data is critical because it emphasizes that vaccination is an extremely powerful tool for preventing hospitalizations and deaths. And transparency about the likelihood of breakthrough infections after vaccination also shows why vaccinated people need booster doses or other mitigation measures to prevent infection.

In September, KJZZ News reported many other state health departments were publicly reporting far more information about breakthrough cases than Arizona’s was. But the Arizona Department of Health Services now says it will update breakthrough statistics every two weeks.

The latest data from the department shows, as of October, unvaccinated Arizonans were more than 15 times more likely to die from the virus than those who had gotten the vaccine. 

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