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Capitol Briefs: Missouri tracking breakthrough coronavirus infections

Missouri is now tracking COVID-19 cases among vaccinated individuals, known as breakthrough cases, as part of its statewide dashboard. 

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their series of vaccinations, though infections can still occur. 

Breakthrough infections are rare, according to the data compiled by the Department of Health And Senior Services (DHSS): Around 2 percent of fully vaccinated individuals have reported an infection, and .02 percent have died. Most breakthrough cases are among older Missourians and those with comorbidities, according to DHSS. 

“This data reaffirms what we have been saying for nearly a year. COVID vaccines work very well to prevent hospitalizations and death,” said DHSS Director Donald Kauerauf. “The vaccines continue to be an effective tool to protect Missourians from serious illness. This new data being released by DHSS also highlights the importance of receiving boosters when eligible, especially for those of higher risk due to age or health concerns who may not have as strong of an immune response following vaccinations.”

  • Data on reinfection — which occurs when an individual tests positive for the virus, recovers, and tests positive again within 90 days — was also added to the dashboards. More than 6,300 Missourians have been reinfected, according to DHSS.
  • Probable deaths — individuals who died with a positive antigen test or confirmation with vital records within the prior week — were also added. No probable deaths were reported in the past seven days. 
  • Vaccination was opened to all Missourians aged 5 and older earlier this month, and booster shots became available in September. 
  • More than 57 percent of the state’s population have received at least an initial dose of the vaccine, and 50 percent are fully inoculated.