Breakthrough Infections Up in Pennsylvania, but Deaths Are Not—Thanks to Vaccines

University of Pittsburgh Pharmacy student Edith Wang loads a syringe with a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, during a vaccination clinic hosted by the University of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny County Health Department at the Petersen Events Center, in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

By Patrick Abdalla

August 2, 2021

The number of vaccinations is trending upwards after weeks of downward numbers.

Pennsylvania reported 3,000 new coronavirus cases on Monday. The total comes from the numbers reported over the entire weekend. 

Cases have been trending upwards in the state for about three weeks. Despite the so-called “breakthrough infections,” health officials note vaccines are still highly effective in reducing the risk of severe illness and hospitalization from the Delta variant, and nearly 100% of recent COVID deaths are among unvaccinated people. 

On July 11, the seven-day average of new reported cases was 187. It now stands at 972.

As of Monday morning, 500 Pennsylvanians were hospitalized with coronavirus-related symptoms. Of those, 104 were in intensive care units.

While cases are up, coronavirus-related deaths remain down. July will have the lowest number of deaths since March of 2020. While deaths are still being recorded for last month, Pennsylvania has so far reported just 111 deaths in July.

That’s a drop from 313 in June and 844 in May. 

At least 27,857 Pennsylvanians have died with coronavirus-related causes since March 18, 2020, when the state recorded its first death.

Vaccinations Increasing

Deaths are dropping thanks to vaccinations. From March through June, the state regularly vaccinated 50,000 people a day, according to state data. That number had plummeted to 11,320 the week of July 12. 

From July 26 to Aug. 1, the state averaged 12,339 vaccinations a day.

Pennsylvanians Need to Get Their Second Doses

State health officials have been grappling with a significant drop-off in the number of people who have been getting their second doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

The state has been above 70% of adults partially vaccinated since mid June. The number of fully vaccinated adults should have reached that level four weeks later. It still hasn’t, and is lingering at 63%. To help address that issue, the state has launched a new program. It will send text alerts to people who have received their first dose, reminding them to get their second shots.


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