TEXAS TRIBUNE – Of the 8,787 people who have died in Texas due to COVID-19 since early February, at least 43 were fully vaccinated, the Texas Department of State Health Services said.
That means 99.5% of people who died due to COVID-19 in Texas from Feb. 8 to July 14 were unvaccinated, while 0.5% were the result of “breakthrough infections,” which DSHS defines as people who contracted the virus two weeks after being fully vaccinated.
The agency did not release details about the 43 deaths and noted that these are preliminary numbers, which could change because each case must be confirmed through public health investigations.
Statewide, more than 50,000 people have died of COVID-19 since March 2020, but the rate of deaths has slowed dramatically since vaccines became widely available in April.
Dr. David Lakey, the chief medical officer of the University of Texas System, said people succumbing to the coronavirus despite being vaccinated was “not unexpected.”
Lakey, who is also a member of the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 task force, said:
“We’ve known for a long while that the vaccines aren’t 100%, but they’re really really good at preventing severe disease and hospitalizations. …
“There will always be some individuals that will succumb to the illness in the absence of full herd immunity.”
He added that 0.5% is “a very low number of individuals in a state of 30 million. …