Fact Check: Breakthrough COVID cases

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Breakthrough COVID cases involve people who’ve been vaccinated but still got COVID. News10NBC recently got an email claiming the majority of people in the hospital for COVID in Albany are people who are vaccinated. Is that true? News10NBC’s Nikki Rudd fact checked that claim.

"You need to know, it’s truly it’s the unvaccinated people that are populating our hospitals," Governor Kathy Hochul said at a recent COVID briefing.

Take a look at these numbers News10NBC got from Albany County.

On Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, 32 people were in the hospital in Albany County with COVID. Thirteen of them were fully vaccinated. One was partially vaccinated. Eighteen hadn’t received any COVID shots. Put those numbers into percentages and more than 40% of the patients in the hospital with COVID were vaccinated.

What about positive COVID cases? Here are the numbers for Albany County for the week of Sept. 19 to Sept. 25:

  • 529 total cases that week.
  • 45% (236) were vaccinated.
  • 48% (252) were unvaccinated.
  • 7% (41) were unknown.

So while it’s not a majority, it is much closer to half and half.

Let’s take a broader look our statewide numbers. The governor recently said .07% of people who are fully vaccinated have breakthrough COVID infections. That’s 86,860 lab-confirmed breakthrough cases among fully vaccinated people in New York.

For hospitalizations, it’s .05%. The latest data shows 6,083 fully vaccinated patients have been in the hospital with COVID here in New York.

"It’s a reminder of why we’re still wearing masks, and why we’re still being careful even people who have been vaccinated," Hochul said.

You might be thinking, "Ok. You shared the numbers for Albany County. What about Monroe?"

News10NBC asked Monroe County officials for those numbers. We did a Good Question report about it as well.

They didn’t give us the data for vaccinated vs. unvaccinated cases and hospitalizations, but they did release something new.

Between March 1 and Sept. 30 of this year, 175 COVID deaths were reported in Monroe County. Officials say 97% of the patients who died who were under the age of 65 were not fully vaccinated, and 71% were not fully vaccinated for those 65 and up who died. This data will be released on the first Monday of each month.