COVID-19 vaccine in Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Few fully vaccinated Missourians later caught COVID-19 and even fewer died from the virus, data released this week by the state health department show.

Data released this week by the agency show 2% of fully vaccinated people caught the virus, or about 5,500 out of more than 3.1 million vaccinated Missourians. Of fully vaccinated Missourians, 655 died from the illness, or about .02%.

The Department of Health and Senior Services said most of the breakthrough infections and deaths were among people with other risk factors.

“This data reaffirms what we have been saying for nearly a year,” agency Director Donald Kauerauf said in a statement. “COVID vaccines work very well to prevent hospitalizations and death.”

Along with breakthrough cases, the health department now is also reporting 6,300 people have been sickened by COVID-19 more than once and close to another 2,800 additional deaths likely tied to the virus.

The newly reported deaths are defined as probable deaths, which include people who received a positive antigen test and people whose deaths were attributed to the virus but didn’t have a confirmed positive test.

“Even if you had COVID-19 before, I strongly encourage you to discuss getting vaccinated with your healthcare provider,” Kauerauf said.