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As the U.S. government mandates COVID vaccines for millions of Americans, and U.S. health agencies — against the recommendations of their vaccine advisory committees — authorize a third booster dose for “high-risk” workers, COVID cases continue to rise among fully vaccinated people.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show as of Sept. 20, 19,136 patients were hospitalized or died despite being fully vaccinated — a number the agency acknowledges is an undercount of all SARS-CoV-2 infections among fully vaccinated persons. As of May 1, the CDC only tracks breakthrough cases of people that are admitted to the hospital or die.
According to the CDC, a vaccine breakthrough case occurs when someone tests positive for COVID at least 14 days after they have been fully vaccinated. In addition, the CDC’s website states people with vaccine breakthrough infections may spread the virus and infect others.
Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ canceled
A Broadway performance of Disney’s “Aladdin” was canceled Wednesday due to COVID breakthrough cases within the company, producers said — just one night after the show had resumed for the first time since the pandemic shut-down.
“Through our rigorous testing protocols, breakthrough COVID-19 cases have been detected within the company of Aladdin at The New Amsterdam Theatre,” Aladdin the Musical Twitter account tweeted Wednesday. “We will continue to provide support to the affected Aladdin company members as they recover.”
Showrunners did not say how many COVID cases were detected, noting they will provide more information Thursday regarding future performances.
All of New York’s 41 Broadway theaters require eligible audiences, crews, performers and other staff to be vaccinated against COVID, according to the Broadway League’s policy.
Children under 12, and those unvaccinated due to health conditions or religious reasons, must provide a negative COVID test to be granted entry, and audience members must wear masks inside theaters.
Harvard moved first-year MBA students online due to breakthrough cases
Harvard Business School is pivoting back to remote learning as the first semester of 2021 begins, due to a “steady rise” in breakthrough COVID infections.
Online classes will be in place until Oct. 3 for first-year MBA students, and students are requested to halt all unmasked indoor activities, Bloomberg reported.
“Contact tracers who have worked with positive cases said transmission is not occurring in classrooms or other academic settings on campus, nor is it occurring among individuals who are masked,” Mark Cautela, a spokesman for the business school, said in the statement.
Harvard University said on its website 95% of students and 96% of employees are vaccinated.
‘Dancing with the Stars’ Cheryl Burke reveals breakthrough COVID case
“Dancing with the Stars” pro Cheryl Burke revealed in an emotional Instagram video Sunday she tested positive for COVID despite being fully vaccinated.
According to NBC news, the 37-year-old dancer learned the results of her breakthrough infection one day before the live competition was set to tape a new episode Monday.
“The PCR test came back, and it came back positive,” Burke said. “I feel so bad for Cody [her dance partner]. I feel like I’m letting him down. I just feel like s—, to be quite honest. And it’s so overwhelming because it’s Sunday and the show’s tomorrow.”
Burke said, “I figured I should let you guys know since I’ve been as open and as real and vulnerable as I could be here. I just hope I didn’t spread it. For those of you who don’t think COVID is a real thing, it’s f—— real, dude.”
Burke said she was “fully vaccinated” with the two doses of Moderna’s vaccine.
States report increase in breakthrough cases
Massachusetts public health officials reported 4,378 new COVID cases in fully vaccinated individuals between Sept. 18 and Sept. 25, data from the state’s Department of Public Health showed.
The Department of Health said 1,155 total breakthrough cases resulted in hospitalization — an increase of 154 over the previous week. There were 254 breakthrough cases that resulted in death — an increase of 37 in the past week.
According to the Department of Health, there have been 36,723 total cases of COVID in fully vaccinated individuals as of Sept. 25.
In a newly-released report, Oregon health officials said 2,800, or 23%, of new cases for the period ending Sept. 18 occurred among those who had been fully vaccinated. That’s the highest rate since the week ending July 24, though the percentage has always hovered around 20%.
Of 2.5 million fully vaccinated Oregonians, 22,900 have contracted COVID and 204 people have died.
More than 30,000 residents in Indiana have contracted COVID and more than 200 have died of COVID despite being fully vaccinated against the disease, International Business Times reported.
Indiana health officials recorded 33,851 breakthrough COVID cases among the state’s fully vaccinated individuals since vaccines were authorized for emergency use Dec. 14, 2020. The cases represent 1.047% of the state’s vaccinated population, according to the latest data published Thursday.
In Michigan, a vaccinated couple died of COVID less than a minute apart. Cal Dunham, 59, and Linda Dunham, 66, started to feel sick during a family camping trip earlier this month but assumed it was a cold.
The couple was later hospitalized and placed on ventilators a few days later, according to a local Fox station. Doctors told Dunham on Sunday there was not much else they could do, and the couple would likely need to come off life-support the following day.