31 fully vaccinated people have died in Tennessee, health department says
27 fully vaccinated people have died in Tennessee, health department says{ } (Photo by Theo Heimann/Getty Images)

UPDATE (8/2/21)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — The Tennessee Department of Health reports 31 fully vaccinated people have died from COVID-19.

These are among the state's more than 1,000 "breakthrough" cases. These are cases in which fully vaccinated people have contracted the virus.

Data is sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). TDH Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said Friday more than two dozen deaths since May 1 and 218 hospitalizations are among breakthrough cases. Including dates before May 1, there have been more than 1,000 breakthrough COVID-19 cases, the state reports.

Dr. Piercey said more than half of the breakthrough cases are those 60 and older and of that group they're most likely to have breakthrough cases, but most have not had severe illness.

According to the CDC, breakthrough cases are defined as "any presumed infection by SARS-CoV-2 (that is, any positive coronavirus test) if it's detected more than two weeks after someone receives the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. But infections can come with or without symptoms, making the term imprecise."

TDH says right now, 96% of all new cases in Tennessee are among unvaccinated individuals and 96.9% of all COVID-19 deaths were among unvaccinated individuals.

Shelby County is reporting 458 breakthrough cases and two deaths.

[Delta variant, breakthrough infections complicate messaging on mask use]

Breakthrough cases and the Delta variant, a highly infectious COVID-19 strain, have heightened concerns recently when it comes to COVID-19.

Previously known as the "Indian variant" and first discovered in India, the Delta variant is also known as B.1.617.2.

Metro Health confirms the Delta variant is present in Nashville and is urging residents to get vaccinated.

[Tracking COVID-19 Variants in Tennessee: Here's the latest stats]

As of Friday, Tennessee reported 12,596 COVID-19 related deaths.

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