Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey announced on Friday that more than 1,000 individuals throughout the state have tested positive for the coronavirus after being fully vaccinated.
Of the fully vaccinated individuals who have suffered these numerous “breakthrough” cases, 195 have been hospitalized, with 27 patients passing away.
Piercey stated that approximately half of the cases among vaccinated individuals are in residents aged 50 and older and pointed to the widespread Delta variant of the coronavirus as the cause for the cases.
In recent weeks, positive coronavirus cases across the state and country have continued to rise steadily. However, the number of deaths in the state has remained relatively low.
“We haven’t seen an uptick yet in deaths. Unfortunately, that will probably come in the next few weeks. It takes a few weeks after somebody gets sick and then in the hospital, if they are going to pass away, that would come a few weeks later,” Piercey said.
While the state has experienced a large number of “breakthrough” cases, Piercey added that 97 percent of all hospitalizations and more than 98 percent of deaths are among Tennesseans who have not been fully vaccinated.
Officials from the Department of Health and Governor Bill Lee have resumed encouraging individuals to take the coronavirus vaccine, after receiving intense backlash for firing the state’s top vaccine expert.
“The most effective tool against COVID, including the Delta variant, is the vaccine and we encourage Tennesseans to pursue that,” Governor Lee said in a press conference.
The state has also been heavily critiqued for its outreach to minors to get vaccinated. Several state lawmakers voiced concerns that Tennessee had marketed the vaccine to minors and administered it without parental consent.
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