BOSTON — Health officials have tracked 4,450 "breakthrough" cases of COVID-19 among Massachusetts residents who were fully vaccinated against the disease, including 79 who died.

About 92% of the infections in vaccinated residents did not require hospitalization, while 303 people, or 6.8%, were hospitalized, according to Department of Public Health data through July 10.

The Boston Herald reported the breakthrough data Tuesday based on a public records request.

DPH said the 79 people who died from COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated represent 1.78% of the 4,450 confirmed breakthrough cases and 0.0019% of nearly 4.2 million people fully vaccinated as of July 10.

Health experts have said infections after vaccinations are expected occasionally, but the shots greatly reduce the chances that contracting COVID-19 will lead to serious illness.

Since the pandemic began, DPH has confirmed 665,088 COVID-19 infections in the state and 17,647 deaths, the bulk of which occurred before most residents had access to vaccines, for a fatality rate of nearly 2.7%.

The pace of new vaccinations has slowed considerably in recent weeks leading up to and after the June 15 end of the state of emergency.

In the seven-day period ending May 30, the state averaged 41,918 vaccine doses administered per day, but that rate dropped to 10,880 for the seven-day period ending July 2.

Gov. Charlie Baker's administration has ramped up its focus on more targeted vaccine initiatives, supporting door-knocking campaigns, local outreach and incentive programs such as a state-run "VaxMillions" lottery open only to those who are fully dosed.

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