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OLYMPIA, Wash - The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is investigating reports of people in-state that have tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated. 

These cases are being called "breakthrough cases" and according to epidemiologists, there is evidence of 102 of them since February 1, 2021. While this only represents .01% of vaccinated people in Washington and most are reporting mild symptoms, eight people experiencing a breakthrough case have been hospitalized since Feb. 1.

DOH is also investigating two breakthrough cases where the patients died. Both were reportedly over 80 years old and had underlying health issues. 

"It is important to remember that every vaccine on the market right now prevents severe disease and death in most cases,” said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Secretary of Health. “People should still get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible, and encourage friends, loved ones, and co-workers to do the same.”

The DOH will provide a regular report regarding vaccine breakthrough in Washington state beginning in late April.