PROVINCETOWN, Mass. (WPRI) ─ Evan Negele never expected he’d test positive for COVID-19 after spending Fourth of July weekend with his friends in Provincetown.
That’s because he’s already been fully vaccinated against the virus.
Negele tells 12 News he first started experiencing symptoms a few days after he returned home.
“I had some body aches and chills,” he said, adding that he was the only person in his friend group to test positive. “That persisted for probably three days, at which point I then lost my sense of smell and taste.”
Negele isn’t alone. He’s one of roughly two dozen breakthrough COVID-19 cases the Barnstable County Department of Health has been tracking following the holiday weekend.
In Massachusetts, recent data from the Department of Public Health reveals of more than 4 million fully vaccinated residents, roughly 4,500 of them have since tested positive for COVID-19.
“Breakthrough case numbers are incredibly low and cases in which the person was hospitalized or died are even lower,” Katheleen Conti, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said.
The situation is similar in Rhode Island. The Department of Health reports that, out of the more than 600,000 immunized residents, approximately 1,000 have contracted the virus.
The low number of breakthrough cases, according to health officials, prove the vaccines are effective.
“This is an indication of how enormously effective the vaccines are,” Joseph Wendelken, a spokesperson for the R.I. Department of Health said. “With the Delta variant now circulating in many parts of the country, anyone who has not been vaccinated yet should get vaccinated.”
Negele said even though he tested positive for the virus, he still doesn’t regret his choice to get the shot.
“Thinking about what it would have been like if I had gotten COVID without the vaccine, I think it would have been an extremely unpleasant experience,” he said. “So I am very thankful at least that I had that level of protection to make it somewhat bearable.”