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Provincetown’s COVID outbreak shows ‘vaccines work’

A COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts that was critical for health officials to decide to expand masking recommendations could have been much worse without vaccines, health experts say.

Fully vaccinated people accounted for nearly three-quarters of COVID-19 infections after the events of July 4 in Provincetown, the community that was examined in Massachusetts, according to a CDC study published Friday in the agency’s weekly report on mortality and morbidity. The seaside tourist site is located in the county with the highest vaccination rate in Massachusetts.

CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said in a statement that the findings “raised concerns that unlike other variants, vaccinated people infected with the delta could transmit the virus.”

But the epidemic could have been much worse without the vaccines.

“The vaccines are working. Of the 900 cases linked to the Provincetown cluster, there have been no deaths, 7 hospitalizations and the symptoms are largely mild,” tweeted Alex Morse, Provincetown city manager.

“The outbreak is contained and Provincetown is safe.”

Ashish K. Jha, Dean of Brown University School of Public Health, called these “very low rates” on Twitter, adding that the figures are “consistent with the theme that vaccines prevent serious illness.”

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