5 Awarded Prizes In Worcester's Youth Vax Giveaway

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Five young people walked away with either a 43-inch smart TV or a Nintendo Switch when the city of Worcester announced the first winners of its Youth Vax Giveaway, meant to encourage younger people to get a coronavirus vaccine.

Diana Davis, 22, who works in biomedical research, won a Nintendo Switch on Monday and encouraged hesitant people to research how the vaccine was developed.

“If you ever want to look up some of the interviews and some of the stories, it’s really fascinating to learn about the science behind it,” she told Masslive.com.

Fianna McGinn, 14, a sophomore at Worcester Technical High School, also won a Switch.

She got vaccinated this spring as soon as the Pfizer vaccine was approved for children ages 12 to 15.

“I decided to get vaccinated to protect my loved ones and help things get back to normal,” McGinn told The Telegram & Gazette, adding that she has a relative considered at high risk.

About 47% of eligible city residents ages 12 to 29 have been fully vaccinated, compared to 78% among those 30 and older, according to city officials.

City residents ages 12 to 24 who are fully vaccinated are eligible for the giveaway, which runs through Nov. 11. Participants can also win an iPad Air or an SE Bicycle.

___

VIRUS BY THE NUMBERS

The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 increased by nearly 1,200 on Tuesday while the number of newly confirmed coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts rose by 21.

The new numbers pushed the state’s confirmed COVID-19 death toll to 18,293 since the start of the pandemic, while its confirmed caseload rose to nearly 764,000.

There were about 580 people reported hospitalized Tuesday because of confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 160 in intensive care units.

The average age of those who have died from COVID-19 was 73.

The true number of cases is likely higher because studies suggest some people can be infected and not feel sick.

More than 4.6 million people in Massachusetts have been fully immunized against COVID-19.

___

BREAKTHROUGH CASES

The number of fully vaccinated people who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in Massachusetts has ticked up again.

In the past week — from Sept. 25 to Oct. 2 — the number of breakthrough cases of the virus jumped by more than 3,700 — from 36,723 to 40,464.

The breakthrough cases still amount to less than 1% of fully vaccinated individuals and health officials say the vaccine offers strong protection against getting infected and decreases the chances of hospitalization and death.

Of the recorded breakthrough infections in Massachusetts since the start of the pandemic, nearly 1,300 resulted in hospitalization and 300 resulted in death, according to the state Department of Public Health.

COVID-19 cases in vaccinated people are counted as those who test positive more than 14 days after the final dose of vaccine.