BEVERLY (CBS) – Beverly City Councilor Dominic Copeland is recovering from a serious breakthrough case of COVID-19. “I think if I wasn’t vaccinated, I wouldn’t be here right now,” Copeland said.

He was in Beverly Hospital for six days. “I needed nine liters of oxygen, and the important part of that is at ten liters, they put you on a ventilator and move you to the ICU,” he explained.

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He is among 15,739 vaccinated people in Massachusetts who have gotten COVID-19; 571 went to the hospital and 131 have died. While that sounds tragic, it’s just .003% of vaccinated people in the state.

Copeland felt like he was on death’s doorstep. “I just said this isn’t the end of my story. This isn’t the end.”

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He says his vaccination saved his life. “All I needed in the hospital was just a fighting chance. It’s all I needed was just a chance, and that vaccine gave me that. It did its job,” he said.

Infectious disease experts confirm, vaccines prevent death. “The numbers so far would suggest that vaccinated people have more than 20 times less likelihood of having severe disease or death than unvaccinated people,” said Dr. Robin Colgrove, interim Chief of Infectious Diseases at Mount Auburn Hospital.

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“It protected me as a human being, as a parent, as a father, as a husband, as a brother, as a friend,” said Copeland. “So I can be here today.”

Christina Hager