Friday, October 15, 2021
Oct. 15, 2021

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Unvaccinated 49 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19, King County data shows

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Amid ongoing debate over vaccine mandates, legal challenges and booster shots, a new dashboard maintained by King County confirms vaccinated residents are significantly better protected from illness, hospitalization and death compared with their unvaccinated counterparts, even as the delta variant surges through the state.

Over the past 30 days, unvaccinated people were seven times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated individuals, making up 69% of cases. Roughly 87% of hospitalizations comprised unvaccinated residents, a rate 49 times higher than the fully vaccinated population. And 72% of people who died from the coronavirus in the past 30 days were not fully vaccinated, making the likelihood of death 32 times higher if an individual has not been vaccinated.

King County says this data is a strong indicator of the vaccines’ success because it measures risk, or the rate of disease in the community. It updates daily and provides an analysis over the past 30 days or for 2021, as well as providing more granular population information.

Charts measuring COVID-19 between the two groups show a sharp, unrelenting increase in unvaccinated cases in Washington in August, while vaccinated cases peaked on August 10 before again declining. Over the last month, fully vaccinated cases never exceeded 13 cases per 100,000 residents, a high reached on Aug. 10, before again declining, while unvaccinated cases continued to climb through the month, topping at 90 cases per 100,000 people on Aug. 26.

“The risk of being hospitalized is much higher for people who are not fully vaccinated,” regardless of region, race or ethnicity, the county wrote in a Sept. 3 news release.

“The contrast is stronger in communities where more people face barriers to both vaccination and basic protective measures. The barriers include racism, inequitable access to testing and vaccination, workplace conditions, and/or access to sick leave or health benefits.”

The county continues to urge vaccination, snug masks worn over noses and mouths in indoor spaces or outdoor spaces without the ability to socially distance, and for residents to stay home when feeling sick.

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