New WA Dept. of Health data breaks down how COVID is affecting unvaccinated people by age group

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — New data from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) shows the fight to contain COVID-19 is far from over.

Unvaccinated people continue to be hit the hardest and make the majority of COVID cases and hospitalizations, according to the DOH.

Eighteen months into the pandemic, the DOH says vaccination is still the best and most critical tool for containing it.

As of Sept. 15, about two-thirds of those eligible to get the vaccine in Washington is fully vaccinated. The vaccine helps protect people from experiencing severe illness, hospitalization and death from the virus.

However, according to new data, many people remain unvaccinated and case rates are currently very high.

Vaccination rates also vary across the state and between age and demographic groups, leaving some populations vulnerable.

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In Washington, unvaccinated people who are between 12 and 34 are six times more likely to get COVID and 30 times more likely to be hospitalized, compared to fully vaccinated people in the same age group.

Unvaccinated people who are between 35 to 64 are five times more likely to get the virus and 21 times more likely to be hospitalized, compared to those fully vaccinated in the same age group.

Lastly, unvaccinated people in the most vulnerable age group, 65 and older, are four times more likely to get COVID-19, nine times more likely to be hospitalized and eight times more likely to die from it than those vaccinated.

With the delta variant as the dominant COVID-19 strain in the state and across the country — and additional variants appearing worldwide — the DOH says it is more urgent than ever to ensure that everyone who is eligible gets vaccinated against the virus. This data was recorded between Aug. and Sept. 2021.

Closer to home, in Spokane County, vaccinations are a slow crawl against a fast-spreading virus. A little over half of people (51.8%) in Spokane County are fully vaccinated and among them, 10.7% have caught COVID in breakthrough cases.

Unvaccinated people make up 84% of COVID cases in Spokane County. This was recorded between Feb. and Aug. 2021.

With the new data, the DOH says a small percentage of fully vaccinated people are expected to get COVID. However, the vaccine still offers strong protection against most serious outcomes.

If you’re looking to get a vaccine, you can get one Saturday at the Spokane Teaching Health Center between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

You can also search by zip code using the statewide vaccine locator or call 833-VAX-HELP.

You can find more information on the Washington State Dept. of Health COVID-19 page.

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