More than 94% of Washington’s recent COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations were among people not fully vaccinated, according to a new report from the state Department of Health.
The new data, released Wednesday, shows that between February and June, residents 12 and older who weren’t fully vaccinated made up about 97% of COVID-19 cases, 96% of hospitalizations and 94% of deaths in the state.
In a news release, the DOH said the report “underscores once again the need for people to get vaccinated now, if they haven’t already.”
“If they still have questions, we encourage them to speak to their healthcare provider. We all have a role to protect our community, especially those who are most vulnerable,” state Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah said in a statement.
A recent rise in cases of COVID-19, coupled with the emergence of the highly infectious delta variant, prompted health officials from eight Western Washington counties, including Snohomish, King and Pierce, to recommend masks in indoor public spaces.
The more transmissible delta variant likely accounts for more than 90% of new cases, according to state officials. While the state will follow current federal guidance for the use of facial coverings amid the uptick, Gov. Jay Inslee said Wednesday he won’t impose new masking requirements.
The DOH used data from the Washington Disease Reporting System, or WDRS, and the Washington Immunization Information System, or IIS, for its new report. The WDRS receives information on cases, hospitalizations and deaths for all Washingtonians, while IIS collects vaccination data from health care providers, the report says.
The data will be updated weekly in a new report on the conditions of those who aren’t fully vaccinated in the state. More details, including demographics and trends, will be added to the report throughout the next few weeks, according to the DOH.
“Not fully vaccinated” is defined as those who have not received any dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or have received one or more doses but aren’t yet fully protected. Full protection from vaccination occurs about two weeks after receiving the final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine.
The state noted that even when a vaccine is highly effective, a “small percentage” of people who are fully vaccinated can get infected in what’s called a breakthrough case.
Information from The Seattle Times archives was included in this story.