Unvaccinated Washington residents ages 65 and older were hospitalized with COVID-19 at nearly 10 times the rate of their vaccinated counterparts, according to state Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah.

Shah and other public health officials said at a news briefing Wednesday that cases of coronavirus in Washington continue to go up among all age groups except 60 and older, and that hospitalizations are increasing as well.

While the data about hospitalization rates among all age groups is not in yet, the numbers show that among those 65 and older, unvaccinated state residents were being hospitalized at 9.7 times the rate of those who had been vaccinated.

Shah addressed concerns about a fourth wave of infections and said public health officials remain focused on getting shots into Washingtonians’ arms by making vaccinations more accessible and convenient and by addressing continued vaccine hesitancy.

Efforts to overcome vaccine hesitancy have seen notable success from personal interactions, and state Department of Health officials urged people to help their neighbors, friends and relatives find answers as well as shots.

To date, 5.1 million vaccines have been administered in the state and more than 25% of Washingtonians are fully vaccinated, DOH reports.