In Seattle, 97% of New COVID Cases are Among the Unvaccinated

Comments by Dr. Jeff Duchin, the chief health officer for Seattle and King County.
June 9, 2021

At a weekly health briefing, Dr. Jeff Duchin, the chief health officer for Seattle and King County, remarked that of King County’s recent COVID-19 cases, 97 percent had occurred in unvaccinated people. It effectively meant the only people still catching coronavirus in King County are people who haven’t gotten the shots.

Duchin had been noticing that disease transmission seemed to be increasingly located in spots around the county where vaccination rates were low. So, epidemiologists at King County decided to take a deeper look at 15,397 local COVID cases, spread over April and May.

READ: The Unseen COVID-19 Risk for Unvaccinated People

What they discovered is that of the 15,397 positive cases, 14,895 were in people who hadn’t been fully vaccinated. That’s 96.7 percent of all local cases in April and May — a period in which King County passed the 50 percent vaccinated threshold, meaning half the population had been inoculated and half had not. “It’s a very clear result,” Duchin said. “It leads to a basic conclusion: Who’s left to catch COVID-19? People who are unvaccinated.”

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