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King County is first large county in US to hit 70% vaccine milestone

Among the 12 most populous counties in the U.S., Miami-Dade County is currently in second place with a 60.9% COVID-19 vaccination rate.

SEATTLE — King County Health Officer Jeff Duchin said Friday that 70% of the county’s residents 12 years old and up had received both their COVID-19 vaccine shots.

Then on Tuesday, Public Health — Seattle and King County announced the county was actually the first among the 12 most populous counties in the U.S. to reach this goal, with the latest data showing 72.3% of residents ages 12 and up had completed their COVID-19 vaccination series.

King County beat others like Dallas County in Texas and Los Angeles and Orange counties in California. Miami-Dade County in Florida came in second, with 60.9% percent of eligible residents completing their vaccination series.

To be considered fully vaccinated, someone must be two weeks past their second dose of the Pfizer of Moderna vaccine or two weeks past the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

King County has shifted its vaccination strategy recently to focus more on mobile efforts. As of Friday, the county’s mobile teams had provided more than 52,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"Our goal is to reach a minimum of 70% fully vaccinated within all racial and ethnic groups and in all zip codes, and ultimately have as many people as eligible vaccinated in King County as possible," Dr. Duchin said on Friday.

Efforts continue throughout the county to reach populations that have been underrepresented in vaccinations. For instance, a vaccine event was hosted at a park in Redmond on Sunday to reach the Latino community.

Gov. Jay Inslee said that the state will reopen on June 30, but could reopen sooner if the state reaches the 70% vaccination threshold for residents 16 years old and up before then. King County crossed that threshold on June 15.

The latest data, according to the state, shows just under 68% of Washingtonians 16 years or older have initiated their vaccination.