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Unvaccinated people 7 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19, new King County data shows

Those not fully vaccinated are 49 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19.

KING COUNTY, Wash. — People who are not fully vaccinated are seven times more likely to test positive for COVID-19, according to data from Public Health - Seattle & King County.

Those not fully vaccinated are 49 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19, according to the data, which was compiled over a 30-day period ending Aug. 26.

People not fully vaccinated are also 32 times more likely to die of COVID-related illness, according to the data.

Between early July and the end of August, the case rate per 100,000 people in King County rose significantly among people who were not fully vaccinated. On July 1, the case rate was 7.8 per 100,000 unvaccinated residents. By Aug. 25, the case rate was 90.7 per 100,000 unvaccinated residents.

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The case rate for fully vaccinated residents on July 1 was 0.9 and 8.9 on Aug. 25. 

Hospitalizations among unvaccinated people in King County spiked in early August, reaching nearly nine per day by Aug. 23. Deaths per day reached about 1.5 on Aug. 26.

Researchers used case rates, instead of a raw count or percentage of breakthrough cases, because the number of vaccinated people is not the same as the number of unvaccinated people. They also adjusted for age to get a better sense of the outcomes for unvaccinated versus vaccinated in the same age group.

Statewide case rates

In Washington state, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among those fully vaccinated remains low, according to the latest data on breakthrough cases.

The Washington State Department of Health released the new report on breakthrough cases Wednesday, Sept. 1, using a new method of data collection.

The new method, which is possible through federal partnerships, identifies breakthrough cases by matching Immunization Information Systems data with new positive COVID-19 tests.

The first report using this new method revealed, so far in state, there have been 21,757 COVID-19 cases identified among the 4,208,851 Washingtonians who are fully vaccinated, equivalent to about 0.5%.

Just 0.0043% of fully vaccinated Washingtonians have died from the virus.

These breakthroughs have been associated with all three currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines, and the DOH doesn’t report breakthrough cases by brand since the state has administered more of some brands than others.

Despite the effectiveness of the vaccine, COVID-19 cases have continued to rise in the state, along with the entire country, due to the highly transmissible delta variant and those who are still unvaccinated.