The facts are clear. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. Currently, the vast majority of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths among Idahoans occurred among those who were not fully vaccinated when they became ill or tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.
- From Jan. 1 through July 3, Idaho has had 52,699 cases of COVID-19. 497 (0.9 percent) of those had a record of being fully vaccinated, 52,202 (99.1 percent) had no record of being fully vaccinated.
- In that same time period, 2,479 Idahoans were hospitalized for COVID-19. 32 (1.3 percent) had a record of being fully vaccinated. 2,447 (98.7 percent) had no record of being fully vaccinated.
- Also in that same time period, 433 Idahoans died from COVID-19. Five (1.2 percent) had a record of being fully vaccinated. 428 (98.8) percent) had no record of being fully vaccinated.
Getting the vaccine is a choice, but it is a choice that protects your families and fellow residents … and you. I hope you stay healthy. I want your parents and children to stay healthy. If you are looking for a place to get a vaccine, you can find a mobile clinic near you or a walk-in location or pharmacy near you.
As of today, 51.3 percent of adults aged 18 and older in Idaho have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 76.9 percent of those age 65 and older have received one dose of the vaccine.
COVID variants in Idaho
Thanks to your due diligence, statewide COVID-19 case counts have plateaued. COVID-19 cases are decreasing in older age groups, but in younger age groups, the rates are changing week to week and rising in some age groups. After a decrease two weeks ago, the incidence rate among children less than 5 years of age increased 63 percent to 11 cases per 100,000 last week.
Idaho has 534 vaccine breakthrough cases (those who were fully vaccinated and later tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19), involving 15 infections with variants of public health concern.
Virus sequencing data (when the labs analyze the virus genetic information to determine the variant of the virus) is not yet representative because our state public health lab has focused on in-state sequencing of specific samples, such as those from certain high-risk populations, and national labs are not sequencing enough samples from Idaho to ensure representation. Our in-state capabilities are expanding so more samples can be sequenced, but it’s very likely that COVID-19 variants are circulating widely in Idaho.
COVID-19 and COVID-19 variants are still in Idaho. Other states are seeing dramatic increases in cases. By choosing to get the vaccine, we can keep ourselves and our families safe.
I hope you all have a healthy and safe weekend. My next blog will be available on July 23.