0602 covid-19 update

About 43% of Skagit County’s population was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of end of May, according to statistics from Skagit County Public Health.

That’s on par with the rest of the state. The Washington Department of Health reported that 42% of residents are fully vaccinated. Nationally, it’s nearly 41%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Worldwide, some 1.5 billion vaccine doses had been administered as of Monday, though the World Health Organization did not provide data on the number of people who have been fully vaccinated. The world population is estimated to be 7.7 billion, according to the U.S. Census.

Health authorities in the U.S. and other countries say 70% of a population must be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity — described by health authorities as resistance to the spread of an infectious disease within a population because of immunity of a high proportion of individuals.

Countywide, 135,041 vaccine doses have been administered, Skagit County Public Health reported; 54,703 people have been fully vaccinated. Island Hospital reported Monday that it has administered 9,429 vaccine doses, with 5,514 people receiving their first dose or a single-dose vaccine, and 3,915 people receiving their second dose.

Health officials say vaccines are the most effective weapon against the deadly virus.

Skagit County Health Officer Dr. Howard Leibrand said in an earlier statement that the county is “in a race right now” to bring the acute respiratory disease to its knees.

There were 352 new COVID-19 cases, six deaths and 25 hospitalizations in Skagit County in May. While the number of new cases dropped compared to April, it exceeded those of February and March, according to data on the Public Health website. The number of hospitalizations in May exceeded those in March.

“We need to get everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible to bring COVID-19 disease circulation down to manageable levels,” Leibrand said in the statement.

Vaccination appointments and walk-ups are widely available throughout Skagit County. People 12 and older can get vaccinated at neighborhood pharmacies, grocery stores and clinics. Go to vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov or call the Vaccine Hotline at 360-416-1500 to find a vaccination site.

Vaccinations are available at Island Hospital.

June 5 is the final day to drive up or make an appointment for a first-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Skagit County Fairgrounds. Skagit County Public Health reported it will close out first-dose vaccine services at the fairgrounds following that date and will focus primarily on second-dose vaccinations until June 26 when the site will close permanently.

Skagit County Public Health will provide COVID-19 vaccinations at pop-up locations throughout the county all summer. Some pop-up clinics will offer Pfizer, which can be administered to those 12 and older. No appointments are required.

By the numbers

By end of May, a total of 5,214 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed since the pandemic began in March 2020, according to Skagit County Public Health. The virus has killed 73 Skagit residents and 336 people have been hospitalized.

Statewide, there have been 401,526 confirmed cases and 5,765 deaths, according to the state Department of Health.

In the U.S., there have been 33 million confirmed cases and 591,265 deaths, according to the CDC.

Worldwide, there have been 169.5 million reported cases and 3.5 million deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

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