Coronavirus cases rise in places with high vaccination, fall in places with low vaccination rates - The Washington Post
Jun 14, 2021 3 mins, 54 secs
States with higher vaccination rates now have markedly fewer coronavirus cases, as infections are dropping in places where most residents have been immunized and are rising in many places people have not, a Washington Post analysis has found.

As recently as 10 days ago, vaccination rates did not predict a difference in coronavirus cases, but immunization rates have diverged, and case counts in the highly vaccinated states are dropping quickly.

Vaccination is not always even within each state, and The Post found the connection between vaccine shots and coronavirus cases at the local level comparing more than 100 counties with low vaccination rates (fewer than 20 percent of residents vaccinated) and more than 700 with high vaccination rates (at least 40 percent vaccinated).

Counties with high vaccination had low coronavirus rates that are going down.

In counties where few people are vaccinated, not only are there higher case rates, but the number of cases there also is growing.

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Fewer vaccinations,

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Nationally, 43 percent of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated, and the country is averaging under 16,000 new infections a day — levels not seen since the early days of stay-at-home orders in March 2020

Local public health officials fear the public is tuning out the danger as they see news reports of cratering infections and scenes of reopened bars and entertainment venues across the nation, assuming vaccinations are no longer necessary

Michelle Morris, the country’s public health administrator, said infections are concentrated among students after the school year ended May 21 and clusters linked to Mother’s Day and graduation gatherings

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But like many other public health officials in low-demand communities, Polk authorities have shifted their attention to one-on-one conversations and encouraging doctors to persuade holdouts to get shots

On Thursday, her agency shared a Facebook post debunking the myth that coronavirus vaccinations make people magnetic

“While it isn’t possible to draw a straight line between the spikes, it is likely that higher rates are resulting in higher hospitalization,” Dave Dillon, the Missouri Hospital Association spokesman said

Experts said boosting vaccinations is the best avenue available for limiting the damage from the more transmissible variant of the virus first identified in India and known as delta

The delta variant, which has thrown Britain’s once-promising path back to normal into disarray, already accounts for 6 percent of new infections in the United States, officials said this week

“Crickets,” one state official said of whether governors with disappointing immunization figures were explaining their challenges and sharing best practices for boosting demand ahead of President Biden’s goal of getting shots to 70 percent of adults by July 4

“The July 4 goal that President Biden set up is quite frankly not in our sights right now,” said Keith Reed, deputy health commissioner in Oklahoma, where just 54 percent of adults have received at least one dose

Even though infections and hospitalizations remain under control, he said, “we know we don’t have enough of the population vaccinated to ensure us against a resurgence

Some public health officials have resigned themselves to the reality that many in their community will not budge on shots

Only a quarter of its residents are fully vaccinated, and public health officials don’t see the number budging much higher

Fewer vaccinations,

Jean Stachon, Sweetwater County’s health officer, said officials held mass clinics, brought vaccine doses to employers and churches and accept walk-ins at the public health office

“As much as the general public figures covid is done, gone and over with, and they don’t want to hear about it, the health department wishes the same

Kim Lionberger, director of the county board of health, said her staff is doing the best they can to provide scientific facts about the virus and the vaccines

The Wyoming legislature restricted the powers of public health officials like her to put disease control measures in place

There have been bright spots elsewhere in the country, including in Washington’s King County, home to Seattle and not far from where the virus was first detected in the U.S., where 69 percent of the population was fully vaccinated and 77 percent had received at least one shot

Jeffrey Duchin, health officer for Seattle and King County, said the success was a result of longtime efforts to address health disparities among racial and ethnic groups

“The bottom line is people have to want to be vaccinated, and in that sense, our community is very enlightened,” Duchin said

Seventy-eight percent of Asian residents and 65 percent of White residents 16 or older are fully vaccinated, county statistics show

The broader slowdown in vaccinations may be a sign that the United States cannot vaccinate its way to safety from new virus variants, said Neha Agarwal, associate director of diagnostics at PATH, a global health equity nonprofit

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