Many people still are not get vaccinated to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.
But they are gambling with their lives and others.
The numbers don’t lie.
The Kitsap Public Health District reports that in the past 90 days, people ages 30 to 69 who were not fully vaccinated were 9.1 times more likely to die from COVID than those who were fully vaccinated. At the same time, people age 70 years and older were 2.5 times more likely to die.
A study recently published in the Pediatrics journal finds that, for every four COVID-associated deaths in the U.S., one child loses a parent or caregiver. From April 1 through June 30 over 140,000 children in the U.S. experienced the death of a parent or caregiver.
Meanwhile, Gov. Jay Inslee issued an emergency order Monday requiring proof of vaccination for anyone age 12 and older from attending events with 10,000 or more people outdoors or 1,000 or more indoors. The order is effective starting Nov. 15. People can also show a negative COVID test taken within the previous 72 hours.
Back in Kitsap, while the overall COVID case rate (129.1 cases per 100,000 individuals per seven days) continues to decrease, cases among youth ages 5 to 18 remain high ( 250.3 per 100,000). As of Oct. 14, 14 school outbreaks were being monitored by KPHD.
Dr. Gib Morrow, the district’s health officer, stressed the benefits of COVID vaccinations, especially to protect youth.
74% of eligible Kitsap residents ages 12 and older have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine; 68.1% are fully vaccinated. The top three vaccine providers in Kitsap in September were Rite Aid, Walgreens and Safeway. Statewide numbers are 77.6% and 71.4%
Flu vaccines are advised for anyone over 6 months of age and can be given at the same time as a COVID shot.
Vaccination clinics are being held in Bainbridge Mondays and Poulsbo Thursdays, both from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
As for hospitalizations, there were 27 new Kitsap residents hospitalized, compared with 30 the previous week. In the past 30 days, people ages 12-59 who were unvaccinated were 15 more times likely to go to the hospital. People age 60 and older were four times more likely to be hospitalized than that same group who were fully vaccinated.
Statewide, there have been 8,322 deaths and 621,467 confirmed cases as of Oct. 18.
The Department of Health is advising people to get flu shots this year; it may be more common than last year when COVID closures prevented its spread.