Three out of four eligible Sonoma County residents fully vaccinated
By Brandon McCapes, Staff Writer, SoCoNews, September 13, 2021
Seventy-five percent of Sonoma County residents have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus, the county reported Sept. 7. Sonoma County has reached this milestone ahead of the rest of California and the U.S. where only 67% and 62% of the eligible populations have been fully vaccinated, respectively.
Of the county’s residents ages 12 and older, 323,604 have received a full vaccine dose, while another 33,193 — 8% of residents — have received a partial dose. The report comes just over a month since Sonoma County joined six other Bay Area counties in reinstating the indoor mask mandates that ended June 15, after the delta variant caused cases rates and COVID-19-related deaths in the region to once again rise.
Dr. Sundari Mase, Sonoma County health officer, continues to urge all unvaccinated residents eligible to receive the vaccine to get vaccinated, citing the increase in frequency and severity of COVID-19 cases among the county’s unvaccinated residents.
While spring saw lower rates of infection and cases, with only a single COVID-related death in May and just four in June, deaths climbed over the summer. The county reported 16 COVID-related deaths in July, and another 30 in August.
“I strongly urge everyone who has waited to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Mase said. “Our hospitals and ICUs are still over-loaded with unvaccinated patients. Forty-six of our residents have died from COVID-19 in the past two months alone. These deaths are especially tragic because they were preventable. Almost all of (those who died) were unvaccinated by choice.”
Case rates differ among vaccinated and unvaccinated residents as well. The unvaccinated population is experiencing 39.6 new cases per day per 100,000 residents, while the vaccinated population is experiencing only 8.1 new cases per day per 100,000 residents.
“All those who have died were either unvaccinated or were elderly with underlying medical conditions,” according to a county press release.
However, the county has been successful in increasing the administration of vaccine doses since the surge. In August, the county administered an average of 1,029 doses per day, compared to 737 in July, a 40% increase.
Similarly, health officials are hopeful that the recent full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for ages 16 and up will help sway unvaccinated residents who were uncertain about the safety of the vaccines.
This article was produced by SoCoNews. See more news at soconews.org