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More than 96% of Colorado’s COVID hospitalizations, deaths in first half of 2021 were among the unvaccinated

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Nearly 97% of the 9,926 people with COVID-19 who were hospitalized in Colorado during the first six months of 2021 were either unvaccinated or only partially immunized, according to data released by the state health department.

The data, which further demonstrates the effectiveness of the shots, also shows that more than 96% of deaths related to COVID-19 during that same period occurred among people who were either had not received the vaccine or only had one shot.

“Vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19, including the delta variant,” a spokesperson with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in an email. “We encourage all eligible Coloradans to get vaccinated as soon as possible. It is the easiest way to protect our friends, families and communities and to return to the lives we love.”

The agency encourages anyone not fully vaccinated to continue wearing a mask, physically distancing, washing their hands and limiting gatherings.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Monday released data to The Denver Post showing the vaccination status of people with COVID-19 who were hospitalized statewide.

But on Tuesday, the agency corrected its data, saying that, under U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, people who were only partially vaccinated when they tested positive for the virus should not be considered among the so-called “breakthrough” cases. Such cases occur when a person becomes infected with the coronavirus despite being inoculated.

Now, the state’s hospitalization and death data for those who were unvaccinated includes both people who had not yet received any vaccine and those individuals who were not at least 14 days away from their final shot. Of the people who had tested positive for COVID-19 when they were hospitalized between Jan. 1 and June 30, 96.9% were not fully vaccinated.

The Department of Public Health and Environment also provided more death data on Tuesday, showing that 96.1% of the 1,607 people who died with — but not necessarily due to — COVID-19 were not fully vaccinated.

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COVID-19 Booster Shots Can Wait

Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are proving quite safe and highly effective in the prevention of COVID-19, especially severe and/or fatal disease.

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