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Almost all of those contracting COVID in Hawaii now have one thing in common: They’re unvaccinated

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 2:40 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 7, 2021 at 5:25 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii is averaging 45 new COVID cases a day and health officials say almost all of those infections have one thing in common: The patient isn’t vaccinated.

According to Hilton Raethel, head of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, 98% of people diagnosed with COVID statewide over the past couple months haven’t gotten a COVID vaccine.

“If you get infected (and you’re vaccinated), the symptoms are much less severe. And the chance of being hospitalized from COVID if you are vaccinated is very, very low,” he said.

In June, a total of 116 COVID patients were hospitalized in Hawaii.

According to Raethel, more than 90% of those admissions hadn’t gotten the shot or weren’t fully vaccinated. He added, “There’s been 114 COVID deaths this year but not a single one of those was for an individual who is vaccinated.”

Despite incentive programs, the state’s vaccination rate has slowed significantly ― with clinicians administering about 20,000 doses a week.

Right now, 58% of Hawaii residents are fully vaccinated.

Gov. David Ige says 70% of the population needs to get the shot before he’ll allow all COVID restrictions to be lifted.

But on Tuesday morning, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said that’s too high a bar.

“To get to 70% of the entire population, that means we have to get over 82% of all those who are eligible because we’re still counting the 216,000 young individuals under age 12 in our denominator,” said Green, who is an ER doctor. “I think more realistically would be to get to 65% fully vaccinated. Five percent of individuals have immunity because they caught COVID.”

At the current rate, administering 20,000 shots a week officials estimate Hawaii is nearly four months away from reaching that 70% threshold.

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