Washington reaches pandemic milestone; 70 percent of population now vaccinated

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state health officials have announced a major milestone in the pandemic: 70 percent of the state’s population is now vaccinated.

Washington Department of Health Secretary Dr. Umair Shah made the announcement in a briefing Wednesday morning. He said 70 percent of people 16 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

As of July 12, nearly 8 million doses have been given out to about 4.3 million people across the state.

“While we have made great strides, we still need to continue to encourage those that have not vaccinated yet to get their vaccine,” Dr. Shah added.

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The state hovered between 65% and 70% vaccination rates for eligible participants over recent weeks as the state pushed toward re-opening for the start of July. Had Washington reached this 70% milestone before June 30, it would have fully re-opened earlier than expected.

Washington’s Lottery, Governor Jay Inslee’s Office, and other state officials have drawn a $1 million prize and are waiting to announce their winner from the “Shot Of A Lifetime” vaccination lottery incentive.

On July 7, Gov. Inslee tweeted that the Institute for Disease Modeling estimates the initiative led to a 24% increase in vaccination rates across all age ranges. That accounts for nearly 30,000 Washingtonians who got vaccinated in a last-minute push for the vaccine lottery program.

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