KEY POINTS

  • 614 of the deceased had underlying medical conditions
  • At least 679 people with COVID-19 were admitted to hospitals
  • Health officials recorded more than 162,300 breakthrough infections in the state

Nearly 1,000 fully vaccinated residents in Washington State have died of COVID-19 even as infection rates begin to decline. 

Between Jan. 17, 2021, and Jan. 8, 2022, health officials in Washington State recorded a total of 969 breakthrough COVID-19 deaths. The ages of the vaccinated people who died of COVID-19 ranged from 31 to 103, with the median age being 79.

Among the 969 deceased, 614 had underlying medical conditions and 343 are still under investigation. At least 679 people with COVID-19 were also admitted to hospitals, a report from the state’s Department of Health showed.

During the same period, health officials also recorded 162,307 breakthrough infections. At least 31% said they developed symptoms and 3% were hospitalized. 

A “breakthrough” case is defined when a person tests positive for COVID-19 two weeks after being fully vaccinated or boosted. 

Despite the rising number of breakthrough cases and deaths, health officials still urge people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, adding that the shots help prevent severe illnesses and deaths. Experts also noted that breakthrough infections are bound to happen as no vaccine is 100% effective in preventing transmission. 

As of Jan. 18, Washington recorded a total of 1,119,228 COVID-19 cases, 50,331 hospitalizations and 10,230 deaths among the unvaccinated and the vaccinated since the beginning of the pandemic.

Unvaccinated Washington residents made up 75% of all COVID-19 deaths between February and December 2021. Vaccinated Washingtonians made up 19% while partially vaccinated individuals represented 5% of all deaths. 

Despite the increasing number of cases, health officials believe infections have peaked in the state and are beginning to drop. However, hospitalization rates remain high, with 30.9% of beds in Intensive Care Units statewide occupied by COVID-19 patients. 

In Snohomish County, 222 hospital beds or 30% of the county’s capacity were filled with COVID-19 patients and only one ICU bed was available Tuesday.

“Disturbingly and despite what appears to have been a crest in the infection rate, the situation with the healthcare system is likely to get worse before it gets better,” Dr. Chris Spitters, the county’s health officer, was quoted as saying by KOMO News.

vaccine-6165772_1920 Representation. Photo: Pixabay