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COVID infection rate greater among unvaccinated people, counties find

Data shows people without vaccine are 4 to 6 times more likely to become sick

Eddie Wong, 70, waits to receive a first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site at the Mountain View Community Center on Jan. 26, 2021. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

The COVID-19 case rate for unvaccinated Santa Clara County residents is nearly four times higher than among those who have been vaccinated, according to a new public dashboard launched by the county's Public Health Department on Wednesday.

The new dashboard shows the seven-day rolling average of new daily COVID-19 cases among the overall population, among unvaccinated residents and among fully vaccinated residents. The case rates represent the number of cases on a given day per 100,000 county residents.

This Santa Clara County's COVID-19 data dashboard shows a higher case rate data among unvaccinated residents compared to vaccinated residents as of Aug. 4, 2021.

With the delta variant spreading in the Bay Area, health leaders in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties are highlighting the risks people take if they aren't vaccinated. And those numbers don't lie. The fully vaccinated have a case rate of 6.8 per 100,000 residents in Santa Clara County while the case rate soars among the unvaccinated to 25.3 per 100,000 residents, according to the data. Overall, the county average is 12.1, a far cry from the single-digit numbers from mid-June.

"The case rate per 100,000 residents for the unvaccinated has jumped from about 3 to more than 25 over the past month. The case rate among the vaccinated, while also increasing in recent weeks, is not experiencing as steep of a spike," according to a Santa Clara County press release issued Wednesday.

"The latest numbers reflect what public health officials have been echoing in recent weeks: the delta variant is fueling a surge in cases and the unvaccinated are at the highest risk of infections."

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San Mateo County health leaders have also focused on the rising rates. They have set a goal of getting 90% of county residents vaccinated against COVID-19 and to achieve at least an 80% vaccination rate for every community by the end of December, they said during Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.

The goal comes as the delta variant, which is far more contagious than previous strains, continues to pose a danger for unvaccinated people who can become seriously ill, county Health Chief Louise Rogers said. While some communities in the county have already reached or surpassed the health department’s goals, others still lag behind. Many of the least vaccinated also have the highest rates of infection, according to county health department data.

As of Aug. 4, the number of COVID-19 cases per day has doubled over the past two weeks from 41 to 89. More than 100 cases per day were recorded on eight days in July. The infection rate among unvaccinated people in the county is six times that of those who are vaccinated, she said. Unvaccinated individuals account for 95% of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, according to the California Department of Public Health, Rogers noted.

In comparison, the number of "breakthrough" cases among residents who are fully vaccinated but who still tested positive for the virus represents less than 1% of all cases from December 2020 through July 14 for a total of 158 breakthrough cases, said Dr. Anand Chabra, San Mateo County Health's COVID-19 mass vaccination section chief.

Of residents ages 12 and older who are eligible for immunization, 89.2% have completed the vaccinations. The bottom quarter of residents in the state's Healthy Places Index, which measures health based on factors such as poverty, lags behind with only 76% having been vaccinated, Chabra said.

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San Mateo County measures vaccination rates starting with those who are ages 10 and older. East Palo Alto has a 74.2% vaccination rate of residents who have at least one shot; North Fair Oaks is at 75.9%. In comparison, neighboring city Menlo Park has a 96.6% vaccination rate and Redwood City is at 85.6%, according to county dashboard data. Communities with vaccination rates lower than East Palo Alto and North Fair Oaks are mostly rural or unincorporated and are generally sparsely populated, including Moss Beach, El Granada, Loma Mar and Broadmoor. Economically advantaged communities, which have far lower infection rates, also have high vaccination rates, according to the county data. Atherton, Ladera, Emerald Hills and Woodside are all at or close to 100% vaccinated, for example.

Infection rates in these least vaccinated urban communities also continue to run higher than the surrounding area, despite multiple efforts to reach residents. Chabra said the county would continue to ramp up its vaccination outreach to the most impacted communities.

Lourdes Santiago, a registered nurse at Stanford Healthcare, prepares documents before giving the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at Cesar Chavez Ravenswood Middle School in East Palo Alto on May 15, 2021. Photo by Daniela Beltran B.

East Palo Alto has the highest percentage of its population having tested positive out of all cities in the county. County data shows a total of 4,654 residents, or 16%, have tested positive for COVID-19 through July 29. North Fair Oaks comes in second at 1,839 residents, or 12.7%. The other cities with highest infection rates — San Mateo, Redwood City, South San Francisco, Daly City, San Bruno, Pacifica and Menlo Park — have between 4.7% and 6.7% positive cases relative to their populations based on 2019 and 2020 U.S. Census data.

Over the last month, South San Francisco, East Palo Alto, Pacifica and San Bruno respectively have had the highest percentages of residents with new cases relative to their populations, according to county data.

Most people who have not been vaccinated said they aren't sure if the vaccines are safe, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, which surveys people across the U.S. The latest results of the ongoing survey were released on Wednesday. One-fourth of unvaccinated adults said it is "likely" they will get the COVID-19 vaccine before the end of the year, including 13% who say it is "very likely." The majority, 25% of unvaccinated participants, said it is either "somewhat unlikely" or "very unlikely" they will get a vaccination before the end of the year. Of those who said they want to "wait and see," 45% said it is "likely" they will get vaccinated by the end of the year.

Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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COVID infection rate greater among unvaccinated people, counties find

Data shows people without vaccine are 4 to 6 times more likely to become sick

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Aug 5, 2021, 11:08 am

The COVID-19 case rate for unvaccinated Santa Clara County residents is nearly four times higher than among those who have been vaccinated, according to a new public dashboard launched by the county's Public Health Department on Wednesday.

The new dashboard shows the seven-day rolling average of new daily COVID-19 cases among the overall population, among unvaccinated residents and among fully vaccinated residents. The case rates represent the number of cases on a given day per 100,000 county residents.

With the delta variant spreading in the Bay Area, health leaders in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties are highlighting the risks people take if they aren't vaccinated. And those numbers don't lie. The fully vaccinated have a case rate of 6.8 per 100,000 residents in Santa Clara County while the case rate soars among the unvaccinated to 25.3 per 100,000 residents, according to the data. Overall, the county average is 12.1, a far cry from the single-digit numbers from mid-June.

"The case rate per 100,000 residents for the unvaccinated has jumped from about 3 to more than 25 over the past month. The case rate among the vaccinated, while also increasing in recent weeks, is not experiencing as steep of a spike," according to a Santa Clara County press release issued Wednesday.

"The latest numbers reflect what public health officials have been echoing in recent weeks: the delta variant is fueling a surge in cases and the unvaccinated are at the highest risk of infections."

San Mateo County health leaders have also focused on the rising rates. They have set a goal of getting 90% of county residents vaccinated against COVID-19 and to achieve at least an 80% vaccination rate for every community by the end of December, they said during Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.

The goal comes as the delta variant, which is far more contagious than previous strains, continues to pose a danger for unvaccinated people who can become seriously ill, county Health Chief Louise Rogers said. While some communities in the county have already reached or surpassed the health department’s goals, others still lag behind. Many of the least vaccinated also have the highest rates of infection, according to county health department data.

As of Aug. 4, the number of COVID-19 cases per day has doubled over the past two weeks from 41 to 89. More than 100 cases per day were recorded on eight days in July. The infection rate among unvaccinated people in the county is six times that of those who are vaccinated, she said. Unvaccinated individuals account for 95% of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, according to the California Department of Public Health, Rogers noted.

In comparison, the number of "breakthrough" cases among residents who are fully vaccinated but who still tested positive for the virus represents less than 1% of all cases from December 2020 through July 14 for a total of 158 breakthrough cases, said Dr. Anand Chabra, San Mateo County Health's COVID-19 mass vaccination section chief.

Of residents ages 12 and older who are eligible for immunization, 89.2% have completed the vaccinations. The bottom quarter of residents in the state's Healthy Places Index, which measures health based on factors such as poverty, lags behind with only 76% having been vaccinated, Chabra said.

San Mateo County measures vaccination rates starting with those who are ages 10 and older. East Palo Alto has a 74.2% vaccination rate of residents who have at least one shot; North Fair Oaks is at 75.9%. In comparison, neighboring city Menlo Park has a 96.6% vaccination rate and Redwood City is at 85.6%, according to county dashboard data. Communities with vaccination rates lower than East Palo Alto and North Fair Oaks are mostly rural or unincorporated and are generally sparsely populated, including Moss Beach, El Granada, Loma Mar and Broadmoor. Economically advantaged communities, which have far lower infection rates, also have high vaccination rates, according to the county data. Atherton, Ladera, Emerald Hills and Woodside are all at or close to 100% vaccinated, for example.

Infection rates in these least vaccinated urban communities also continue to run higher than the surrounding area, despite multiple efforts to reach residents. Chabra said the county would continue to ramp up its vaccination outreach to the most impacted communities.

East Palo Alto has the highest percentage of its population having tested positive out of all cities in the county. County data shows a total of 4,654 residents, or 16%, have tested positive for COVID-19 through July 29. North Fair Oaks comes in second at 1,839 residents, or 12.7%. The other cities with highest infection rates — San Mateo, Redwood City, South San Francisco, Daly City, San Bruno, Pacifica and Menlo Park — have between 4.7% and 6.7% positive cases relative to their populations based on 2019 and 2020 U.S. Census data.

Over the last month, South San Francisco, East Palo Alto, Pacifica and San Bruno respectively have had the highest percentages of residents with new cases relative to their populations, according to county data.

Most people who have not been vaccinated said they aren't sure if the vaccines are safe, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, which surveys people across the U.S. The latest results of the ongoing survey were released on Wednesday. One-fourth of unvaccinated adults said it is "likely" they will get the COVID-19 vaccine before the end of the year, including 13% who say it is "very likely." The majority, 25% of unvaccinated participants, said it is either "somewhat unlikely" or "very unlikely" they will get a vaccination before the end of the year. Of those who said they want to "wait and see," 45% said it is "likely" they will get vaccinated by the end of the year.

Comments

acomfort
Registered user
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Aug 5, 2021 at 3:17 pm
acomfort, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
Registered user
on Aug 5, 2021 at 3:17 pm

"Will you ever run an article where you interview a person who refuses to take the so called vaccine and let them make the points they want to.
We might learn a lot if you publish a debate
between a pro-vaccine and an anti-vaccine person. We might learn why some take it and some wont."


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Aug 5, 2021 at 4:23 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Aug 5, 2021 at 4:23 pm

acomfort:

to have a debate one has to have facts on both sides. The anti-vaxxers have no facts, therefor a debate is not possible.


acomfort
Registered user
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Aug 5, 2021 at 6:08 pm
acomfort, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
Registered user
on Aug 5, 2021 at 6:08 pm

Menlo+Voter:
You stated, "the anti-vaxxers have no facts,". You could only say this if you have only heard the pro-vaccine side of the story. You may find some anti-vaccine facts if you go to
Web Link
or Web Link
or Web Link
You will find many anti-vaxxer facts if you do some searching on the internet. The major media does not publish anti-vaccine stories or facts. The closest I have seen to an anti-vaccine show was one that had pro-vaccine person telling about the beliefs of the anti-vaccine people on "Democracy Now." That was not a convincing program.


acomfort
Registered user
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Aug 5, 2021 at 6:21 pm
acomfort, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
Registered user
on Aug 5, 2021 at 6:21 pm

I see the web links didn't work on my last post.
With luck here they are again.
Web Link

Web Link

Web Link


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Aug 5, 2021 at 6:39 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Aug 5, 2021 at 6:39 pm

a comfort:

I've seen much of what the anti-vaxxers present as "facts". It usually is total nonsense, something based on a total misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the science or crazy conspiracy theories.


Enough
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Aug 6, 2021 at 8:43 pm
Enough, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Aug 6, 2021 at 8:43 pm

I have actually discussed vaccinations with a couple people who are opposed to them. I listened to their facts and then proceeded to look up on respectable medical sites, ones that cite their sources and studies, these "facts" were debunked by several independent studies. When I showed them the empirical data they responded that it was not reputable or was lies that showed media bias or was an effort by the current administration to "Pull the wool over our eyes". These conversations have led me to believe that many/most anti-vaccination people don't care about the truth or are so lost in their conspiracy theories that they are unable to see beyond them. I don't bother to discuss the topic any longer and I find my self distancing myself from previous acquaintances that will not get or do not believe in the vaccines or that Covid actually exists.

BTW - The title of this article made me think of Captain Obvious...


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Aug 7, 2021 at 8:27 am
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Aug 7, 2021 at 8:27 am

Enough:

shocking isn't it, how some people would rather ignore facts and science in furtherance of their belief in conspiracies. smh


acomfort
Registered user
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Aug 7, 2021 at 11:20 am
acomfort, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
Registered user
on Aug 7, 2021 at 11:20 am

[Post removed due to disinformation]


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Aug 7, 2021 at 12:52 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Aug 7, 2021 at 12:52 pm

acomfort:

Kennedy is an anti-vaxxer and NOT a doctor. He has no medical training at all. Not to mention, at least half of your points above are flat out wrong or false and the rest are twisting of facts. You go ahead and trust a politician over the medical community. There are none so blind as those that will not see.


Enough
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Aug 8, 2021 at 9:43 pm
Enough, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Aug 8, 2021 at 9:43 pm

Menlo+Voter

Some people choose to believe the Earth is flat, others that Trump actually won, others will grasp at any straw to avoid vaccination. I have seen several news articles in my feed in recent days about very adamant anti-vaccination people changing their mind on their death bed and regretting not getting the vaccine. These have included Radio Talk show hosts, GOP leaders in Texas and husbands in Vegas. You only need to do a quick search on Google to find stores and videos of people who regret not getting vaccinated only after getting severely ill (and dying) from Covid.

acomfort, I hope you never fall into this group of people... But spreading easily verifiable misinformation as you do above is wrong and hurts others.


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Aug 9, 2021 at 8:36 am
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Aug 9, 2021 at 8:36 am

Enough:

just heard a report on the radio about a woman that "prayed" on it and "god" told her not to vaccinate her family. Her husband is now in the ICU with Covid and she's saying she regrets not vaccinating her family. Of course, it wasn't "god" that gave the bad message, it was all the "noise" from anti-vaxxers that affected her choice. So, I guess "god" didn't speak loudly enough or her faith wasn't as strong as it should have been? Anyway, these stupid choices can have serious and deadly consequences.

It sounds like the vaccines will be certified soon, so what will the anti-vaxxers say then? The government will be able to mandate vaccines then and the law was long ago decided on mandatory vaccines being constitutional.


Westbrook
Registered user
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 9, 2021 at 1:06 pm
Westbrook, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
Registered user
on Aug 9, 2021 at 1:06 pm

Another way to look at it is, "we are the privileged" To have the best vaccines in the world, To have easy access, To have at no cost, To know we have the best care should we need it. but that High Quality of Care is being depleted every day thanks to you not being vaccinated, Hospitals are being over-taxed again, You see you not being vaccinated affects the rest of us in many ways, not just that you are spreading it to the rest of us. Since we now know the vaccinated can still get infected, Personally when I got my shots I felt like the luckiest guy around, I felt like I won the lottery, Got my second Pfizer shot on my birthday, What a gift, knowing I won't be suffering a horrible death isolated in a bleak hospital room alone, due to covid, You need to appreciate privilege when it comes your way, People around the World would give anything to be in our position and you flaunt it.
Sorry for the double posting but I think this is the better place to submit this post,


Enough
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Aug 10, 2021 at 4:33 pm
Enough, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2021 at 4:33 pm

Menlo,

Unfortunately those seeking excuses not to get vaccinated will not be swayed by the vaccines being approved. I expect that the next argument from the antivaccine side will be "The CDC was forced to approve it by Biden/Gates/Satan/(your bogeyman here)", "The data used to approve the vaccine is skewed" (though there is no proof or even evidence of that) or some other conspiracy theory. It is sad that it takes people being in the ICU, incubated or dying to get people to believe it is real. Someone said to me "not believing COVID is real is almost like having to get shot to believe bullets can hurt you" I laughed, but they did have a point...


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