Syringes pile generic COVID-19 vaccine

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Idaho’s few COVID-19 cases currently being reported are almost all in unvaccinated people, writes Post Register reporter Kyle Pfannenstiel, and in the first six months of 2021, the rate of seniors being hospitalized for COVID has drastically declined, sparing some of those most vulnerable to the coronavirus and relieving pandemic-related hospital strains.

“More than 90% of all cases have no record of being vaccinated that we know of,” one of Idaho’s top public health researchers, Dr. Kathryn Turner, told reporters during a Tuesday news conference.

Meanwhile, the number of infected people who become hospitalized has declined 83% between January and May, when coronavirus infection rates were much higher, said Elke Shaw-Tulloch, Idaho’s public health administrator. The age group with the biggest dip was people age 65 and up, who were made eligible before the general population and who have the highest vaccination rate of all age groups.

Real-world displays of the vaccine’s effectiveness are promising, especially for people at high risk for severe COVID-19 complications and for hospital administrators, Pfannenstiel writes, who are seeing pandemic-related resource strains ease as they head into their usual busy trauma season. But Idaho has not crossed the finish line — with children still landing in the hospital and vaccination rates that trail the nation. Just 49.1% of all Idaho adults have been vaccinated, compared to 63.7% of all American adults.

You can read Pfannenstiel's full story online here at

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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