Local and national health officials continue to emphasize that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will lower the probability of hospitalization, but even vaccinated Arizonans are getting infected at an increasing rate.
According to the Arizona Republic, the latest data shows that 18 percent of COVID-19 cases confirmed in September were in Arizonans who had received at least one vaccine dose.
This represents another uptick in the breakthrough case rate. This rate represented roughly 14 percent of all cases in Arizona in July before rising to 15 percent in August.
In all, there have been 238 deaths from breakthrough cases in Arizona — but that is from a total of over 20,000 COVID-related deaths in the state.
“The CDC recently published that unvaccinated individuals are at a five times higher risk of infection, more than 10 times higher risk of hospitalization, and more than 10 times higher risk of death when compared to vaccinated individuals,” Arizona Department of Health Services spokesperson Tom Herrmann told the Republic.
Extrapolated to a national level, roughly 55 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated. And while cases have trended downward overall, thousands of people continue to test positive for COVID-19 every day.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has explained that as the coronavirus pandemic rages into its 20th month in the United States, human behavior will ultimately define how much more havoc the virus will wreak across the country.
“The virus isn’t stupid — it’s going to go (to communities with low vaccination rates),” Walensky told reporters on Thursday. “So really what your question depends on is how well we coalesce together as a humanity and a community to do the things that we need to do in those communities to get ourselves protected.”