DENVER — A total of 63.8% of Colorado's population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 58.4% is fully vaccinated, according to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
Statewide, there are 877 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sept. 22, and there have been an average of 1,569 new cases of the virus per day over the last seven days.
Hospitalizations are a key metric for health officials since they indicate whether the healthcare system is being overwhelmed by the virus. Since vaccines have become widely available, doctors have said the vast majority of new COVID-19 hospitalizations are people who have not received a shot.
Under the newest CDPHE guidelines, counties may have to enact increased COVID-19 restrictions if hospitalizations in their region exceed 85% of capacity.
Over the last week that data was collected, 100% of tested COVID-19 samples were the delta variant.
The delta variant, first detected in India, is more contagious and may cause more severe illness then the original strain of COVID-19
Public health officials said while there is a slight decrease in vaccine efficacy with the delta variant, there is still a lot of protection since the level of protection was so high to start with.
Infectious disease specialists also said for the smaller number of breakthrough cases, that most of them are asymptomatic or mild symptoms.
Everyone in Colorado who is over the age of 12 is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Of those who are eligible, 76.05% have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 69.64% are fully vaccinated.
An estimated 879,801 Coloradans are younger than 12 and are currently not eligible to receive a vaccine.
Health officials have previously said that around 70% of the total population would need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
The pie chart below shows Colorado's vaccination progress:
Colorado received its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 14. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in December authorized emergency use for both the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. Both were shown to be around 95% effective in clinical trials and require two doses. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine was granted emergency use authorization on Feb. 27. It was shown to be 86% effective at preventing severe disease and requires one dose.
The Pfizer vaccine is the one shot that has been approved for children between 12 and 17.
The graph below, which is updated weekly, shows the number of people currently hospitalized with a COVID-19 diagnosis.
This is a key metric because it can be an indicator of whether or not Colorado’s hospital system is being overwhelmed by the virus.
In a news conference on Friday, Sept. 10, Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) said the latest surge is in danger of overwhelming Colorado's hospitals and that many are getting their COVID-19 surge plans ready.
According to CDPHE data, 17% of hospitals are anticipating ICU bed shortages within the next week and 45% of critical care ventilators are currently in use.
In the week of Aug. 29, the the hospitalization rate among people who are fully vaccinated was 2.3 COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, according to CDPHE. The case hospitalization rate among people who are not vaccinated was 18.2 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people during the same week.
See a graph of new cases by day below.
This chart is updated weekly.
In the week of Sept. 5, the the case incidence rate among people who are fully vaccinated was 101.8 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, according to CDPHE. The case incidence rate among people who are not vaccinated was 356.3 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people during the same week.
The number of new cases reported in a single day peaked on Nov. 12, with 6,801 Coloradans testing positive for COVID-19.
See Colorado's latest positivity rate in the graphic below.
This chart is updated weekly.
Positivity is the number of tests that come back with a COVID-19 result. Above 10% could be an indicator that not enough testing is being done and that only people likely to have COVID are getting tested. The World Health Organization recommended in May 2020 that the positivity rate should be even lower, 5%, to contain the virus.
CDPHE reports there have been:
- 7,441 deaths among people with COVID-19
- 7,754 deaths due to COVID-19
It's worth mentioning that deaths are a lagging metric, meaning that there are often multiple days between when someone dies and when that information is distributed to health officials.
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