Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

This image shows a colorized electron micrograph of a cell heavily infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles.

In an unsurprising announcement, the Wyoming Department of Health said Thursday that most recent cases of COVID-19 are in unvaccinated people.

A press release revealed that between May 1 and June 15, 95% of cases were in people who "did not report being vaccinated." That comes from a study of more than 2,400 lab-confirmed and probable cases.

“We are seeing excellent results among those who have been vaccinated," State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist said in a statement. "The vast majority of recent, new cases have involved people who were not yet fully vaccinated."

Among recent hospitalizations, 93% of patients were not vaccinated, the department said. There has been one COVID-19 death in Wyoming of a fully vaccinated person.

Breakthrough cases, those in which a fully vaccinated individual contracts COVID-19, are to be expected, given that the highest efficacy rates from the vaccines are around 93%. Pfizer's vaccine boasts an 88% efficacy rate against the Delta variant, but even those relatively high numbers mean that some vaccinated people will contract the disease.

Still, the vaccines typically insulate people from severe disease, and those who remain unvaccinated (more than half of Wyomingites at this point), are far more at risk of contracting the disease. 

"Our rate of new cases adjusted for our population is among the highest in the nation," Harrist said. "Hospitalizations have increased in recent weeks and this is something we hate to see happen when we know it could largely be avoided through vaccination."

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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