One year since COVID-19 vaccine was first administered, hesitancy remains

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This week marks one year since the COVID-19 vaccine was first administered in North Dakota, but health officials say we’re not out of the woods yet.

According to the North Dakota Health Department, about 947,000 doses have been administered, with 61 percent of those 18 and older fully vaccinated.

Sanford Health Bismarck President Dr. Todd Schaffer says in addition to the vaccine, social distancing and hygiene measures have also been effective in slowing the spread of all diseases.

He says the hospital saw zero cases of the flu last year.

Schaffer says there’s still work to do with significant vaccine hesitancy among several counties in the state, but overall, the vaccine is a step toward ending the pandemic.

“If we look at the amount of patients in the hospital with COVID, it’s largely a population of the unvaccinated. When we look for every 50 patients, 2 of them are vaccinated, that goes through the ICU to people on ventilators, so we’re seeing much much benefit from the vaccine in terms of keeping patients out of the hospital,” Schaffer said.

The health department reports that this year 1,968 people have died with COVID-19.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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