MARIN COUNTY (CBS SF) – Marin County this week confirmed its first coronavirus-related death in a month, which county officials said was evidence that widespread vaccination has succeeded in keeping people alive and out of the hospital.

The victim, an unvaccinated resident older than 65 whom the county declined to identify further, was hospitalized last week with shortness of breath. Before this week, the county had not recorded a COVID-19-related death since April 17.

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Roughly 98 percent of the county’s residents age 65 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, according to county vaccination data, resulting in a precipitous decline in coronavirus-related deaths among seniors.

“We’re seeing the clear impact of vaccinations in saving lives,” county Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis said in a statement. “After a month with no deaths, it’s especially hard to see someone pass at this stage, knowing we have an effective tool to prevent outcomes like this.”

More than 90 percent of the county’s coronavirus cases confirmed since March 1 have been among unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated people.

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County officials also noted that the source of the recent victim’s infection was not immediately determined.

With the virus still circulating, county officials urged unvaccinated residents to get a shot as soon as possible to protect both themselves and the rest of the community.

Marin County COVID-19 vaccination sites and schedules can be found at https://coronavirus.marinhhs.org/vaccine.

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