(AP) — Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan
announced Wednesday that 70% of city residents aged 12 and up have received full vaccinations
, making Seattle the first major U.S. city to reach the COVID-19
Durkan's office also reported that 78% of Seattle residents aged 12 and up have begun the vaccination process.
“Seattle is America’s most vaccinated major city, and it would not have been possible without our residents’ dedication to protecting themselves, their loved ones, and our entire community,” Durkan said in a statement. “Now that we have achieved community protection, we can lead the nation in safely reopening and recovering in earnest.”
She urged Seattle residents to support local small businesses, aid in the revitalization of the city's arts and cultural scene, and enjoy the summer safely.
Durkan stated that now that Seattle has reached the 70% fully vaccinated target, the city and its partners will begin launching efforts to support the city's reopening.
According to the mayor's office, the initiatives will include support for local small retailers and restaurants
, arts and culture programming, and transit use.
In January 2020, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States
was found north of Seattle in Washington, which also saw the country's first deadly outbreak at a nursing home.
In Washington state
, there have been over 440,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases with over 5,700 deaths.