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A 12-year-old boy receives a first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Harborview Medical Center on May 13, in Seattle. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan on Wednesday announced that the city had become the first major metropolitan in the country to fully vaccinate 70% of its population.

The big picture: Durkan said 78% of Seattle's population, 12 years and older, have received their first dose, adding it is one of the country's highest vaccination rates.

What they're saying: "Seattle is America’s most vaccinated major city, and it would not have been possible without our residents’ commitment to protecting themselves, their loved ones, and our entire community," Durkan said.

  • "Now that we have reached community protection, we can lead the nation in safely reopening and recovering in earnest," he added.
  • "Our City was one of the first in the country hit by this deadly virus and we’ll be one of the first to recover thanks to everyone doing their part to protect themselves and their neighbors," said Calvin Goings, director of the City’s department of Finance and Administrative Services.

What to watch: Durkan said that the city will begin efforts to support its reopening and recovery, urging all residents to support small businesses, arts and culture programming and increase transit use.

Go deeper

CDC: Severe COVID cases, deaths plummeted in spring following vaccine

Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

COVID-19 cases, deaths, related hospitalizations and ER visits have all declined considerably this year, especially among older, vaccinated adults, according to a new CDC report.

Why it matters: The data bears it out: Greater vaccine coverage in the U.S. is correlated with a precipitous drop in the number of people getting seriously ill.

Jun 9, 2021 - Health

Fauci sounds alarm over COVID-19 variant surging in U.K.

Anthony Fauci urged Americans Wednesday to get vaccinated to halt the spread of the highly transmissible COVID-19 variant first discovered in India, which currently accounts for 6% of infections in the U.S.

Why it matters: The United Kingdom has seen an explosion in new cases as a result of the variant, which is now the dominant strain and may be associated with increased disease severity.

Charlottesville City Council votes to remove Confederate statues

The Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Charlottesville City Council voted Monday to remove two statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from the city's public parks, according to the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The statues were the flashpoint for the violent "Unite the Right" rally in the city in August 2017 during which a self-professed neo-Nazi killed counter-protester Heather Heyer by driving his car into counter-protesters.