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Maryland eclipses 1 million first doses of COVID vaccine administered; 709 new cases reported, 14 deaths

More than 1 million first doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered to Marylanders as the state continues its vaccination campaign into the second year of the pandemic.

Here’s how the state’s virus-related metrics stacked up Sunday.

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Cases

State health officials reported 709 new cases of the coronavirus Sunday, bringing the total number of cases diagnosed since March 2020 to 387,319.

Deaths

Another 14 Marylanders died due to the coronavirus, with the disease having claimed the lives of 7,773 state residents over the past year.

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Hospitalizations

According to the state, 12 fewer people are currently hospitalized due to the coronavirus or complications from the disease, bringing the total down to 818 state residents.

State health officials reported Sunday that 15 fewer people with the disease are in the state’s intensive care units, bringing the total down to 215 people. An additional three people were hospitalized in acute care units in the past 24 hours, according to state officials, bringing that total up to 603 patients.

Since March 2020, 35,651 Marylanders have been hospitalized because of the disease’s effects, according to health officials.

Vaccinations

In the past 24 hours, 34,095 doses of the coronavirus vaccine were administered to Maryland residents, a dip compared to the record-setting total of more than 50,000 doses reported Saturday. According to state health officials, 21,797 people received their first shot of the vaccine in the past 24 hours, while 12,298 got their second dose.

Two of the three approved vaccines — those created by Pfizer and Moderna — require a two-dose regimen to prevent severe illness, while the newly approved Johnson & Johnson-developed vaccine that has begun to roll out to providers requires only one dose.

The state is reporting that more than 1 million Marylanders have now received at least their first dose of a vaccine, or about 16.7% of the state’s population of roughly 6 million people. In addition, 557,860 people have gotten their second dose of the vaccines that require it, or about 9.23% of Maryland’s population.

Gov. Larry Hogan wrote on Twitter that the state has administered 92.4% of all vaccine doses allocated to the state by the federal government.

Over the past week, the state has averaged more than 37,000 vaccines administered per day, with nearly 1.7 million Marylanders having received a dose of the vaccine since Dec. 14.

Vaccines by age:

State officials reported that Maryland residents ages 65 or older have received 48.19% of all vaccines administered, an increase of about 0.5 percentage points compared to Saturday. People above the age of 65 have been eligible to receive the vaccine ever since the state moved into Phase 1C of its campaign in late January.

Vaccines by race and ethnicity:

White residents have received 954,907 doses of the vaccine, or about 64.76% of all doses administered in the state where racial data is available. That’s about 3.78 times the rate by which Black residents have been vaccinated, as the state is reporting a total of 252,781 doses have gotten into the arms of its Black population.

White residents make up about 58.5% of the state’s population and have accounted for about 40% of coronavirus cases and 52% of deaths for which the race was known. Meanwhile, about 31% of Maryland residents are Black. Black residents accounted for about a third of cases and 35% of COVID-19 fatalities.

As for Hispanic residents, the state is reporting that roughly 4.12% of vaccines administered where ethnic data was available were given to Maryland’s Hispanic or Latino population. That demographic accounted for about 18.5% of coronavirus cases and about 9% of deaths for which race and ethnicity were documented.

Vaccines by county:

With the state touting more than 1 million first doses of the vaccine administered since December, the state’s majority-Black jurisdictions are still lagging behind the rest of the state in their vaccination rates.

Prince George’s County, a majority-Black county with the state’s second-largest population of roughly 909,000 people, continues to have the lowest vaccination rate in the state, with 9.96% of residents receiving their first dose of the vaccine and 4.57% having received their second dose. It’s the only county in the state where less than 10% of residents have received their first dose of the vaccine, according to state health officials.

Charles County, another majority-Black county in Southern Maryland with a population of about 163,000, has the second-lowest rate of vaccination, according to state health officials. About 12.26% of residents have received their first dose of the vaccine while 6.06% have gotten their second dose as of Sunday.

Baltimore City, where roughly 62.4% of the 593,000-person population is Black, is reporting that about 14% of residents have received their first dose and roughly 8.17% have gotten their second dose. The city had been in the bottom three in terms of vaccination rates but has now eclipsed majority-white Somerset County in its administration of first doses as well as outpacing majority-white Cecil County in second doses.

Rural counties with large populations of residents ages 65 or older continue to lead the state in vaccination rates.

Worcester, Talbot and Kent counties — rural counties where white residents are more than 81% of their population and at least 27% of residents are 65 years or older — are now all reporting more than 23% of their residents have received their first dose of the vaccine. All three counties are also reporting that more than 13% of their residents have received their second dose.

For comparison, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that about 15.9% of Maryland’s population is age 65 or older.

Positivity rate

Now more than a year into the pandemic, state officials are reporting a seven-day average positivity rate of 3.36%, lower than the 5% rate the World Health Organization recommends jurisdictions reach before lifting business and social distancing restrictions. The rate has not been above 5% since Feb. 10.

The state reported that a little more than 33,000 tests for COVID-19 were completed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total up to roughly 8.1 million tests completed since the beginning of the pandemic.

Variants

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reporting that 122 cases of the coronavirus variants originally found in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil have been diagnosed in Maryland as of Thursday, the latest data available.

Of those, the majority, 109, are the B.1.1.7 variant that emerged from the United Kingdom. The CDC said 12 of the cases are the B.1.351 variant first found in South Africa and one case is the P.1 variant spreading in Brazil.

All of the variants are considered to be more contagious than the original virus that causes COVID-19, and Hogan has said the state is in a “race against the variants.”

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