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Nearly half of all Marylanders are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, state says

Nearly half of all Maryland residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as of Monday, and the state’s testing positivity rate and hospitalizations continued to decline, according to the state.

Here’s a breakdown of the state Department of Health’s COVID-19 numbers as of Monday:

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Cases

Just 84 new cases of the coronavirus were reported, bringing the state’s pandemic case count to 460,659 since March 2020.

It’s the second time in the past week the state has reported fewer than 100 new cases, down significantly from December and January, when thousands of new cases were confirmed each day.

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Health officials haven’t reported more than 150 new cases in a single day since June began.

Deaths

Four more people were reported dead from COVID-19, bringing the state’s confirmed pandemic death toll to 9,435 since health officials began tracking the disease in March 2020.

Hospitalizations

The number of people hospitalized in Maryland due to COVID-19 dropped by seven from Sunday to 276. Of those hospitalized, 67 people required intensive care.

Sunday was the first day fewer than 300 people were hospitalized since Sept. 20, when the state was experiencing a lull in the pandemic before new cases and hospitalizations surged later in the fall.

Testing Positivity

The statewide seven-day average testing positivity rate dropped to 1.12%, down from 1.22% Sunday.

The rate, which measures the share of positive tests over the past week, is the lowest it’s been since the pandemic began. The number of positive tests has generally declined over the past month, leading to the record-low positivity rates reported over the past three weeks.

Vaccinations

The state reported that 14,731 total doses of the three coronavirus vaccines were administered in the past 24 hours.

Of those, 4,950 were first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, 9,321 were second doses of those vaccines and 442 doses were the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The 49.98% of Marylanders fully vaccinated against the illness represented more than 3 million people who have gotten either both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna or the one-dose J&J shots. More than 6 million people live in the state.

The state has averaged 23,690 vaccinations per day over the past week.

Vaccines by age

Health officials reported that 71% of adult Marylanders have received at least their first dose of a vaccine, including 85.3% of residents 65 or older, 73.7% of people 50 to 64 and 59.3% of those 18 to 49.

Additionally, 40.3% children aged 12 to 17 years old have received at least their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, the only one currently authorized for use on that age group.

Vaccines by race

About 2.63 times as many white residents have been fully vaccinated than Black residents, according to available racial data from the state health department. There are about 1.88 times as many white residents in Maryland compared with Black residents, as the demographics represent about 58.5% and 31% of the state’s population, respectively, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to the state, roughly 7.4% of fully vaccinated people whose ethnicity was known identified as Latino. The demographic represents about 10.6% of Maryland’s population and while the vaccination rate is still not in line with population numbers, it has risen from about 5.8% of people about a month ago.

In Baltimore City, Latino and Hispanic residents have gotten vaccinated at a slightly higher rate (43.5%) than non-Hispanics (42.5%), according to Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, the city health commissioner.

“While many vax disparities persist, I’m excited to report this small victory,” Dzirasa tweeted Monday. “Shout out to our vax ambassadors who educate their peers on the benefits of getting vaxxed.”

Vaccines by county

Howard (58.6%), Montgomery (55.08%) and Talbot (53.5%) counties continue to lead the state in the proportion of fully vaccinated residents, according to health department data.

Howard and Montgomery counties have two of the three highest median household incomes in the state and among the smallest shares of people living in poverty, U.S. Census Bureau estimates show. Talbot is near the state average on both measures.

The only other county to report more than 50% of residents fully vaccinated was Frederick County, where 50.15% of residents are fully inoculated, according to the state health department. Eight other counties — including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll and Harford — have surpassed 45%, according to the state.

Nearly 39% of Baltimore City residents have been fully vaccinated.

Somerset (31.6%), Cecil (33.2%) and Garrett (35.1%) counties have the lowest rates of fully vaccinated residents in the state. Somerset, which has had a persistently low rate during the vaccination effort, has the lowest median household income and the highest rate of people living in poverty.

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