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Half of all Marylanders have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, state says

Maryland’s coronavirus vaccination campaign reached a new milestone Tuesday as the state confirmed that half of all Marylanders are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the state’s positivity rate and hospitalizations continued to fall, as they have with few exceptions since April.

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Here’s how the Maryland Department of Health’s coronavirus indicators stood Tuesday:

Cases

Another 78 new cases of the coronavirus were reported, bringing the state’s pandemic case count to 460,737 since March 2020.

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It’s the third 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.

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

Deaths

Three more people were reported dead from COVID-19, bringing the state’s confirmed pandemic death toll to 9,438 since health officials began tracking the disease in March 2020.

The state’s two-week average of daily coronavirus deaths has fallen to the single digits this month for the first time since mid-November.

Hospitalizations

The number of people hospitalized in Maryland due to COVID-19 dropped by one to 275 Of those, 75 people required intensive care.

Fewer than 300 people have been hospitalized across the state since Sunday, which was the first time hospitalizations dipped that low 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 1.01%, down from 1.12% Monday.

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 20,046 total doses of the three coronavirus vaccines were administered in the past 24 hours.

Of those, 6,001 were first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, 13,367 were second doses of those vaccines and 678 doses were the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

More than 3.03 million Marylanders — 50.2% of all residents — are fully vaccinated against the illness, having received either both doses of Pfizer or Moderna or the one-dose J&J shot.

About 71.1% of the state’s more than 6 million residents have gotten at least one shot.

The state has averaged 25,209 vaccinations per day over the past week.

Vaccinations by age

About 85.4% of Marylanders ages 65 and older, 73.8% of those ages 50-64 and 59.4% of those between 18 and 49 have received at least one vaccine dose, the state reported.

About 40.7% of those ages 12-17 have gotten at least one shot of the Pfizer vaccine, the only one authorized for that age group.

Vaccinations by race

About 2.5 times as many white Marylanders are fully vaccinated as Black residents, according to available racial data from the Maryland Department of Health.

There are about 1.88 times as many white residents in Maryland as Black residents, as the demographics represent about 58.5% and 31% of the state’s population, respectively, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

About 7.5% of fully vaccinated people whose ethnicity was known identified as Latino, according to the state. The demographic represents about 10.6% of Maryland’s population, and while the vaccination rate is disproportionately low, it has risen from about 5.8% of people about a month ago.

Vaccinations by county

More than half the population in four counties — Howard (59.03%), Montgomery (55.5%), Talbot (53.5%) and Frederick (50.4%) — have been fully vaccinated, according to the state.

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.

Eight other counties, including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll and Harford, have surpassed 45%. Just over 39% of Baltimore City residents have been fully vaccinated.

Somerset (31.6%), Cecil (33.6%) and Garrett (35.3%) 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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