State says 45% of Maryland fully vaccinated against COVID, as positivity rate hits new low

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BALTIMORE — More than 45% of Marylanders have now completed their coronavirus vaccinations, a milestone eclipsed while the state’s testing positivity rate reached a new low mark, according to the health department.

Here’s a look at where other key COVID-19 indicators were Saturday:

Cases

With 521 new coronavirus infections, Maryland has now recorded 458,048 since health officials began to track the virus in March 2020, according to the health department.

Deaths

Seventeen more people were reported dead from COVID-19, bringing to 8,799 the disease’s casualty count in Maryland throughout the pandemic, the data shows.

Hospitalizations

About 490 people remained in Maryland hospitals with the coronavirus Saturday, 31 fewer than the day before, according to the state. That’s less than half of the number hospitalized a month ago and almost 200 less than a week ago.

Of those still hospitalized, 134 patients required intensive care — eight fewer than the day before.

Testing positivity

After increasing slightly Thursday to 2.07%, the state’s average testing positivity rate declined to 2.04% Friday, the data shows. That’s the lowest it’s been throughout the pandemic.

The percentage, which measures the share of tests returned positive over the last week, has decreased most of May, according to the health department. It’s less than half what it was a month ago.

Health officials said 37,061 tests were returned Friday, meaning about 10.2 million nasal swabs have been tested for COVID-19 throughout the pandemic.

Vaccinations

The state reported 47,102 vaccinations Saturday, with 18,089 receiving a first dose of the two-dose vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna and 27,572 more completing their courses. Additionally, the state said 1,441 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot immunizations made their way into arms.

More than 45% of Maryland’s 6 million residents have been fully vaccinated, either by receiving the single-shot vaccine or finishing a two-dose regimen.

About 5.85 million vaccine doses have been administered since Dec. 14. The state has reported an average of 50,378 immunizations daily over the last week.

Federal entities in Maryland have dished out 195,742 vaccine doses, according to the health department.

VACCINES BY AGE

Almost 30% of Marylanders 12 to 17 years old have received at least one vaccine dose, according to health department data. A week ago, less than 20% of that age group had gotten a Pfizer immunization, the only vaccine approved for use in people under 18.

Nearly 56% of residents 18 to 49 years old, 71% of people between the ages of 50 and 64 and almost 84% of those 65 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, the state said.

VACCINES BY RACE

About 2.57 times more white people than Black people have been fully vaccinated in Maryland, though those demographics account for 58.5% and 31% of residents, according to the data. A week ago, the difference was about 2.6. A month ago, it was 2.8.

Considering just first doses, white people have received 2.36 times more first doses than Black people, according to the state.

About 10.6% of the state’s population is Latino, yet the data shows 7% of the people in Maryland who’ve been fully vaccinated and whose ethnicity was recorded identify as Latino. A week ago, the share of fully vaccinated people who were Latino was 6.5%.

Latino residents have received approximately 7.7% of all vaccine doses where ethnicity was recorded, up from about 6% a month ago and roughly 4% about two months ago, according to the state.

VACCINES BY COUNTY

Disparities similarly persist among counties’ vaccination rates.

On the Eastern Shore, rural Somerset County continues to lag behind all jurisdictions in terms of the percentage of its population of 26,000 who’ve gotten a first dose (32.7%) and the share who’ve been fully vaccinated (28.6%), according to the health department.

In the Baltimore metro area, suburban Howard County paces the state in both categories. About 60.5% of Howard’s 326,000 people have received a first dose, while 52.8% have been fully vaccinated.

Somerset has the highest percentage of persons in poverty; Howard has the smallest share, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Health department data shows Caroline County has the second smallest share of its population who’ve received one dose (33%), Cecil County has the smallest percentage of residents (30.4%) who’ve been fully vaccinated.

Both have a higher percentage than the median in Maryland of persons living in poverty, the data shows.

Talbot County has the second largest share of its people (51%) fully vaccinated, while Montgomery County is third in terms of the percent fully vaccinated (49.9%) and second in terms of the share with one dose (57.1%).

Both are above the below the median in Maryland of persons living in poverty.

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