- Everyone who died of COVID-19 in Maryland in June was not vaccinated, Gov. Larry Hogan said.
- Almost all new COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in the US overall are among the unvaccinated.
- It’s even more evidence that COVID-19 vaccines work to prevent severe disease and death.
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In Maryland, 130 people died of COVID-19 last month. According to Gov. Larry Hogan, 100% of them were unvaccinated.
“If you’ve not gotten your vaccine, the virus and its variants are a dangerous threat to you. Getting vaccinated is the only way to protect yourself,” Hogan said during a press conference on Wednesday.
Hogan added that 95% of new COVID-19 cases and 93% of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maryland last month were among unvaccinated residents.
That trend trend isn’t limited to Maryland.
“No question that almost all of the deaths and hospitalizations will be in unvaccinated individuals,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN.
Indeed, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a press briefing last week that data from “a collection of states over the last six months suggest 99.5% of deaths from COVID-19 in these states have occurred in unvaccinated people.”
An analysis by the Associated Press also found that of the 18,000 COVID-19 deaths in the US in May, only 150 of those people had been fully vaccinated – meaning 99.2% of those who died were unvaccinated.
‘Avoidable and preventable’
Although vaccines work against the Delta variant – the most contagious version of the coronavirus yet – research suggests that Americans need a full vaccination course, meaning both doses of Pfizer’s or Moderna’s vaccines, to be fully protected.
“You can make a quite reasonable assumption that data that are applicable to Pfizer are also applicable to Moderna,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a White House briefing on Thursday.
Given this data, Fauci has said, coronavirus deaths in the US at this point are needless.
“It’s really sad and tragic that most all of these [deaths] are avoidable and preventable,” he told NBC News’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
While more than 157 million Americans, or 47.6%, are fully vaccinated, CDC data suggest daily vaccinations in the US have declined over the last month. The number of shots administered per day, averaged over a week, currently hovers around 500,000 – half of the daily average from a month ago.
Ideally, experts would like to see every US county vaccinate at least 75% of its population in order to reach herd immunity.
“This new virus forced too many of our families to accept death as an outcome for too many of our loved ones, but now this should not be the case,” Walensky said in a June briefing. “As I’ve often said, this virus is an opportunist. As long as there are those who are not vaccinated, COVID-19 will remain a threat.”
Aria Bendix and Sarah Al-Arshani contributed reporting to this story.