Health data coming out of Maryland is reportedly leading to growing concerns about the waning effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, especially against the Delta variant.
What are the details?
While the data still shows that the majority of state residents hospitalized with the virus are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, fully vaccinated individuals are starting to account for a larger share.
“Infections, illness, and hospitalizations are increasing rapidly among fully vaccinated people, according to data from the Maryland Department of Health and new research,” WBAL-TV reported on Tuesday.
The outlet said the trend has led some public health experts to argue “it’s time to reframe thinking” about the message on vaccines to note that they won’t necessarily keep you from getting sick, but they will increase your chance of survival.
“Over the past three months in Anne Arundel County, about 30% of the people hospitalized with COVID-19 are fully vaccinated,” the report stated. “There’s a similar timeframe and trend in neighboring Howard County, where health officials said roughly 30% to 40% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 are fully vaccinated.”
Data: More vaccinated people among hospitalized Marylanders
Anne Arundel County Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman blamed the trend on waning vaccine efficacy alongside the rise of the Delta variant.
“Because Delta spreads more easily and causes more severe disease, we do see some hospitalizations,” Kalyanaraman explained.
A national trend developing among the vaccinated?
While the Maryland data is currently being framed as an outlier, there are indicators that it’s part of a national trend.
Public health experts and mainstream media figures for weeks have inundated the American public with the line that unvaccinated individuals presently account for nearly all of the COVID-19 hospitalizations, usually citing a figure between 95% and 98%.
But, as TheBlaze’s Daniel Horowitz pointed out earlier this month, those figures were pulled from a ranged 6-month analysis produced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When looking more closely at the month-by-month figures, one can see that the percentage share of hospitalizations among fully vaccinated people has been steadily ticking upward since the start of the year.
In June alone, fully vaccinated people made up 16% of the nation’s COVID-19 hospitalizations.
“Given the rapid acceleration of waning immunity, inquiring minds would like to know what that number will look like heading into September,” Horowitz noted.
‘Good reasons to get vaccinated’
Though acknowledging the new data as concerning, health experts in Maryland are still encouraging residents to get vaccinated as a way to boost their immune response against the virus.
“It’s critical to get your vaccine to decrease your chance of getting hospitalized,” Kalyanaraman told WABL. “And also it turns out, long-COVID, those lingering symptoms, are much less likely to happen in the vaccinated as well, so there are a lot of good reasons to get vaccinated.”