Competing Vaccination Stats

People who are fully vaccinated, including a booster, are best positioned to avoid getting or to fight off the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19 that is fast becoming the Grinch that Stole Christmas.

The CDC and MD Department of Health each produce estimates of vaccination rates by county. Here are the CDC stats for the share of the population five and older that is vaccinated:

Source: Centers for Disease Control (December 20, 2021).

The CDC should have the best statistics because, unlike the MD Department of Health, the federal agency has the addresses of everyone who got vaccinated around the country. As a result, unlike the state health department, their statistics include people who got vaccinated out of state–likely plentiful in Maryland.

Nevertheless, the St. Mary’s and Somerset statistics just seem odd–the former seems far too high (compare to Calvert) and the latter far too low (compared to anywhere). They also don’t jibe with the MD Department of Health Statistics, which you can see here:

Source: Maryland Department of Health (December 20, 2021).

This is not an apples-to-apples comparison. The CDC statistics include only people 5 and older while the MD DOH statistics include everyone. The CDC looks at who is “fully vaccinated” as opposed to the stats from MD DOH showing the share with a second dose.

Either way, Montgomery and Howard are the places to be in terms of safety with the highest vaccination rates in the state. Garrett and Somerset, at either ends of the state, are at the bottom of the scale. Also at the low end by either the CDC or MD DOH measure are Allegany, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Washington, and Wicomico–all counties on the Eastern Shore or Western MD.

Though Republicans perform well in all of these counties, politics isn’t destiny. Carroll County–arguably the most right-wing county in the state–has comparatively high vaccination rates. Whatever they’re doing right, we should find out and replicate.

Montgomery’s high vaccination rates similarly indicate real success in reaching out to nonwhite communities. Though Whites are the largest group, there is no racial majority with large populations of Blacks, Hispanics and Asians calling the county home. Kudos to Montgomery for its results that should also be mined and copied.