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Maryland Urges COVID Vaccine Boosters as Breakthrough Cases Surge

Maryland officials are pushing eligible residents to get booster shots of a coronavirus vaccine amid a spike in “breakthrough cases” — or infections among the fully vaccinated — in the state.

In the past month, 30.3% of new coronavirus cases are breakthrough cases, compared to just 5.9% in May, WTOP reported. Health officials cite evidence of waning levels of vaccine protection over time — particularly among people with compromised immune systems or other health conditions.

“The majority of post-vaccination infections and deaths since May in Maryland are linked to underlying conditions and comorbidities,” health department spokesman Andy Owen told WTOP in an email. “More than half of the state’s COVID1-19 deaths over the last month are linked to high blood pressure and diabetes. Cancer, obesity and chronic lung disease are other leading comorbidities among COVID-19 deaths in Maryland.”

Gov. Larry Hogan strongly encouraged people with comorbidities and underlying health conditions to get a booster shot quickly.

Despite the increase in breakthrough cases, hospitalizations and deaths in those cases are still extremely rare.

Between Jan. 26, when the first breakthrough case was recorded, and Oct. 17, post-vaccination hospitalizations have occurred in just 0.055% of the vaccinated and deaths in just 0.007% of vaccinated residents, WTOP reported, citing state data.

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