STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.
Were more than 40% of the people who died from COVID-19 in Maryland "over the last 6 to 8 weeks" fully vaccinated? No, that's not true: When the claim was made on October 18, 2021, the real number of deaths from COVID of fully vaccinated people from August 23 to October 18, 2021, was 32%, the Maryland Department of Health told Lead Stories.
The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) on November 26, 2021. It opens:
OH MY GOD!!!!
Former CDC Director Robert Redfield said more than 40% of the people who died in Maryland over the last 6 to 8 weeks were FULLY VACCINATED!!!
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Dec 3 20:16:40 2021 UTC)
Redfield did make that statement in an October 18, 2021, appearance on Fox News. At 1:20 in the video he said:
I happen to be the senior adviser to Governor Hogan in the state of Maryland. In the last six to eight weeks, more than 40% of the people that died in Maryland were fully vaccinated.
The deputy director for media relations for the Maryland Department of Health, Andy Owen, emailed Lead Stories on December 3, 2021, with the actual figures:
From Aug 23 - Oct 18, 32% of the 405 deaths among confirmed COVID cases in Maryland were in fully vaccinated individuals.
As the number of our residents who are vaccinated continues to increase, we expect to see an increase in the proportion of COVID-related deaths occurring in vaccinated individuals.
Many of these deaths are linked to comorbidities that make patients more vulnerable. This further underscores our mission to maintain immunity by urging eligible Marylanders to get their booster shots.
In absolute numbers, the difference between 32 and 40 percent is approximately 32 people. Here is the breakdown:
32% of 405 = 130
40% of 405 = 162
While Redfield did state the wrong number, a Hogan spokesperson told WUSA9 News his message "was meant to encourage eligible Marylanders to get a booster shot." Lead Stories reached out to Hogan's office and will update the story when a response is received.
As of November 28, 2021, there have been 398 deaths of fully vaccinated people, representing 15.12% of lab-confirmed COVID deaths in Maryland, according to the state website, archived here.
2021-12-07T23:33:10Z 2021-12-07T23:33:10ZUpdated Dec. 7, 2021 to remove stray html code at the end of the article.