Fact Check: Fully Vaccinated People Do NOT Make Up 40% Of COVID-19 Deaths In Maryland

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: Fully Vaccinated People Do NOT Make Up 40% Of COVID-19 Deaths In Maryland Wrong Number

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:

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:

image (39).png

Facebook screenshot

(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 2021-12-07T23:33:10Z
    Updated Dec. 7, 2021 to remove stray html code at the end of the article.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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