WILMINGTON — Delaware hit 70% of adults vaccinated against COVID-19 on Thursday, hitting President Joe Biden’s goal before his target date of July 4.
The current mark is up to 70.1%, according to data via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine tracker and includes Delawareans 18 years old and older. This figure from the CDC includes Delawareans vaccinated out of state and vaccinations done at sites such as Veterans Affairs offices and Dover Air Force Base who do not report their data to the Delaware Division of Public Health.
“Delawareans have pulled together, done their part and gotten vaccinated to protect their families, friends and communities,” said Gov. Carney in a statement. “On Thursday, we reached President Biden’s target of 70 percent of adults receiving at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine by July 4. That’s a big deal. It’s why we’re beating this virus and moving past this pandemic after a long 16 months. And it’s why we can celebrate Independence Day safely, surrounded by family and friends. If you’re still not vaccinated, talk to your doctor and your friends who have received the shot. And visit de.gov/getmyvaccine to find a vaccination provider near you.”
There have been 1,012,381 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines administered in Delaware, according to the DPH’s tracker which reflects data as of Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.
With the rise in vaccinations and the warmer weather in the summer, Delaware’s COVID-19 case rates and other statistics have decreased to levels not seen since the pandemic began in March 2020.
Delaware’s seven-day rolling average for new positive cases of the virus is down to 20.6 cases per day, as of Wednesday at 6 p.m. Case rates have dropped by 96% since Jan. 20, when the pandemic was near its peak and the state was averaging more than 500 new cases a day.
Death rates have dropped by 80% since Jan. 20 as the state has gone from averaging 3.1 deaths per 100,000 people to 0.6. Hospitalizations have fallen by 94% in that same time frame — the state set an all-time pandemic low of 14 hospitalizations on June 26. The number is currently at 39 with four cases considered critical, according to the DPH.
“Delaware is starting to look like Delaware again because of a vaccination program that made it easy and convenient for Delaware to get vaccinated, state and community leaders who worked hard at the local level, and Delawareans who rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated,” said White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeffrey D. Zients in a statement. “For Delawareans who have not yet gotten vaccinated, we encourage you to make this a priority. The delta variant continues to pick up steam, and our vaccines remain effective at preventing death, hospitalizations, and severe disease.”
Pharmacies have seen a sharp increase in vaccinations over the past several months as the state has shifted away from large-scale, state-run events. In June, 71% of vaccinations were done at pharmacies compared to 36% in April, according to data presented by the DPH this week.
DPH director Dr. Karyl Rattay said the state will remain focused on its vaccination efforts, targeting the 18-34-year-old age demographic. That age group has 42.2% of its population vaccinated in Delaware. The age demographic with the highest mark in the state is the 65 years old and older group who has 91.9% of its population vaccinated.
“We are so excited to have reached this historic milestone,” said Dr. Rattay in a statement. “A huge thank you to everyone who has gotten vaccinated so far and helped us beat this virus back. Even as we celebrate this significant moment in time, we are continuing our efforts to get more Delawareans vaccinated. We especially want to encourage 18–34-year-olds who are most likely to be out and socializing with others to get the vaccine as soon as possible. It’s free, it’s safe, and it’s effective at preventing COVID, so don’t wait. Get vaccinated today.”
Staff writer Tim Mastro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow @TimMastroDSN on Twitter.