ELLICOTT CITY (WJZ) — More than 80% of eligible Howard County residents are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, County Executive Calvin Ball announced Wednesday, citing state metrics.

Howard County is the first in the state to achieve that metric. Just over two-thirds of the county’s total population is fully vaccinated.

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“I’m so proud of our community. This could not have been accomplished alone, and I want to thank our first responders, healthcare workers, volunteers, and State partners who have worked tirelessly on the front lines since December to get shots into arms,” Ball said in a statement. “These metrics indicate what we all know – when times are tough, our community comes together to take care and support each other. With the recent uptick of COVID-19 cases and the spreading of the delta variant, it’s become abundantly clear how important it is to get vaccinated.”

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As of Wednesday, 85% of county residents 12 and up have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. The county’s seven-day positivity rate is 2.07%. The 7-day average case per 100,000 residents is at 5.57. Howard County General Hospital has a COVID-19 utilization rate of 1.6%.

“Howard County residents have done an incredible job of protecting themselves, their families and the community by getting vaccinated. This is a great milestone to reach in our fight against the COVID-19 virus,” said Dr. Maura Rossman, the county’s health officer. “However, we know that there are more people who are eligible for the vaccine, but have yet to take that important next step to receive the vaccination.”

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She said that, despite the good news about vaccines, metrics are trending up due to the more contagious and transmissible Delta variant.

More information about Howard County vaccine clinics is available on the county website.

CBS Baltimore Staff