Maryland pushes more people to sign up for COVID-19 vaccinations

According to Maryland’s Department of Health, 30% of Marylanders have received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine; 17% have been fully vaccinated and another 1.5% got a single dose.

About 450,000 people have preregistered to get vaccinated. But health department officials such as Dr. Clifford Mitchell continue to urge people to sign up.

“Until everybody, that is to say, a large proportion of the population, is vaccinated, there is still a lot of virus out there circulating,” said Mitchell, the state’s director of environmental health.

Preregistering “allows us to plan more effectively for the vaccine allocations,” he said. “It also allows us to focus on those communities and those individuals who are still very much at risk, but who may not have had the opportunity to preregister.”

The Biden administration has now put Johnson & Johnson in charge of a manufacturing plant in Baltimore, where 15 million doses of its vaccine were ruined after an error at the plant.

“All of the vaccines are effective,” Mitchell said. “So whether it’s the Pfizer or the Moderna or the Johnson & Johnson, we want people to get vaccinated and all of those vaccines have been evaluated … and shown to be effective.”

While some members of Black and Hispanic communities have said that vaccine hesitancy has been overstated, Mitchell said efforts to make sure that everyone is vaccinated continue.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has offered guidance that says once you are vaccinated, it’s safe to gather with others who’ve been fully vaccinated. However, Mitchell said, people should continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“When you’re out in public, where you’re at the store, when you’re out and about, you should be wearing your face mask and avoiding large gatherings,” Mitchell said.

Go to the Maryland GoVAX website to preregister, or call 855-MD-GOVAX.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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