Faced with spike in new infections, St. Mary’s re-opens mass vax site

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Faced with some of the state’s most concerning COVID-19 numbers, St. Mary’s County has decided to reopen one of its mass-vaccination sites.

The county health department announced on Wednesday that residents will be able to get vaccinated at the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department beginning Sept. 10.

“COVID-19 new case rates continue to rise rapidly in our community,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, the county’s health officer. “Reactivating this site will best allow us to meet vaccine demand now that the FDA has fully approved Pfizer vaccine, as we roll out booster doses for our community members, and when vaccine is authorized for children less than twelve years old.”

Appointments are recommended but not required. Officials said that walk-ups will be accepted as long as their supply holds.

As of Wednesday, 53% of St. Mary’s adults had received at least one shot, far below the statewide vaccination rate of 81%.

While the state’s cases-per-100,000-residents infection rate stood at 20, in St. Mary’s it’s 35, the seventh highest in Maryland.

In addition to the fire station, county residents can also get a COVID-19 vaccine by appointment at the Behavioral Health Hub in Lexington Park.

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