BALTIMORE (WMAR) — While Maryland ranks 6th in nation for full vaccinations, the Department of Health Secretary said there are still about 1.3 million people 12 years and older left to be vaccinated, and those who aren’t are at serious risk.
"The bottom line is these new variants spread faster and they move more quickly through the population," said Secretary Dennis Schrader.
All Marylanders who died from COVID-19 in June were unvaccinated.
"It’s very worrisome," said Schrader.
Schrader said one reason he’s heard people aren’t getting vaccinated is because they are waiting for the final FDA approval.
President Joe Biden expects that will come in the beginning of the school year.
Another reason is the perceived health impacts.
According to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll of 1,715 adults, the majority of unvaccinated Americans are more concerned about the long term side affects from the vaccines than the virus.
It’s a view not supported by science that underscores the challenges of address hesitancy as the Delta variant causes a surge in cases.
"People who get COVID are at risk of long term COVID affects also so I’d say the chances are better that if you get vaccinated to protect yourself in the long haul," said Schrader.
The Department of Health has teamed up with Kaiser Permanente to hold clinics at barber shops and salons in Baltimore City to increase vaccination rates among Latino and black residents.
They are also looking to partner with trusted organizations for pop up clinics to use their plentiful amount of doses.
"We have lots of it and it’s just a matter of reaching people and we’re not giving up. We are gonna keep moving until we get as many people vaccinated as possible," said Schrader.
Click here to access the Maryland Mobile Clinic Request Form.