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COVID-19 shots slow to a crawl

Threat of Delta variant looms in Maryland
Posted at 3:06 PM, Jun 29, 2021

TIMONIUM, Md. — With almost half a million shots administered to date, the mass vaccination site at the state fairgrounds in Timonium is considered one of the state’s most efficient, and Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski says its helped in the push towards herd immunity.

“The work here in Baltimore County has proven that vaccinations work,” said Olszewski. “We are quickly approaching the goal set by President Biden about the 70 percent vaccination rate by July 4th, and I think it’s a testament in terms of some of our mass vaccination sites, including at the State Fairgrounds.”

But while many clamored for an appointment a few months ago, supply now outstrips demand.

By the end of the summer, the expansive Cow Palace, which houses the operation, may be relegated back to livestock for the upcoming state fair, and a smaller vaccination clinic will be moved elsewhere on the grounds.

“We are seeing the numbers drop off compared to what we had seen earlier in the pandemic, which is why we’re starting to wind down these larger-scale sites,” said Olszewski. “and our mobile clinic efforts really are about going in and finding those trusted community voices and sitting down and really doing that hard work of answering the questions that people might have that leads to some of that vaccine hesitancy, to really help people get over that hurdle.”

A hurdle, which could leave the unvaccinated even more at risk if the Delta variant, a more contagious and potentially deadly form of the virus, spreads here as it has elsewhere.

“If we can keep our infection rate as low as it is, the Delta variant really doesn’t become a concern,” said Olszewski. “So it’s all the more reason we really continue to push on the vaccination front. Again, truly it has helped us keep our masks off, our businesses open. It will allow us to be normal for school in the fall so that really remains our focus.”