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Governor tours mass vaccination sites in Baltimore area

State's progress limited by shortage of vaccine
Posted at 2:58 PM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-08 17:12:25-05

TIMONIUM, Md. — Governor Larry Hogan called Baltimore County’s mass vaccination site at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, the best he has seen thus far, and he thanked those who make it work.

“We have worked tirelessly,” one clinic worker told him.

“I know you have,” replied the governor, “Thank you very much for all your hard work.”

But it is an operation barely tapping into its potential for now.

“We’re doing 2,000 vaccines today, but that’s 2,000 vaccines in four hours,” said Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch, “That’s not a full day. Only four hours, and you can see how quickly people are being able to get through.”

On average the state is only receiving 10,000 doses per day and it must split those up between more than 2,000 nursing homes, hospitals, pharmacies and larger vaccination sites like these.

Here at the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital, only 400 people will receive a shot today.

“We hope to ramp up very quickly to provide a vaccine for everyone in the State of Maryland who wants one,” said Convention Center Field Hospital Co-Director Dr. Chuck Callahan.

But that means waiting on the federal government and the manufacturers to supply more as variants of the virus already discovered in Maryland threaten to spread rapidly in the months to come.

“We’re worried about it,” said Hogan, “It’s what keeps me awake at night. I mean this is a race between vaccines and variants. That’s why we’re so desperate to get more supply of vaccines into more arms before these variants could potentially spread.”