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People of color more at risk of contracting the virus, yet are slow in signing up for vaccine

Posted at 6:39 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 19:13:46-05

BALTIMORE — People of color are more at risk of contracting the virus, yet are slow in signing up for the vaccine.

Baltimore County is calling on faith leaders to help ease fears over the virus from its newly-opened vaccine clinic in the Randallstown Community Center.

"Adding the second location will certainly make it more convenient for residents on the west side to be vaccinated. However, vaccine supply remains limited,” said Dr. Gregory Branch, Baltimore County Health Officer.

More limited with the state preparing to open mass vaccination sites and expanding the list of retail pharmacies, which will draw from the same limited supply of the vaccine.

"This week, we received only 4,825 first doses from Maryland," said County Executive Johnny Olszewski. "That is nearly 3,000 fewer than we received last week. Meanwhile, more than 200,000 people have registered with Baltimore County to receive a vaccine.”

That means limiting its supply of the vaccine set aside for teachers and staff to just a hundred per week and making the equitable distribution of the potentially life-saving doses that much more difficult.

While 30 percent of the county’s population is African American, they only represent 11 percent of those who have registered to get the vaccine.

“There’s a lot of history when it comes to the persons of color and how they were treated in medicine. I know what happened. I’m not going to negate what happened. I’m just going to stand here today in 2021 and say, as your health officer, ‘this is not an experiment'," said Dr. Branch.