TIMONIUM, Md (WMAR) — "We’re excited. It’s just having more vaccine," Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch.
A week after the FDA granted the Johnson & Johnson vaccine emergency use authorization, Baltimore County used their allocation of doses Sunday to hold an educators clinic at the fairgrounds.
"We’re doing about 1,000 public school educators and about 200 private school educators," said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski.
And since it’s just one dose, they’re all set.
"The educators coming through today, they’re going to be able to go back to the classroom and have the vaccination process be done so it's a lot of excitement. People are very happy to be able to get it," said Olszewski.
Olszewski said this is part of their effort to get staff and students back in school safely. Preschool through 2nd grade students returned last week, and any student with special needs served outside general education are returning in person next week.
"The one thing I can think is the fact that we can get our children back in school and I'mma tell you I’m personally excited for my grandchildren to go back to school," said Branch.
For months, Emergent BioSolutions in Southeast Baltimore has helped manufacture doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Maryland got almost 50,000 doses last week and Gov. Larry Hogan doesn’t expect another allotment of J&J vaccines for another 10 days because of limited supply but the pharmaceutical giant Merck is now helping make the vaccine to ramp up distribution.
Branch said they’re ready as those doses become available.
"We are able to do thousands of people per hour if I were to open up all of my clinics at the same time. At this particular clinic, I can do up to 1,000 people per hour by itself," said Branch. "And so the more we can get, the more we can put into peoples arms, the more we can put COVID-19 behind us."
For his first visit to Baltimore since taking office, the White House said President Joe Biden will visit Emergent BioSolutions Wednesday for a private meeting with the CEOs of Johnson & Johnson and Merck.