Baltimore County launches vaccination outreach campaign

Caught off guard by lifting of state restrictions
Posted at 3:42 PM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 07:23:42-05

TOWSON, Md. — An allotment of 5,000 shots per week.

Baltimore County can deliver that many in five hours at the state fairgrounds in Timonium.

“We’re running on fumes in terms of the gas, which is the vaccines so I made a direct plea to the governor when he was here, ‘Give us the doses, and we’ll get it done. We’re ready,’” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski.

But whether or not the county is ready to follow Governor Larry Hogan’s executive order lifting all restrictions in the state will have to wait for now, as the county awaits a greater supply of vaccine and tries to convince people reluctant to get the shots that they’re safe.

To that end, it’s launching a public service campaign called ‘Healing Starts Here’.

The ads will feature an array of athletes and community leaders promoting vaccinations, especially in the county’s black and brown communities.

“They are underrepresented at our vaccination clinics,” said Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch. “However, they are over-represented in our confirmed cases and hospitalizations. We have to change that and we can, because healing starts here.”

The health officer says vaccines don’t save lives. Vaccinations do, and for now, that will remain the priority.

Olszewski said leaders from the ‘Big 8’ jurisdictions throughout the state planned to hold a conference call on Wednesday to discuss whether there were any changes in restrictions that they may be able to agree upon moving forward.