More mass vax sites to open while vaccine interest declines

Posted at 10:44 PM, Apr 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 07:45:46-04

COLUMBIA, MD (WMAR) — The roll out of the single dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is still paused in Maryland, but Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN Sunday the pause will probably be lifted by Friday, although some restrictions may be required.

"Hopefully by Friday, we’ll get back on track one way or the other," said Fauci.

The CDC’s Adivsory Committee on Immunization Practices is meeting virtually again Friday, to discuss more information related to the pause recommended by federal health agencies "out of an abundance of caution" because of extremely rare but dangerous blood clots.

"I don’t want to get ahead of the CDC and the FDA and the advisory committee but I would imagine that what we would see is that it would come back and it would come back in some sort of either warning or restriction," said Fauci.

Nearly 53 percent of Marylanders 18 years and older have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine but state data shows the daily doses administered average is going down.

Still, officials are working to open two more mass vaccination sites, one at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen this week and one at The Mall in Columbia next week.

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball hopes this new site helps address equity and vaccine hesitancy in a convenient place.

"Almost 100% of our super seniors have already had their first dose however only about 3% of our young people 19 and under have had their first dose so having a mass vaccinations site, especially at the Mall in Columbia, will not only help Howard County residents but our entire region get vaccinated," said Ball.

Ball said they are working with state partners to ensure the mall will be fully functional when the site opens.