COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — Starting this weekend, you will no longer need to pre-register to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Instead, the Governor’s office says Marylanders will be able to go online and sign-up for an appointment right away.

This is happening as Maryland opens its 13th and final mass vaccination site at the Mall In Columbia.

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The Lord & Taylor which closed as a result of the pandemic, now has a new life saving mission to vaccinate Marylanders. According to county health officials, about 1,000 people signed up to be vaccinated at the site on its first day.

” I think I was more nervous about not waking up for my appointment on time,” says Iris Jarrett who received her first shot on Friday. ” I still will wear my mask. My parents are older so I feel like even if I’m fully vaccinated I’ll still take precautions to protect them even though they’re vaccinated also.”

Richard Ma also received his first shot on Friday. “My wife already got hers and my son also got his first shot, so I’m the last one,” he says.

County Executive Calvin Ball said the central location of the site is an added benefit.

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“We are the prime location for the state to ensure that not only do our residents continue to have access to vaccines, but everyone who comes to the mall in Columbia and the entire region can come and visit here,” says County Executive Ball.

Another vaccination site opened at Morgan State University Friday. It’s part of the state’s Vaccine Equity Task Force which is an effort to reach people in every community. The Lieutenant Governor visited Friday.

“And that’s why bringing it into the communities helps because then it becomes more convenient,”says Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford.

Nearly 2 million people are fully vaccainted in Maryland, and the site at The Mall in Columbia which is open to anyone over 16, will help boost the State’s vaccination rates.

“If we are all collectively going to bring this pandemic to a close, we all who are able to get vaccinated, need to get the vaccine,” says Dr. Maura Rossman, the Howard County Health officer.

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You must schedule an appointment at 1-855-MDGOVAX (1-855-634-6829) or here

Ava-joye Burnett