ABERDEEN, Md. (WJZ) — Orioles great Cal Ripken Jr. toured the Ripken Stadium mass vaccination site in Aberdeen with Gov. Larry Hogan Wednesday and pushed people to get vaccinated.
“The governor said since your name is on the stadium, you’ve got to come out here with me,” Ripken told reporters. “But he didn’t have to ask very hard. We are so proud to be able to play a role in helping out and deliver the message that it is really important to get vaccinated.”READ MORE: New Innovative Academic Building Opens At Loyola University Maryland
With concerns that the pace of shots is slowing, the state says no appointment is necessary now at Ripken Stadium and the 12 other mass vaccination sites in Maryland.
“As we get closer to normal… we still can’t stop. We need to get everyone vaccinated,” Ripken said.
This is a drive-up site and officials stressed how quick and easy it is. Harford County had seen a positivity rate well above the rest of the state, but it has now fallen below the Maryland average.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman praised the Ripkens for their cooperation and said the late family matriarch, Vi Ripken, who died earlier this year, would approve.READ MORE: Classroom Concerns: 16,559 Students Quarantined, 4,042 Confirmed Student Covid-19 Cases In Maryland Schools
“I know if Miss Vi was looking down, she would be proud that Billy and Cal opened this up to the community so we could make sure we save a lot of lives and protect all the people of the county which they love so much,” Glassman said.
At a news conference after the tour, Hogan said he remains hopeful Covid-19 vaccinations will be approved next week for children as young as 12. He said he does not think children will be required to get the vaccine but noted any decision would be up to the state school board.
Maryland will eventually phase out mass vaccination sites. Their focus is now on targeting those who have been reluctant to get the shots. The stakes are high, Hogan said.
“If you are not vaccinated, you are still in grave danger,” he said. “There are dangerous variants out there. We have younger people being hospitalized.”
The state also announced a new testing push that will bring mobile testing to communities around Maryland.
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RELEASE: @MDHealthDept today launched a free mobile COVID-19 testing program to enhance testing access in underserved communities statewide. Two mobile testing teams will visit each of Marylandâs 24 jurisdictions over the next 12 weeks.
Learn more: https://t.co/Juwk8tZKgl
— Maryland Department of Health (@MDHealthDept) May 5, 2021