BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The state health department reported 1,277 new cases of COVID-19 in Maryland Saturday and 12 new deaths from the virus.

But the positivity rate went down again, to 4.22 percent.

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And it’s the sixth day that it’s decreased.

The vaccination effort continued Saturday across the state including in one of its zip codes hit hardest by COVID, 21215.

Saturday, the New Psalmist Baptist Church worked with the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital to offer more shots of the vaccine for kids who are going back to school so that more of this community is protected against the virus.

Dozens lined up for shots of the COVID-19 vaccine at this event.

“It is critical that we do vaccinations. That we get the vaccine in person’s bodies,” said Bishop Walter Thomas, the church’s pastor.

More than 5,600 people in the 21215 zip code have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The goal here was to get more people in the community vaccinated with the help of trusted church leaders.

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“It feels a lot more comfortable to receive the vaccination knowing that people you already know and trust are right at your side supporting you through it so we really have appreciated this collaboration,” said Dr. Rebecca Carter, director of community outreach and engagement at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital.

Thomas said he worked with the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital to host the event because he wants to get as many people vaccinated as quickly possible.

“The only way we’re going to get back to some semblance of life and build upon it for the future is to stop this virus in its tracks,” he said.

The state health department reports that almost 48 percent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated against covid-19 in 21215, meaning more than half the people in it don’t have the extra layer of protection the vaccine offers.

Thomas says the only way to safely protect against the virus is with the vaccine.

“It won’t stop with rhetoric it won’t stop with arguments. It will only stop with a vaccination,” he said.

And as of Saturday, almost 58 percent of people eligible for the vaccine in Baltimore have been fully vaccinated.

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Stetson Miller