BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As the Delta variant continues to fuel the rise in COVID-19 cases in Maryland, vaccines clinics were held across Baltimore Saturday to meet people where they are in the community, address vaccine hesitancy and provide access to those interested in rolling up their sleeves.
Saturday’s GoVax Clinic in west Baltimore provided both COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots for those eligible. The Rev. Dr. Greta Willis, the clinic’s organizer, stressed the importance of continuing to reach those who have not been vaccinated yet, especially in underserved neighborhoods.READ MORE: WATCH LIVE: Gov. Larry Hogan To Provide COVID-19 Update
This is the third time Sarah Matthews has rolled up her sleeve. She got a booster shot Saturday.
“I believe in science, I know it works,” she said. “I’m just encouraging the African American seniors to come out and get the booster. It’s no problem.”
Maryland authorized Pfizer booster shots Friday, following approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for everyone 65 and older, adults with certain underlying conditions, adults in congregate living facilities and people who are at increased risk due to their job.
Pfizer officials announced that its COVID-19 vaccine is both safe and effective in children ages 5 to 11. They said they plan to submit their data to the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the month for review, and shots for children could be available as early as the end of October.
“We need to protect ourselves, and this is the only way that we can assure that we’re going to be safe,” Matthews said.
That is why Willis hosted the clinic — to promote a healthy environment and reach those who are still unvaccinated.READ MORE: Rise In Teen Girls With 'Tic-Like' Behaviors Could Be Linked To TikTok, Doctors Say
“One arm, one shot, equals champions over COVID,” she said.
Saturday, more than 1,500 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths were reported. The statewide positivity rate is now up slightly at 4.39 percent.
Trashawn Mackey just got her first dose of the vaccine after months of hesitation.
“Well, I debated about the shot for a very long time so. But, I just finally decided to get it,” she said. “It’s like the ‘he said, she said’ talk that, that’s why people are trying not to get a shot or they’re just listening to stuff that they hear. but the shot is to better your health.”
Now, she said she hopes to encourage others in the community to do the same.
“It’s nothing hard, just go get the shot, so that way, we can all survive and see each other the next day,” Mackey said.
As of Saturday, more than 3.8 million eligible Marylanders are fully vaccinated, and about 83 percent of all adults in the state have received at least one shot.MORE NEWS: Two Men Shot At Severn Basketball Court