BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A big vaccination deadline today at one of the state’s largest employers with other deadlines fast approaching.

City employees have two and a half weeks left to get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing.

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“Do your part to help end this pandemic for good. Get vaccinated,” said Mayor Brandon Scott.

Baltimore City’s vaccine mandated goes into effect on Oct. 18.  The city is in the midst of several vaccination clinics for its employees.

City police officials say about 60 percent of its workforce is vaccinated so far.

“We’ve provided vaccines at the police department. We’ve also provided them the ability to get vaccines while at work,” said Deputy Commissioner Sullivan.

Friday is the University Of Maryland Medical System’s vaccination deadline. They say 98 percent of their workforce is in compliance with its mandate. Those who aren’t yet vaccinated will have 30 days or the system “will consider them as having resigned.”

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Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo of Johns Hopkins says the uptick in vaccinations we’ve seen in recent weeks is thanks in part to mandates.

“We’ve already seen increases in vaccine uptake. As employers are implementing mandates, we will continue to see increases,” said Nuzzo.

Those increases, she says will help decrease deaths and hospitalizations seen through the holidays last year.

Governor Hogan on Thursday reiterated his opposition to vaccination mandates.

“We don’t think there’s a need for mandates. We’ve been doing very, very well with the plan we’ve had for a long time,” said Hogan.

He said the way to get people vaccinated is by encouraging them with facts — like, one Dr. Bill Moss pointed out Friday. Mostly all COVID deaths we’re seeing now, about 2,000 a day nationally, are preventable.

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“I realize not all those people are staunch anti-vaccine believers, but they have declined to get the vaccine, despite its availability and despite the fact that it’s free,” said Moss.

Paul Gessler