By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Right now, seven children in Maryland are hospitalized with Covid-19 including three in intensive care, and the push is on to vaccinate more adolescents aged 12 and older.

Dr. Kawsar Taalat from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said Thursday that the FDA could approve vaccines for those aged five to 11 years old as soon as early November. The FDA will meet to discuss vaccines for children next week.

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The rollout will not look like it did with adults—with smaller vaccine clinics instead of mass vaccination sites. The doses will also be administered using smaller needles. Health officials will rely on trusted pediatricians, pharmacies and school clinics to get shots into arms.

Dr. Tamar Mendelson, also with Johns Hopkins, said treating covid vaccinations like any normal visit to the doctor will reduce anxiety among children over the shot.

On Thursday, a mobile vaccine clinic was set up outside Cherry Hill Elementary-Middle School where an outbreak hit last month. Three new cases have been reported in the last 10 days. The city’s public schools have reported 193 total infections in that same period.

Janae Stanley has a daughter at the school. “It’s frightening because this covid is killing people, and I care about my child’s safety,” she told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren. “My sister is terrified. She has a young infant, and she doesn’t want that stuff to come to her home.”

The good news: Outbreaks in Maryland schools are down 15 percent overall compared to last week according to the governor’s office.

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Here are the largest in our area according to the Maryland Department of Health: 41 cases at Friends School in Baltimore City, 40 at Chesapeake High in Anne Arundel County and 39 at Saint Ursula Catholic in Baltimore County.

The biggest outbreak in the state is at Margaret Brent Middle School in St. Mary’s County with 89 infections. Leonardtown High School, also in St Mary’s County, has 72 cases. You can see the entire statewide list here.

In Baltimore City Public Schools, Baltimore International Academy Elementary Middle has the most cases at 24. You can access the school system’s dashboard here.

Anne Arundel County reports more than 1,400 students and staff are currently in quarantine. You can see their latest numbers here. 

Back in Cherry Hill, community leader Crystal Branch told Hellgren it can be a challenge just battling misinformation among those already eligible for the vaccine. “We are making sure you have the literature so you have the information as well so you don’t hear from word of mouth, ‘If I get the vaccine, I’m going to turn into a robot or they’re trying to make zombies or I might die if I get the vaccine,’” said Branch, the president of the Cherry Hill Tenant Council. “I say to them, ‘What about protecting your child? What about setting an example as the head of your household? Why not protect your kids 12 and over.’ Come with them, make vaccination a family thing.”

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