COVID In Maryland: April 23, 2021 (Evening Update)

COVID In Maryland: April 23, 2021 (Evening Update)

Video Transcript

RICK RITTER: A pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine one step closer now to being lifted. The CDC gives the OK for the shot to be used in the US again. Welcome to the news at 6:00, everyone. I'm Rick Ritter.

VIC CARTER: And I'm Vic Carter. We've been waiting to hear a decision on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for over a week now.

RICK RITTER: And that decision from the CDC advisory panel coming down just over an hour ago. The panel says the vaccine's benefits outweigh that serious but small risk of blood clots. out of nearly 8 million people vaccinated before the US suspended the shot, health officials uncovered 15 cases of a highly unusual kind of blood clot. Three of those were deadly.

VIC CARTER: The government will weigh the recommendation in deciding next steps. We'll have much more on this tonight at 7:00 and 11:00 right here on WJZ.

RICK RITTER: And a controversial decision that's making vaccinations mandatory. Students and staff at all schools in the University of Maryland system, they are now required to get a COVID shot before returning to campus this fall.

VIC CARTER: WJZ is live tonight. Max McGee-- at Towson University with reaction from students, Max.

MAX MCGEE: Vic, Rick, the Morgan State president says students are now on the clock. Ages 16 and up can now be vaccinated across the state. And he expects all people on campus to be ready this fall.

A quiet Friday at Morgan State after University systems announced all 12 of their schools, including Morgan State in Towson would have a vaccine mandate this fall. This is just a day after consulting with medical experts who say 40% of patients are under 40 years old.

KYE TOUSSAINT: I think it's better for campus and campus life because as you can see, it's a ghost town over here. And people want to come back to campus. They want to have that campus life.

DIARRAH BALLO: I feel like if they need to take the precautions to make sure that everything is all right, they need to take those precautions.

MAX MCGEE: More than half of adults across Maryland have been vaccinated. School president David Wilson says 200 Moderna vaccines will be available to students in congregate living April 28th.

DAVID WILSON: We are doing this for one reason and one reason only. And it is to enhance the level of safety on campus for everyone.

MAX MCGEE: Wilson says June 1st is when MSU will be in a position to let their community know exactly how this will be managed. A difference of opinion at Towson.

SHANIA FOSTER: Vaccination for students is kind of important to open up if we want to open up in time. But I do think it's a breach on freedom, of our freedom a little bit, because what if people don't want to be vaccinated.

MAX MCGEE: Wilson says there will be exemptions for students based on religious beliefs and medical reasons. We're live at 6:00 tonight. I'm Max McGee for WJZ.

- Max, thank you. The push to get students and staff vaccinated comes as Maryland reports more than 1,100 new coronavirus cases. Eight more deaths are also reported in just the last day. There are 47 fewer people in the hospital. And the positivity rate is down slightly, now sits at 5.1%