Maryland Opens All Vaccination Sites To Anyone 16+; Infections In Baltimore City Up 172% In 4 Weeks

Almost one in four Marylanders is now fully vaccinated, but new infections and the positivity rate are still rising.

Video Transcript

- Another big story we're following tonight, Maryland now allowing those 16 and older to get vaccinated at any location. And the state is working to open more vaccination sites this week. WJZ investigator Mike Hellgren live at the Convention Center tonight with the latest on the COVID fight. Mike.

MIKE HELLGREN: Rick, those new mass-vaccination sites will be in Frederick and in Annapolis at the Navy Marine Corps Stadium. Maryland recorded a slight increase in the positivity rate today-- it's 5.6% now-- and almost 1,000 new infections. Almost one in four Marylanders is fully vaccinated. But new infections and the positivity rate are still rising. Today, for the first time, the state is allowing Marylanders to go anywhere they want to get a vaccination. Before, many newly eligible were limited to mass vaccination sites.

CLIFFORD MITCHELL: We want, ultimately, to have a vaccine available for everybody who can take the vaccine.

MIKE HELLGREN: There are glimmers of hope, the University of Maryland system released video of the 1,000th patients discharged from the hospital after a harrowing bout with COVID.

- I remember walking in the ER, sitting down in the wheelchair, having her push me up to the registration table. And that's about where my memory ends.

MIKE HELLGREN: Pfizer is getting closer to gaining approval to vaccinate children as young as 12.

- Come on, Piper.

MIKE HELLGREN: Some children are already dealing with long-term problems from COVID.

- It is scary. Because you don't know if you will do something that could make you stop breathing. It's just kind of a squeezing. It almost feels like someone sitting on your chest.

MIKE HELLGREN: And people in three states suffered adverse reactions to Johnson and Johnson's vaccine last week. Maryland is getting fewer J&J doses because of manufacturing issues in Baltimore. But the White House's senior COVID advisor doesn't see a problem meeting vaccination goals.

ANDY SLAVITT: And we remain confident, big picture, that we have more than enough vaccine to continue to vaccinate the public.

MIKE HELLGREN: And here in Baltimore City, officials have seen cases rise 172% compared to a month ago. Harford County leads the state when it comes to positivity at 9.29%. Live at the convention center, Mike Hellgren, WJZ.