Pause In Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine Could Slow Maryland's Memorial Day Goal

Pause In Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine Could Slow Maryland's Memorial Day Goal

Video Transcript

- This latest site is at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, and during the governor's visit he announced the state may not be able to hit one of its vaccination goals.

- WJZ live at the stadium tonight. Ava-joye Burnett tells us what that goal is, and why Maryland, like so many other states, is really running into the same issue here. Ava-joye?

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: Good afternoon. Because this has to do with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, there is now a temporary pause in that as investigators look into some issues. Officials here in the state are saying they may not be able to meet their Memorial Day goal of vaccinating everyone. The governor talked about that earlier today.

Governor Larry Hogan and other key players in the vaccination race visited another mass vaccination site at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, the 11th to open up.

LARRY HOGAN: We have built it. All of us have built it. And now it's time to get everybody out here.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: More than 1 and 1/2 million people are now fully vaccinated, but news of a temporary pause in administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine means the states can now only rely on doses from Pfizer and Moderna. This may affect Maryland's ability to vaccinate everyone by Memorial Day.

- You know, I was very clear that if we got the vaccines they were promising us, that we could finish the job by Memorial Day. We are not getting the vaccines that they promised us.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: The state's positivity rate also continues to fluctuate. Up yesterday, but down today. There are concerns Baltimore City and the county are potentially new emerging hot spots. City health officials say the caseload is 131% higher than a month ago. The positivity rate is up to 5.3%. That is a 119% increase.

- We need people to continue to practice physical distancing. Follow all the guidance in the guidelines.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: In its weekly COVID-19 briefing, experts at Johns Hopkins said 20 states are seeing a rise in cases, and the disease knows no boundaries.

JENNIFER NUZZO: There are still big parts of the country, lots of places, where there is a lot of vulnerable people.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: Back in Annapolis, the superintendent at the Naval Academy announced 99% of the MIDS have already gotten at least one shot.

SEAN BUCK: I'm very grateful to our Navy who gave me the vaccination so that I could conduct summer training this summer.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: Another mass vaccination site is scheduled to open up here in Maryland next week. That will bring the mass vaccination sites to 12. This site in particular is able to vaccinate up to 1,500 people every day. But because of the limited supply, they're able to accomplish just a third of that until they get more doses. Live tonight, Ava-joye Burnett, for WJZ.