© 2023 WYPR
WYPR 88.1 FM Baltimore WYPF 88.1 FM Frederick WYPO 106.9 FM Ocean City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Healthcare coverage from WYPR is made possible by support from GBMC HealthCare.

As COVID-19 Cases Rise, Vaccine Pre-Registration Opens For Marylanders 16 And Older

Gov. Larry Hogan addresses reporters at a COVID-19 update Thursday
Gov. Larry Hogan addresses reporters at a COVID-19 update Thursday

Gov. Larry Hogan announced that starting Thursday, April 1, all Marylanders 16 and older can begin registering for a COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site.

Hogan stressed that Marylanders in Phase 1 and Phase 2 will continue to be prioritized as more people become eligible. All Marylanders 16 and older become eligible starting April 27.

The announcement comes as more contagious variants spread across the state. Hogan said there are 677 known cases of variants in Maryland and that 86% of those cases are B.1.1.7., a variant from the UK.

“We are quite literally in a race between these variants and the vaccines,” Hogan said in an afternoon news conference.

The state’s positivity rate also is on the rise, passing 5% this week. Hogan believes this rise is not related to reopenings.

“Our indications are that these variants are much more contagious. That's why it's spreading across the country,” he said.

But health officials, including CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, warn that state reopenings may be leading to a fourth surge of the virus.

Hogan also announced that local health officials will be required to submit vaccine equity plans to the state health department by Monday, April 5.

Sarah Y. Kim is WYPR’s health and housing reporter. Kim is WYPR's Report for America corps member, and Anthony Brandon Fellow. Kim joined WYPR as a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. Now in her second year as an RFA corps member, Kim is based in Baltimore City.