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Hospital Workers Due For COVID Vaccine

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Credit: Ariel Javellana/Flickr

Gov. Larry Hogan’s deadline for Maryland hospital and nursing home workers to get at least their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine passed Wednesday. And a doctor at one hospital says workers there are close to meeting that goal.

“Because of our exposure risk, we were so happy to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Christine Baker, a family practice physician at Ascension St. Agnes in Catonsville. “I would say almost all of us have been vaccinated.”

Faced with a rising tide of coronavirus cases, Hogan announced last month that all nursing home and hospital employees must receive at least their first dose of the vaccine by September 1 or submit to weekly testing.

In June, Maryland hospitals had formed a consensus to require vaccines for their workers by November.

Then pick up with Dr. Baker saying she doesn’t have specific data yet.

Still, Baker said she doesn’t have specific data yet and that there are a few workers who may not be vaccinated.

“That weighs heavy on what the next steps will be,” Baker said. “That piece is difficult.”

Unvaccinated workers must get weekly testing, but Baker said that can be labor intensive. Hospital workers have to set aside testing booths.

And unlike rapid tests, PCR tests don't come back the same day.

As of Wednesday, 81% of Marylanders 18 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the state health department.

You can hear more from Dr. Baker on WYPR’s Sept. 1 episode of The Daily Dose.