Bethesda, MD – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jon Baron called on Governor Hogan to require COVID vaccination or weekly testing for all Maryland public school students aged 16+, and to require vaccination for all school staff. Baron’s call follows today’s announcement by the FDA that the agency has given full approval to the Pfizer vaccine for all individuals 16 and older.
After a sharp drop in COVID illness during the spring, Maryland has seen an alarming rise in COVID hospitalizations and deaths since mid-July. Nearly 700 Marylanders are currently hospitalized with COVID.
“At this time, almost all COVID hospitalizations and deaths are preventable. Vaccines are extremely effective at preventing serious illness or death from this disease. We should use every tool at our disposal to get more Marylanders vaccinated,” Baron said. “Currently just over half of 12-17 year-old Marylanders are vaccinated, and their low vaccination rate puts our youngest school children – who can’t yet be vaccinated – and immunocompromised patients at risk. The bottom line: vaccines save lives, so let’s do what works.”
Baron’s statement builds on the comprehensive proposal he announced last week to increase vaccination rates in MD. The proposal calls for requiring all workers in indoor health care settings to be vaccinated, requiring all Maryland state employees and contractors to be vaccinated or receive weekly testing, and establishing pop-up vaccine clinics at all public middle and high schools in the state to spur vaccination with parental consent.
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