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As COVID-19 Positivity Rate Rises Among The Young, Back-To-School Vaccine Clinic Brings Doses To West Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Seventeen-year-old Janiya Broaddus is ready for her senior year of high school. She came to a back-to-school vaccination clinic at the Bon Secours Community Works building in West Baltimore and told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren she is ready to get her first vaccine.

"It's moreso for yourself, so I feel like if you want to protect yourself, you should go get it," Broaddus said.

In the 21223 West Baltimore zip code where the event took place, only 32% of people are fully vaccinated.

"We want to make sure that everyone is safe when they go back to school, is safe at home with their families and safe also when they go back to work," said Harry Spikes, the executive director of Bon Secours Community Works. People also got fresh produce, backpacks and other school supplies.

Kaiser Permanente partnered for the clinic. "We've got to go to to community centers like this. We've got to make sure they have the vaccine available so we can all protect our community and get back to what we love and what we do," said Dr. Tinisha Cheatham with Kaiser Permanente.

As COVID-19 cases rise across the state, Baltimore County's executive told CNN about his concerns Thursday morning.

"We're seeing an alarming increase in our case rates and our hospitalizations, and that's why we declared a new state of emergency," Johnny Olszewski said. He noted there was still plenty of hospital bed capacity.

The positivity rate among those 35 and younger is 36% higher than for all older Marylanders.

Anne Arundel County's executive expressed his frustration at the spread of the Delta variant and people not wearing masks indoors or getting vaccinated.

"This is not a political issue. It shouldn't be. It should never have been, and damn it, we have to stop making it one," Pittman said during an online coronavirus Q&A.

Both he and the county's health officer have called for universal masking in schools.

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