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Health Officials Urge Vaccination & Boosters As COVID-19 Rate Rises, Omicron Arrives In Maryland

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- With COVID-19 cases on the rise once again in Maryland, families are rolling up their sleeves to make sure they're protected.

"It feels really good to have our whole family vaccinated," said Alison Sullivan

"It really just felt like a pinch," said her daughter, fifth-grader Maeve Sullivan. "It was easy and quick and I would recommend it."

More than 89% of Maryland adults have at least one dose of the vaccine, and the state's averaging about 27,000 shots a day, including boosters.

A recent study finds booster shots significantly strengthen the body's immune response against covid, which could be critical against the Omicron variant now confirmed in Maryland.

"Most people who are coming to the hospital are still asking for boosters which is a good thing," said Dr. Jana Lovell, with Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Doctors say right now it's a race between the vaccine and the variant. And they say more people need to get in line for the shot to help stop the spread.

"Vaccination remains our strongest tool in this fight against the pandemic," said Dr. Cameron Webb with the White House COVID-19 response team.

Doctor's also suggest getting tested, wearing a mask and social distancing, especially ahead of the holidays.

"I do feel safer and we still wear our masks," said parent John Sullivan.

"for us, I feel like having that extra protection, god forbid any of us got covid, I would feel having that vaccination will help us get through it and we won't end up going to the hospital," said Alison Sullivan

A recent study finds booster shots significantly strengthen the body's immune response against covid...Which could be critical against omicron.

The state health department said Delta remains the dominant variant and represents more than 99% of circulating strains in Maryland and nationwide.

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