By RACHEL LOGAN Capital News Service
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Over two weeks into vaccine eligibility for 5- to 11-year-olds, all local school and health systems in Maryland have agreed to facilitate clinics, and vaccination rates are climbing.
Gov. Larry Hogan, R, announced Nov. 3 that children 5 to 11 years old could receive vaccinations. State Secretary of Health Dennis Schrader estimated there are 518,000 children in Maryland that age.
Nearly 80,000 children, or 15% of those in that age group, have gotten their first doses, according to Maryland Department of Health data as of Friday. Vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds made up 44% of all vaccinations statewide since Nov. 3.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY RANKS HIGHEST
Montgomery County hit the ground running with clinics starting Nov. 4, as well as 12 clinics at schools the first weekend smaller kids were eligible -- Nov. 6 and 7 -- according to the county's Department of Health and Human Services public information officer Mary Anderson.
Montgomery County increased its seven-day daily average for first doses of all ages to over 2,500, an increase of 325%, from the week before eligibility opened to the first week after, according to the latest available Maryland Department of Health data on Nov. 17.