Gov. Larry Hogan’s vaccine push last Friday in Ocean City did not generate a significant number of shots — at least not the medical kind — but the covid vaccination numbers are steadily increasing as more clinics open up across the county.

Travis Brown, the public affairs officer for the Worcester County Health Department, said 14 people were vaccinated during the launch of Hogan’s GoVAX Summer Tour last Friday at Seacrets on 49th Street. The campaign brings mobile clinics and vaccine outreach to cultural and community events, bars and breweries, and popular destinations across the state.

At the May 28 event, free covid-19 vaccines were available for two hours in the restaurant’s distillery parking lot and everyone who participated was eligible to receive a voucher for savings on food, drinks or merchandise.

And while the specific event did not significantly bump up the county’s vaccine numbers, Brown said the stats have been climbing throughout the month of May as more clinics are opened countywide.

Sarah Yonker, the director of marketing for Atlantic General Hospital, said hospital staff members also vaccinated 10 people on the Boardwalk last Friday.

Also last week, the hospital worked with the health department for second dose clinics for individuals who received their first doses at the Ocean City convention center in early May. She said the clinics were geared toward workers in the service industry.

Yonker also pointed out the importance of getting vaccinated to keep the positivity rates down, especially with more people coming in to Ocean City for the summer and the easing of mask mandates in many places.

“We have done a great job in Worcester County getting our local residents vaccinated. This may be our best defense, and we continue to encourage individuals to get vaccinated,” she said. “At Atlantic General Hospital and Health System, as with all healthcare facilities in the state of Maryland, we still have a mask mandate and screening in place.”

According to numbers from the health department, Worcester County’s death rate from covid also jumped up during the last week. After teetering at 99 for weeks, a total of 106 deaths were recorded as of Thursday.

This story appeared in the printed version of Ocean City Today on June 4, 2021.

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