Robin McClain has decorated stylish birthday and other special occasion cakes since 1987 including a cake for civil rights icon Rosa Parks to mark her 77th birthday.
And McClain, 66, plans to take the COVID-19 vaccine so that the self-employed entrepreneur can continue operations for “Sweet Bobbies Cake Creations” for several years to come.
McClain, who contracted COVID-19 last year from her younger sister who lives with her, can sign up to take the vaccine as a Marylander age 65 and older.
“I tell people these are different times we are living in now,” she said from her Cheverly home Monday, Jan. 18 while working on a cake for Iota Phi Theta Fraternity. “I believe in and trust President-elect [Joe] Biden and I also trust the doctors. They wouldn’t put themselves and their families at risk in taking the vaccine themselves.”
One of the main problems public and health officials continue to have is the limited number of doses dispersed from the federal government to the states and then to the counties.
With a new administration taking over the White House on Jan. 20, there’s optimism that a greater amount of vaccines will be made available for those like McClain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of Friday, Jan. 15, Americans have received about 12 million out of the 31 million doses of the two vaccines administered by Moderna and Pfizer.
“All that’s getting ready to change,” said Prince George’s Chief Health Officer Ernest Carter. “Everybody’s excited about the new administration and the way they’re going to approach it. You’ll see that reflected in how we operate because it trickles down.”
Carter joined County Executive Angela Alsobrooks during a press conference Tuesday, Jan. 19 to provide a COVID-19 update.
Alsobrooks announced COVID-19 vaccination appointments are all booked through Feb. 9.
Carter said at least 30 percent of those who scheduled an appointment reside in neighboring Montgomery County and other jurisdictions. Some of them either work or own property in Prince George’s.
To ensure more Prince George’s residents receive the vaccine after Feb. 9, preregistration will be required at the county’s online vaccination portal.
The county will open the Wayne K. Curry Sports and Learning Complex in Landover on Thursday, Jan. 21 to begin vaccinations.
To expand access for vaccinations, the Southern Technology Regional and Recreation Complex in Fort Washington will open next.
As of Sunday, Jan. 17, the county continues to have the most confirmed cases in Maryland with 63,316. Nearly 1,145 people have died from the virus.
“This has been an unbelievably difficult time,” Alsobrooks said. “We need to do everything we can as a community to limit the spread of COVID-19.”
The county continues to operate in the first two parts of phase one which include seniors 75 and older, health care workers, residents and staff of nursing homes and teachers and educators.
State officials moved up the vaccination date of Phase 1C from March to next week. That group includes public safety and health workers not covered in phase 1A, grocery store employees, public transit workers and adults ages 65 to 74.
“I think more of us need to take it than not,” McClain said. “I lost my brother, my aunt and uncle in New Orleans and two cousins in Annapolis. That’s not counting the many friends I’ve lost to COVID-19. This virus is no joke.”