It’s intended to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan
Annapolis, Md (KM) A new initiative is underway to get the COVID-19 vaccine to all Marylanders who want it. During his news conference on Wednesday in Annapolis, Governor Larry Hogan said he’s beginning “No Arm Left Behind.” He says it’s a series of initiatives ” which will involve every state agency, private industry in every demographic in an all hands on deck effort to make sure that every Marylander who wants a vaccine can get access to one as quickly as possible.”
Hogan announced that there have been over four-million vaccinations in Maryland, but more needs to be done to defeat the coronavirus.
The Governor said the effort will continue vaccinating senior citizens who are most susceptible to COVID-19. “This will include redoubling our efforts to reach that remaining 18% of Maryland seniors by going county by county, zip code by zip code, to get every senior vaccinated,” he said.
Vaccination clinics will continue to be conducted at every nursing home, assisted living and long term care facility, Hogan says clinics will be set up at other senior housing facilities around Maryland. He’s also said senior centers all over Maryland will host vaccination clinics through partnerships with Rite Aid, Safeway and Giant pharmacies. “Today, I signed an executive order to authorize the reopening of senior centers across the state for safe, in-person activities,”: the Governor says.
The “No Arm Left Behind” also includes college students. “And we will be partnering with 42 public and private universities, colleges and community colleges on a public information, social media and an ad campaign to ensure that we get our students vaccinated,” Governor Hogan said.
As part of that, a three-day a week clinic will be set up at Morgan State University for students, faculty, staff and the broader community beginning on April 30th. Bowie State University will also be the site of a clinic on April 26th.
“Another critical component of this ‘No Arm Left Behind’ initiative will be partnering with some of the largest employers in the state of Maryland, including Southwest Airlines, Exelon, COMCAST, Amazon and many others to help ensure that their workforces are being vaccinated as expeditiously as possible,” said Hogan.
Part of the job of getting everyone vaccinated includes reaching out to the underserved populations. “The Vaccine Equity Task Force is expanding the use of mobile clinics to vaccinate people in hard to reach areas,” Governor Hogan said. “They have now conducted more than 50 different clinics with targeted populations.”
During the news conference, Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead with the National Guard, who heads the Maryland Vaccine Equity Task Force, says efforts to reach the underserved, particularly minorities, seems to be working. “As of April 17th, Maryland’s state to state ranking designates the state as fifth in the nation for vaccinating Black Americans. It’s among states for vaccinating the state’s percentage of Asian population, and it’s 13th among states for vaccinating the state’s share of the Hispanic population,” she said.
The Governor also announced that the state’s call center has already taken 1.5-million calls answering questions and making appointments to receive the vaccine. The number to call is 1-855-MD-COVAX. The phone line is open seven day a week form 7:00 AM until 10:00 PM.
By Kevin McManus