Notes From Governor Hogan’s Vaccine Equity Briefing
The notes consist of live tweets by Governor Hogan’s communication director, Mike Ricci.
• The governor, the lieutenant governor, and Gen. Birckhead are providing an update on #COVID19 vaccine equity.
2. Maryland was one of the first states to publish racial data for vaccinations, to ensure transparency in vaccine equity. We post that every morning on our dashboard at coronavirus.maryland.gov
3. Maryland stood up a Vaccine Equity Task Force, and asked each county to appoint a liaision to General Birckhead.
4. In January, Maryland launched an expansive statewide vaccine confidence campaign.
5. To close the digital divide, Maryland launched a COVID-19 Vaccination Support Center, with call center advocates available 7 days a week ago, 7a to 10p.
6. The Biden administration’s plan for vaccine equity calls for direct allocations to community health centers, and each week, state health officials direct vaccines to Federally Qualified Health Centers.
7. Our pharmacy partners set aside dedicated allocations each week for clinics for vulnerable communities.
Walmart, for example, is holding closed clinics for Prince George’s County residents.
8. We are conducting text-based outreach to book priority vaccine appointments for Prince George’s County residents.
9. General Birckhead is presenting her Vaccine Equity Operations Plan.
The Vaccine Equity Task Force is partnering with a wide range of public and private entities who all share the same goal of every Marylander having access to vaccines.
10a. Historic data shows that vulnerable, underserved, and hard-to-reach communities face both structural and informational barriers to vaccine access.
10b. Growing disparities in these communities make it
necessary to take intentional – concrete steps to mitigate the barriers and improve the rate of “vaccine in arms” in vulnerable populations.
11. This is a partner-focused effort with community-based solutions. The process is a collaborative effort with the federal government, the Maryland Department of Health, local health departments, community organizations, both public and private organizations.
12. As proposals come in from the community, the Vaccine
Equity Task Force support staff will conduct an initial review for supportability, assessing each on multiple criteria, including disparities in vaccine distribution, and capabilities of partners.
13. The state has worked to develop processes which
allow the Vaccine Equity Task Force the flexibility to overcome the technology gaps for appointments. It is not a one-size-fits-all – this is why an assessment of each potential clinic site is so important.
14. Gen. Birckhead will consider all staff recommendations and balance them with other pending requests/active programs. The task force will also facilitate discussion on vaccine allocation, ensure task force consensus is documented, and subsequently forward for consideration.
15. One example of the task force’s work is the clinic at New Shiloh Baptist Church.
16. Here is the methodology the Vaccine Equity Task Force will use, and some of the factors that will be weighed in the placement of clinics.
Here is the landing page for the Maryland Vaccine Equity Task Force.
And here is General Birckhead’s operations plan:
• General Birckhead, on the National Guard:
“I am so proud of my organization for doing what they do each and every day.”
• As General Birckhead just announced, the Vaccine Equity Task Force will partner with the First Baptist Church in Glenarden and University of Maryland Capital Region Health to establish a large, community focused-vaccination site in Prince George’s County in Upper Marlboro.
• This site has come about thanks to the leadership of Pastor John K. Jenkins, a trusted voice in the Prince George’s County community, who offered the church’s 63,000 square foot family life center to UMMS to dramatically expand the hospital’s vaccination clinic.
• UMMS and First Baptist Church began planning for this site earlier this year, but they have agreed to dramatically accelerate timelines and open in less than two weeks.
• They will also significantly expand vaccination capacity to 900 doses per day, with the possibility of further expansion later in the spring.
• The University of Maryland Capital Region Health will supply vaccine and support personnel, which means no vaccine or other resources will be diverted from the county government or the Six Flags mass vaccination site.
• Pastor Jenkins: “With the support of the state and backing of county leaders, we are honored to be able to host a COVID vaccination site oriented toward the communities that we have been serving for decades and will continue to serve long after the pandemic has passed.”