ABOUT THE TASK FORCE
The Maryland Vaccine Equity Task Force (VETF), led by Maryland National Guard Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead, will work with the state’s 24 local health departments to focus COVID-19 vaccination efforts on underserved, vulnerable, and hard-to-reach populations to ensure the equitable delivery of vaccines.
The task force will leverage resources with close ties to key communities, including the state’s Vaccine Advisory Group, the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, the state’s network of Medicaid providers, and additional public sector and community partners.
In addition to evaluating the county plans and targeting resources at equity-focused vaccination efforts, the task force will serve as a clearinghouse for proposals and requests from nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations seeking to serve vulnerable populations.
- Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead, Maryland National Guard
- Office of Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford
- Maryland Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Director Dr. Noel Brathwaite
- Maryland Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Deputy Director Dr. Mark Martin
- Assistant Medicaid Director Tricia Roddy
Missions in Progress
revised March 29, 2021
Reid Temple A.M.E. Church, Prince George’s County
On February 12, following a vaccine confidence event led by Lt. Governor Rutherford, General Birckhead, and church leadership, eligible community members received vaccinations through a partnership with Doctors Community Hospital. View the photos.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Baltimore City
The VETF partnered with Bishop Bruce Lewandowski and John Hopkins Medical Institute to host a clinic at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church. The clinic administered 176 vaccines on February 26. View the storyboard.
New Shiloh Baptist Church, Baltimore City
The VETF coordinated the New Shiloh Baptist Church clinic on February 27 with support from Safeway. 64 vaccinations were administered February 27, with 250 doses administered at a follow-up clinic on March 6. View the storyboard.
First Baptist Church of Glenarden, Prince George’s County
The VETF is partnering 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. 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.
First Baptist Church of Highland Park, Prince George’s County
The vaccination clinic at First Baptist Church of Highland Park in Prince George’s County, facilitated in partnership with Safeway, provided 200 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, March 18. Next week, the clinic anticipates administering 500 vaccines to the community. See the photo release.
Mobile Vaccination Clinics, Western Maryland and Eastern Shore
The VETF will launch mobile clinics in hard-to-reach areas utilizing mobile units provided by the University of Maryland School of Nursing. These units will be deployed and staffed by the Maryland National Guard. Each mobile vaccine bus has the versatility to be used as a walk-in clinic or a drive-up site to administer between 60 to 160 vaccines per mission. Individuals will have the option of receiving the vaccine inside the wellness bus or staying in their car and vaccinators administering the vaccine there. The technology capabilities of the buses allow for registering and scheduling follow up appointments, making this a one-stop shop to getting shots in arms at otherwise hard-to-reach locations across Maryland.
Mobile Education Unit, Prince George’s County
The Maryland Department of Health launched a “sound truck” outreach effort to provide information about COVID-19 prevention and vaccination in targeted ZIP codes in Prince George’s County. The truck, outfitted with COVID-19 informational banners, broadcast prevention and vaccination messages from its public-address system in Spanish and English. Volunteers distributed informational flyers in Spanish and English and provided free face masks at designated stops along the route. See the news coverage from WUSA9.
Public Service Announcements
Maryland’s GoVAX campaign features a growing list of ambassadors and trusted leaders who share their personal stories about getting vaccinated to encourage fellow Marylanders to do the same. Ambassadors include 20th U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, UMBC President Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, Reverend Matthew Watley of Kingdom Fellowship AME Church, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, and Coppin State University Men’s Basketball Coach and former NBA player Juan Dixon.
Additional GoVAX Outreach
- Community canvassing and distribution of informational materials and face masks in targeted neighborhoods
- Outreach through community establishments, including barber shops and salons, laundromats, bus shelters, transit stops, testing sites, health centers, and retail stores, and HBCUs
- Virtual town halls, including two with Radio One and one with Radio Tiempo (in Spanish) in the third and fourth weeks of March
- Partnerships with BGE and Maryland counties to provide informational materials in water and utility bills
IN THE NEWS
Associated Press: Maryland announces plan for equitable vaccine distribution
Washington Informer: First Baptist Church of Glenarden Joins the Fight Against COVID
Capital Gazette: Maryland Vaccine Equity Task Force clinic opens in Upper Marlboro