Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) continues to expand its efforts to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the state’s aging and vulnerable populations. MDH is focused on making it easier for older and vulnerable adults to get vaccinated by delivering doses to them directly through their communities and existing health care providers.
“Vaccinating aging and vulnerable Marylanders in Phase 1 is one of our highest priorities,” said Acting MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “We plan to continue delivering vaccines directly to older and vulnerable adults until we have made a vaccine available to all members of these populations who want one.”
Seventeen primary care practices in the state will each receive 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week to provide to their aging patients. The seventeen practices are spread out across Maryland and a diverse range of patient populations. The effort will serve as a pilot to test the idea of using primary care practices as points of delivery for older Marylanders and to validate the providers’ ability to more broadly distribute vaccines. MDH intends to expand the primary care program in the near future to include dozens more primary care practices in every corner of Maryland.
MDH and Rite Aid will partner with the Maryland Department of Disabilities this week and next to provide 600 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Maryland residents with developmental disabilities residing in Baltimore City, Prince George’s, Harford, and Baltimore counties. In the coming weeks, the program will increase its capacity to 800 doses per week and expand to additional regions.
Furthermore, an arrangement between MDH, the Maryland Department of Aging, Giant, and MedStar Health has enabled the delivery of approximately 2,200 doses of COVID-19 vaccine for each of the past three weeks to residents of nearly 100 independent and assisted living facilities across the state. The facilities served by the programs were not covered by other programs, such as the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. Nearly 400 other facilities will be supported with on-site vaccine clinics under this arrangement in the next few weeks.
Additional programs for direct delivery of vaccines to older Marylanders are expected to begin by early April.
“We want to meet vulnerable Marylanders where they are,” continued Schrader. “As our supply of vaccines provided by the federal government begins to increase, we will find the most efficient ways to ensure that they reach the arms of those who need them the most.”