ANNAPOLIS,MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced the launch of GoVAX Doctors, a new public service announcement (PSA) featuring physicians from across the state who discuss the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and encourage all eligible Marylanders to get vaccinated.GoVAX encourages all Marylanders to protect themselves, their families, and communities by getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible.

“Research shows that people feel more comfortable getting a vaccine when they hear about the experience directly from someone they know and trust,” said Governor Hogan. “Maryland’s doctors play a critical role in our statewide vaccination campaign due to their existing relationships with patients. We are grateful for their efforts to help get shots into the arms of every single Marylander who wants one.”

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The new PSA features six doctors assuring Marylanders that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and encouraging all eligible Marylanders to get vaccinated as soon as they become eligible. Featured doctors include:

  • Dr. Anna Maria Izquierdo-Porrera,geriatric internist, Silver Spring
  • Dr. Prafullkumar Patel,internist, Baltimore
  • Dr. David Tuel,orthopedic surgeon, Oakland
  • Dr. Casey Scott,family medicine specialist, Cambridge and deputy health officer for the Dorchester County Health Department
  • Dr. Nalin Mathur, internist, Waldorf
  • Dr. Joi Johnson-Weaver,board-certified family physician, Columbia

“Doctors are invaluable in helping us reach Marylanders who may be more hesitant to receive the vaccine,” said Secretary Dennis Schrader of the Maryland Department of Health (MDH). “Our GoVAX doctors represent both the communities they serve and the trusted voices that patients seek when making decisions about their health—their role will be increasingly important in helping us make sure all Marylanders get vaccinated over the coming weeks and months.”

GoVax Doctors is among a series ofGoVAX ambassador testimonials and virtual events featuring first responders, religious leaders, sports figures, research scientists, health officers, elected officials, healthcare providers, and others who share their perspectives on getting vaccinated to encourage others to do the same. Among those featured in Maryland’s GoVAX PSAs are:

  • Governor Hogan and First Lady Yumi Hogan
  • Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford
  • 20thU.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams
  • Dr. Jinlene Chan, MDH Acting Deputy Secretary for Public Health
  • UMBC President Dr. Freeman Hrabowski and retired Vice President of T. Rowe Price Jacqueline C. Hrabowski
  • Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk
  • Bishop Walter Scott Thomas of New Psalmist Baptist Church
  • Rev. Matthew Watley and Shawna Watley of Kingdom Fellowship AME Church
  • Dr. Kathleen Page, Associate Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead, Maryland National Guard and head of the Maryland Vaccine Equity Task Force
  • Yvette Rode and Steve Twilley, firefighters/paramedics for the Ocean City Fire Department
  • Angela Alsobrooks, Prince George’s County Executive
  • Coach Juan Dixon, Coppin State University Men’s Basketball Coach
  • State Senator Melony G. Griffith
  • Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, scientific lead for the Coronavirus Vaccines and Immunopathogenesis Team at the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Vaccine Research Center

The new GoVAX Doctors PSA is now airing on WBAL-TV and will begin airing statewide on television beginning Monday, April 26. The PSA will soon debut on social media, with a long-form video interview to be added at covidLINK.maryland.gov. MDH will continue to add GoVAX ambassadors throughout the campaign to encourage all Marylanders to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

To date, Maryland has administered more than 4.22 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly 57% of Maryland adults and over 82% of Marylanders age 65 and older have been vaccinated.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines in Maryland, including GoVAX campaign media, vaccine resources, fact sheets, and frequently asked questions, visit covidLINK.maryland.gov

For the most recent Maryland COVID-19 vaccine data, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.


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