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In Focus: State of Vaccinations in Maryland

Posted at 5:00 AM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-05 18:08:06-04

BALTIMORE — With just 67% of American adults vaccinated with at least one dose by July 4th, the country has missed President Joe Biden's 70% goal by Independence Day.

Within Maryland however, 75% of adults across the state have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.

"We're getting a lot of people vaccinated," says Maryland Secretary of Health Dennis Schrader.

Adding, "We've still got work to do, and we're going to continue to encourage the unvaccinated to please, please, please, across the board, please get vaccinated."

Taking a look at the percentage of Maryland's population that is fully vaccinated - more than 68% of adults are now fully vaccinated, but of the entire population - that number is at 56.8%.

Digging deeper into those numbers - the percentage of Black Marylanders who have gotten the shot is well below the percentage of the Black population in the state.

According to US Census data, 31.1% of the state's population is Black.

But of the first dose vaccinations administered in the state of Maryland, only 23.7% have gone to Black Marylanders.

Health officials, in different capacities, are working to get more community members vaccinated, by both removing barriers to access and by engaging with the people.

Professor Roland Thorpe says, "we should engage the community that we're trying to vaccinate, I think we should go in and we should speak with the community stakeholders."

Kendra McDow at the Baltimore City Health Department, agrees, and has put that idea into action with the Vaccine Peer Ambassadors program.

"They are really hitting the pavement. They're going out doing one on one conversations about the vaccine," she says "They have been qualified and trained in the vaccine science to address questions around vaccine hesitancy or deliberation, and also to connect people to where they can access the vaccine as well."

McDow says they are also considering incentives for the vaccine, like the lottery.

That grand prize was won by a Baltimore City resident, but McDow says the data didn't show any clear evidence that the announcement of the lottery prompted more people to get the vaccine.

To learn more about the vaccine, you can find more information here. You can also sign up to get a vaccine in Maryland here.