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First federally operated mobile vaccination units in U.S. to open in Maryland

Virus Outbreak Vaccine
Posted at 12:12 PM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 12:12:52-04

MARYLAND  — The nation’s first federally operated mobile COVID-19 vaccination units will soon roll through Eastern Maryland.

The two mobile sites will provide access to COVID-19 vaccinations for thousands of Marylanders who live in remote or otherwise underserved areas in eight eastern Maryland counties.

Targeted to people who are socially vulnerable or live in remote areas, appointments will be booked through the health department in the county of residence. The mobile units are funded and operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and will use trained vaccinators and clinical staff from county, state and federal agencies.

Here’s how the centers are expected to work:

  • The 32-foot trailers are essentially rolling clinics with cold storage for vaccine doses, storage for administrative materials, staff office space and generators. The units have pop-out awnings and dividers to use for patient spaces. People receive their vaccine on one side of the trailer and move to the opposite side for observation.
  • Each MVU is designed to provide a minimum of 250 doses per day. The MVUs are expected to remain in one location for at least a few days at a time.
  • Schedules will vary by location and the needs of the people being served.

“From the start, our team has worked with the federal government to provide vaccine equity for all Marylanders,” said Acting Maryland Department of Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “We’re excited to be the first state in the nation to include a collaboration with FEMA in our mobile vaccination efforts, and we are pleased to offer Marylanders near the path of these units the opportunity to get vaccinated close to home.”

The mobile vaccine mission is specifically targeting the following groups:

  • Workers in the manufacturing and food processing plants in eastern Maryland, specifically those working in eastern Maryland’s many poultry processing plants.
  • Minority and migrant populations, and those who may lack adequate transportation to commute to and from a standstill vaccination site outside of their community or place of work.
  • Those living in the small towns and enclaves in eastern Maryland. The mobile vaccine mission will allow for a more streamlined operation to vaccinate those who need it most in this area.

The mobile sites join a statewide network of mass vaccination sites and a growing list of other providers where eligible Marylanders can receive COVID-19 vaccines, including pharmacies, hospitals, federally qualified health centers, and doctors’ offices.

To learn more about vaccinations in Maryland, visit covidlink.Maryland.gov/content/vaccine/GoVax.