BALTIMORE — Mayor Brandon Scott wrote to Johnson & Johnson on Monday asking if 300,000 doses of their vaccine that is manufactured here, could stay in the city.
“This is about doing what’s right and what’s needed for the city,” Scott said. “To effectively combat COVID-19, we need a greater supply of vaccine.”
With the company’s help, Scott said the city could improve its efforts to distribute the vaccine swiftly and equitably, which he admitted has been a struggle due to a limited supply.
He said “inadequate” supplies of the vaccine has limited the city to vaccinating 44,000 people. Scott added less than four percent has been African Americans.
“That’s just unacceptable,” Scott said. “I believe that through this proposed partnership, Johnson & Johnson and Baltimore City can show a commitment to equity and efficiency in vaccine distribution in a way that's unprecedented across the U.S.”
Scott proposed that, if the deal is approved, he would establish a subcommittee of the city's vaccine distribution task force.
The subcommittee would be made up of Johnson & Johnson representatives, city health officials, health experts and community leaders and would determine the best model for allocation.
Scott thanked Johnson & Johnson for selecting Emergent Bio Solutions to manufacture the life-saving vaccine in Baltimore City.
“What we are hopeful for is that Johnson & Johnson will recognize they are making this vaccine here in Baltimore and it would be a shame if the Baltimoreans didn’t directly benefit from it.”
Governor Larry Hogan addressed the mayor’s idea, while he toured the facility on Monday.
“I think it's a nice try. Everybody would like to jump to the front of the line, but it's not going to happen,” Gov. Hogan said. “Neither the states or local government or anybody else or any other countries will get around the process. The federal government is going to do that directly."
As Mayor, my highest priority is keeping Baltimoreans healthy and safe.— Brandon M. Scott (@MayorBMScott) February 8, 2021
Today, I sent a proposal to @JNJGlobalHealth requesting partnership to directly purchase 300,000 vaccines manufactured here in Baltimore and ensure equitable vaccine distribution. Full letter below. pic.twitter.com/X68jR80y8F