BALTIMORE — New mobile vaccination clinics will travel to get the shots to Baltimore's older residents.
Mayor Brandon Scott and Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa joined partners from MedStar Health, Lifebridge Health, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing to announce a mobile vaccination and outreach strategy targeting older adults in Baltimore City.
The new strategy will feature mobile response teams that will go directly to independent living facilities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes around Baltimore to provide vaccinations to older adults in eligible Priority Groups, for whom transportation or mobility issues may make a centralized mass vaccination location difficult to reach.
The new mobile outreach strategy follows the Maryland Department of Health’s guidance to prioritize senior buildings with the highest density of older residents age 65 and above.
The prioritization criteria also includes going where there are recent COVID-19 outbreaks and to neighborhoods with low vaccination rates.
Mobile response teams will be deployed to congregate settings where individuals at high risk for COVID-19 live, such as senior housing, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes, as well as homeless shelters and group homes for individuals with disabilities.
To ensure residents are aware of the vaccination clinics and to have the opportunity to engage with Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) staff and ask questions, Community Health Workers will visit the mobile vaccination sites beforehand to conduct outreach and help residents register for appointments up to one week in advance.
A scheduling form will be sent to independent living facilities to gauge interest in mobile clinics slated for the next two months. Scheduling will be confirmed weekly based on vaccine supply.
In the coming weeks, BCHD will deploy a public dashboard highlighting mobile clinics around Baltimore.
The first mobile clinic took place on January 29 at Cherry Hill Senior Homes. BCHD and partners are working to rapidly scale up mobile efforts, with a goal of deploying up to 20 mobile teams at a time by mid summer.