ANNAPOLIS — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced several new initiatives Wednesday to encourage more people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, such as opening vaccination clinics at senior centers, reserving appointments for college students and allowing walk-ins at mass vaccination sites.
The initiatives are part of a new program, “No Arm Left Behind,” aiming to build on the state’s recent milestone of administering more than four million vaccine doses.
“We still have a ways to go before we can declare, ‘mission accomplished,’” Hogan said during a press briefing at the State House in Annapolis.
To reach residents who still haven’t been vaccinated, the state will partner with Safeway, Rite Aid and Giant pharmacies to hold clinics at senior centers.
Hogan also said the state will partner with large employers such as Southwest Airlines, Exelon, Comcast and Amazon to vaccinate their workers.
People willing to receive a vaccine can receive one without an appointment starting Thursday at the Greenbelt Metro station in Prince George’s County, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis and the Baltimore Convention Center.
Brig. Gen. Janeen Birckhead, who manages the state’s equity task force, said two of Maryland’s historically Black colleges and universities will operate vaccination clinics for those students.
Bowie State University will hold a COVID-19 town hall from 1-3 p.m. Monday and then administer about 150 Pfizer doses for students from 3-4 p.m.
Morgan State University in Baltimore will host a three-day walk-up clinic starting April 30 with about 390 Pfizer doses. Birckhead said students, faculty and those who reside in the city can receive a vaccine.
Those who receive the Pfizer vaccine usually receive a second dose about three weeks later.
The last day of classes is May 11 for Bowie State and May 15 for Morgan State.
After the press briefing, Birckhead said students such as graduating seniors and others going home out of state will be able to receive a second dose from participating providers by showing their vaccination cards. A second appointment plans to be scheduled for students who receive the first dose.
In the next month, she said mobile vaccination units will travel to hard-to-reach areas in 11 counties to administer the vaccine.
“While we feel hopeful it is not time to celebrate just yet, the task force will continue to partner with a variety of organizations … to defeat this virus through equity,” she said.
Meanwhile, Hogan signed an executive order Wednesday to allow in-person activities to resume at senior citizen centers. He said more than 82% of residents 65 and older have received a vaccine.
According to the state health department website, about 68% of those 60 and older received the two-dose vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna and the one-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson.
As of Wednesday, the department reports at https://coronavirus,maryland.gov that none of the 23 counties and Baltimore City are above 40% with people 16 and older fully vaccinated. Talbot County recorded the highest percentage at 38.6%.
As of Wednesday, the state Department of Health reported an increase of 1,205 confirmed cases for a statewide total of nearly 439,000. Another 13 people died from the virus for 8,419.
The statewide positivity rate remains at 5.28%.
Prince George’s County continues to lead the state with the most confirmed cases at 81,537. However, the positivity rate sits slightly below the state average at 5.2%.