Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan spent part of his Thursday in Prince George’s County with a focus on reaching those who still haven’t received the coronavirus vaccine.
As of Thursday, about 2.5 million Marylanders are fully vaccinated and 65.4% of residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of the two-shot Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Hogan’s first stop was FedEx Field in Landover, home of the Washington Football Team, to thank faith and community leaders for distributing and administering vaccines to thousands of Marylanders.
“I want to sincerely thank each and every one of you … for joining us and leading by example and helping to accomplish this important mission,” he said.
Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford joined Hogan to praise community leaders who hosted clinics, distributed flyers and talked with residents on the importance of getting vaccinated.
Rutherford traveled with a state Equity Task Force to work with local health and elected officials to set up clinics throughout the state, especially in Prince George’s, which has been “among the hardest-hit when it came to hospitalizations and deaths.”
Community leaders such as Farhana Shah, representing the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, said it takes one-on-one or small group conversations to encourage people who still aren’t vaccinated.
“Data is what’s powerful to convince people the vaccine works,” said Shah, a department chair in Montgomery County public schools. “I believe it is just meeting with those people and sharing the results of the vaccine. I wouldn’t be out here if I wasn’t 100% vaccinated.”
Some businesses are offering incentives to convince those who remain unvaccinated.
After leaving FedEx Field, Hogan traveled about 18 miles south for lunch at Ledo Pizza in Oxon Hill to promote the restaurant’s vaccine initiative. Those who register for vaccination at www.ledo4vaccines.com will receive a free eight-inch cheese pizza at Ledo restaurants in Maryland through June 30.
The restaurant aims to give away up to 10,000 pizzas.
“I love Ledo Pizza. This is, like, the greatest day of my life,” Hogan said outside the restaurant. “Our efforts right now [are] to get those last group of folks vaccinated. Any kind of incentive we can do to get people to get out and get their shots is going to help reach that goal to get rid of the masks and help things get back to normal.”