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'No arm left behind' | Maryland volunteers go door-to-door to encourage vaccination

The Community COVID-19 Vaccination Project targets areas with low vaccination rates.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has launched the Community COVID-19 Vaccination Project. It's a community-based, door-to-door canvassing effort to directly engage Marylanders living in areas with low vaccination rates. Beginning in mid-September, canvassing will continue through June 2022, health officials said.

“We have made tremendous progress in vaccinating Marylanders against COVID-19, yet we understand that some unvaccinated residents still need more information,” MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader said in a release. “By going door-to-door and sharing information, we can help more Marylanders make an informed decision about getting vaccinated as we continue our efforts to ensure there is no arm left behind.”

Funded through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cooperative agreement, the Community COVID-19 Vaccination Project supports broad-based vaccine distribution to ensure greater vaccine equity and access to those disproportionately affected by COVID-19. MDH’s Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (MHHD) has awarded $2 million to 20 community-based organizations to provide hard-to-reach Marylanders with enhanced access to vaccines, testing and health education resources.

Volunteers will conduct door-to-door visits in areas identified through ZIP code analysis as having low vaccination rates and provide information about local vaccination locations and testing, officials said. 

“We’re urging everyone in these most vulnerable communities to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated,” said MHHD Deputy Director Dr. Mark Martin. “These door-to-door efforts are important in generating awareness, addressing vaccine hesitancy through education and saving lives.”

RELATED: Hogan: Maryland COVID case rate 2nd-lowest in the country

Last week, Gov. Larry Hogan announced health officials in the state have administered more than 7.6 million COVID-19 vaccines in total so far, while 80% of eligible Marylanders over age 12 have received at least one dose, while 95% of Marylanders over age 65 have gotten at least their first shot. 

RELATED: Rapid COVID-19 tests expected to arrive at Maryland's largest school district this week

RELATED: Montgomery County Public School Board passes vaccine mandate for all employees

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