BCHD COVID-19 Vaccination Update: January 18th, 2021
*Per Governor Hogan's announcement last week, today Baltimore City has expanded access to COVID-19 Vaccines for those members of the public in Priority Group 1B, which allows for City residents, or those who work in Baltimore, and are adults aged 75 and older, individuals in group home settings, people experiencing homelessness, shelter staff and residents, those in the education sector (specifically K-12 teachers and support staff), child care workers, and those involved with continuity of government operations, to begin signing up to receive their vaccine. Members of Priority Group 1A are still able to sign up for vaccinations as well.
In the first 24 hours of the state's announcement that we would be moving to Phase 1b, we saw a surge of interest from the public to our website, taking all available Baltimore City appointment slots in Maryland's "PrepMod" appointment system. Locally, we are working to increase the number of available appointments by setting up new vaccination sites, and are working with our hospital and clinical partners to achieve these goals, with details to be announced soon.
The sudden influx of interest from the public shows that many Baltimore residents are excited to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. However, the overwhelming of the online appointment system, so early in the vaccination process, has reignited internal concerns about how older adults and members of the public without access to the internet will schedule their vaccination appointments. This current status quo promotes the inequitable distribution of vaccine by basing it on internet access, and the ability to spend time online to "refresh" our website to find an available appointment. We are in the process of accelerating the development of protocols to secure vaccination appointments by phone and other non-internet based methods and will make an announcement soon regarding these details.
Finally, as was announced earlier, the Baltimore City Public Schools System has partnered with John Hopkins Medicine to begin providing vaccines to teachers and support staff already working in school settings. At this time, BCPSS staff should reach out to their supervisors for more details related to signing up for vaccines through this partnership.
Any changes, or updates to the COVID-19 vaccine distribution, will be announced via our social media, as well as on our website coronavirus.baltimorecity.gov/covax.
We appreciate your patience during these challenging times, as we work to vaccinate members of the public safely, efficiently, and equitably.
Community Liaison for Council Districts 7, 8, 9,10
Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships Unit
Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks
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