COVID 19 VACCINE DISTRIBUTION INFORMATION

Executive Order on Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to address the disproportionate and severe impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on communities of color and other underserved populations, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Purpose.  The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated severe and pervasive health and social inequities in America.  For instance, people of color experience systemic and structural racism in many facets of our society and are more likely to become sick and die from COVID-19.  The lack of complete data, disaggregated by race and ethnicity, on COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and mortality rates, as well as underlying health and social vulnerabilities, has further hampered efforts to ensure an equitable pandemic response.  Other communities, often obscured in the data, are also disproportionately affected by COVID-19, including sexual and gender minority groups, those living with disabilities, and those living at the margins of our economy.  Observed inequities in rural and Tribal communities, territories, and other geographically isolated communities require a place-based approach to data collection and the response.  Despite increased State and local efforts to address these inequities, COVID-19’s disparate impact on communities of color and other underserved populations remains unrelenting. 

Addressing this devastating toll is both a moral imperative and pragmatic policy.  It is impossible to change the course of the pandemic without tackling it in the hardest-hit communities.  In order to identify and eliminate health and social inequities resulting in disproportionately higher rates of exposure, illness, and death, I am directing a Government-wide effort to address health equity.  The Federal Government must take swift action to prevent and remedy differences in COVID-19 care and outcomes within communities of color and other underserved populations.

Sec. 2.  COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.  There is established within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force (Task Force). 

(a)  Membership.  The Task Force shall consist of the Secretary of HHS; an individual designated by the Secretary of HHS to Chair the Task Force (COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Chair); the heads of such other executive departments, agencies, or offices (agencies) as the Chair may invite; and up to 20 members from sectors outside of the Federal Government appointed by the President. 

(i)    Federal members may designate, to perform the Task Force functions of the member, a senior-level official who is a part of the member’s agency and a full-time officer or employee of the Federal Government. 

(ii)   Nonfederal members shall include individuals with expertise and lived experience relevant to groups suffering disproportionate rates of illness and death in the United States; individuals with expertise and lived experience relevant to equity in public health, health care, education, housing, and community-based services; and any other individuals with expertise the President deems relevant.  Appointments shall be made without regard to political affiliation and shall reflect a diverse set of perspectives.  

(iii)  Members of the Task Force shall serve without compensation for their work on the Task Force, but members shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by law for persons serving intermittently in the Government service (5 U.S.C. 5701-5707).

(iv)   At the direction of the Chair, the Task Force may establish subgroups consisting exclusively of Task Force members or their designees under this section, as appropriate.

(b)  Mission and Work. 

(i)   Consistent with applicable law and as soon as practicable, the Task Force shall provide specific recommendations to the President, through the Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response and Counselor to the President (COVID-19 Response Coordinator), for mitigating the health inequities caused or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and for preventing such inequities in the future.  The recommendations shall include:

(A)  recommendations for how agencies and State, local, Tribal, and territorial officials can best allocate COVID-19 resources, in light of disproportionately high rates of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and mortality in certain communities and disparities in COVID-19 outcomes by race, ethnicity, and other factors, to the extent permitted by law; 

(B)  recommendations for agencies with responsibility for disbursing COVID-19 relief funding regarding how to disburse funds in a manner that advances equity; and

(C)  recommendations for agencies regarding effective, culturally aligned communication, messaging, and outreach to communities of color and other underserved populations.

(ii)  The Task Force shall submit a final report to the COVID-19 Response Coordinator addressing any ongoing health inequities faced by COVID-19 survivors that may merit a public health response, describing the factors that contributed to disparities in COVID-19 outcomes, and recommending actions to combat such disparities in future pandemic responses.

(c)  Data Collection.  To address the data shortfalls identified in section 1 of this order, and consistent with applicable law, the Task Force shall:

(i)   collaborate with the heads of relevant agencies, consistent with the Executive Order entitled “Ensuring a Data-Driven Response to COVID-19 and Future High-Consequence Public Health Threats,” to develop recommendations for expediting data collection for communities of color and other underserved populations and identifying data sources, proxies, or indices that would enable development of short-term targets for pandemic-related actions for such communities and populations; 

(ii)   develop, in collaboration with the heads of relevant agencies, a set of longer-term recommendations to address these data shortfalls and other foundational data challenges, including those relating to data intersectionality, that must be tackled in order to better prepare and respond to future pandemics; and

(iii)  submit the recommendations described in this subsection to the President, through the COVID-19 Response Coordinator.

(d)  External Engagement.  Consistent with the objectives set out in this order and with applicable law, the Task Force may seek the views of health professionals; policy experts; State, local, Tribal, and territorial health officials; faith-based leaders; businesses; health providers; community organizations; those with lived experience with homelessness, incarceration, discrimination, and other relevant issues; and other stakeholders. 

(e)  Administration.  Insofar as the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), may apply to the Task Force, any functions of the President under the Act, except for those in section 6 of the Act, shall be performed by the Secretary of HHS in accordance with the guidelines that have been issued by the Administrator of General Services.  HHS shall provide funding and administrative support for the Task Force to the extent permitted by law and within existing appropriations.  The Chair shall convene regular meetings of the Task Force, determine its agenda, and direct its work.  The Chair shall designate an Executive Director of the Task Force, who shall coordinate the work of the Task Force and head any staff assigned to the Task Force.  

(f)  Termination.  Unless extended by the President, the Task Force shall terminate within 30 days of accomplishing the objectives set forth in this order, including the delivery of the report and recommendations specified in this section, or 2 years from the date of this order, whichever comes first.

Sec. 3.  Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response.  To address the inequities identified in section 1 of this order, it is hereby directed that:

(a)  The Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of HHS, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Secretary of Education, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the heads of all other agencies with authorities or responsibilities relating to the pandemic response and recovery shall, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law:

(i)    consult with the Task Force to strengthen equity data collection, reporting, and use related to COVID-19;

(ii)   assess pandemic response plans and policies to determine whether personal protective equipment, tests, vaccines, therapeutics, and other resources have been or will be allocated equitably, including by considering:

(A)  the disproportionately high rates of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and mortality in certain communities; and

(B)  any barriers that have restricted access to preventive measures, treatment, and other health services for high-risk populations;

(iii)  based on the assessments described in subsection (a)(ii) of this section, modify pandemic response plans and policies to advance equity, with consideration to:

(A)  the effect of proposed policy changes on the distribution of resources to, and access to health care by, communities of color and other underserved populations;

(B)  the effect of proposed policy changes on agencies’ ability to collect, analyze, and report data necessary to monitor and evaluate the impact of pandemic response plans and policies on communities of color and other underserved populations; and

(C)  policy priorities expressed by communities that have suffered disproportionate rates of illness and death as a result of the pandemic;

(iv)   strengthen enforcement of anti-discrimination requirements pertaining to the availability of, and access to, COVID-19 care and treatment; and

(v)    partner with States, localities, Tribes, and territories to explore mechanisms to provide greater assistance to individuals and families experiencing disproportionate economic or health effects from COVID-19, such as by expanding access to food, housing, child care, or income support.

(b)  The Secretary of HHS shall:

(i)   provide recommendations to State, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders on how to facilitate the placement of contact tracers and other workers in communities that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, recruit such workers from those communities, and connect such workers to existing health workforce training programs and other career advancement programs; and

(ii)  conduct an outreach campaign to promote vaccine trust and uptake among communities of color and other underserved populations with higher levels of vaccine mistrust due to discriminatory medical treatment and research, and engage with leaders within those communities.

Sec. 4.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 21, 2021.

Coronavirus 2019 Disease (COVID-19) VACCINE INFO 1-20-2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Coronavirus Vaccine Update 1 of 2,  January 20th

  • Beginning Jan 20th, Baltimore City older adults in Priority Groups 1A and 1B without access to the internet can call the Maryland Access Point at 410-396-CARE (2273) for assistance in registering for the COVID-19 vaccine, as they become available.

  • Older adults aged 65+ with internet access should fill out our vaccine interest form by clicking here! Our MAP Ambassadors will call you back once an appointment becomes available!

Coronavirus Vaccine Update 2 of 2,  January 20th

  • The Maryland Department of Health's COVID-19 website has begun listing Baltimore City healthcare providers administering vaccinations to for both Priority Group 1A and 1B members! Qualifying residents can sign up to request vaccination appointments directly with area healthcare providers when they become available! Visit coronavirus.maryland.gov, click “Find a Vaccine” and use the online search tool to find nearby health providers vaccinating residents.

  • Please note, completing these interest forms does not create an appointment. Due to high demand, your provider will reach out to confirm your appointment, once one is available.  Any questions about the sign-up process should be addressed to individual health care providers via their website. At this time, the Baltimore City Health Department's appointments are still booked through January, and we continue to develop alternative methods to sign up for vaccination that do not require the use of the internet, with details to be shared soon!

-The Baltimore City Health Department

 

Are you a Medical Provider? Click this link to sign up for the Baltimore City Health Department's COVAX provider newsletter!

Members of Priority Group 1A and 1B, click here to learn more about available COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments

BCHD’s plan for allocation and prioritization of the COVID-19 vaccine follows CDC and MDH vaccine prioritization guidance. This plan is interim and might be updated based on changes in MDH vaccine prioritization guidance, changes in conditions of FDA Emergency Use Authorization, FDA Authorization of new COVID-19 vaccines, changes in vaccine supply, or changes in COVID-19 epidemiology.

This website will be updated frequently, so please bookmark this website! Questions or Suggestions about this website and information about COVID-19 vaccines?  Email covidvaccine@baltimorecity.gov!

Jump To:

Allocation of Vaccine
Priority Groups
Side Effects
Frequently Asked Questions
Background
How Do The Vaccines Work?
Differences between the Vaccines
Additional Information
 

Background

  • In December 2020, pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna were granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for COVID-19 vaccines.
  • This means the vaccine has been tested and is considered safe and effective for the general public to take.

How do they work?

  • Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are known as mRNA vaccines. 
  • mRNA vaccines help our body develop immunity against COVID-19. Immunity means that your body will quickly recognize the virus that causes COVID-19 and will protect you from getting sick. 
    • mRNA vaccines do not change your DNA 
    • mRNA vaccines do not cause disease
    • mRNA vaccines are not weakened COVID19 virus
  • The vaccines require 2 separate doses to be fully protected from COVID-19
    • For the Pfizer vaccine, the doses are 21 days apart.
    • For the Moderna vaccine, the doses are 28 days apart.

What are the differences between the Moderna Vaccine and the Pfizer Vaccine?

Side Effects of the COVID-19 Vaccines

 

Frequently Asked Questions About the COVID-19 Vaccines

The Maryland Health Department has created a frequently asked questions website that we encourage residents to visit for additional information. Some of the most frequently asked questions we're received are directly answered below. Check back frequently for updates! 

COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19 

  • There are several different types of vaccines in development, however, none of the COVID-19 vaccines available or currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. The goal for each of these vaccines is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.  

People who have been infected with COVID-19 will still benefit from getting the COVID-19 vaccine 

  • At this time, we do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long. We don’t know exactly how long immunity produced by a vaccination lasts but there is strong evidence to support that immunity due to vaccination lasts longer than natural immunity. The vaccine provides longer and stronger immunity 

Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19 

  • While many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may develop more severe illness or even death. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you are not at increased risk of severe complications. If you get sick, you also may spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you while you are sick. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness. 

Until we’ve reached herd immunity, you still need to wear a mask, avoid large indoor gatherings, and physically distant even after getting the vaccine.  

  • Even though the vaccine is between 94 and 95% effective at reducing severe illness, about 1 in 20 people who receive it will not become immune.  At this time, it is also unclear whether having immunity protects you from carrying the virus and passing it to others. Until a significant portion of the population becomes immune (referred to as “herd immunity”), the precautions must be carefully followed. This will likely take months or even years depending on vaccine uptake. 

Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA 

  • mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and can most easily be described as instructions for how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to disease. 

For questions about COVID-19 Vaccine specifically focused on expecting and new mothers, click here.

Key Principles for Allocation in Baltimore City

During the early weeks of Maryland’s vaccination program, vaccine supply is expected to be limited. With a limited supply of vaccines, healthcare workers, first responders, LTCF residents and people at significantly higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease will need to be sub-prioritized. Multiple factors, informed by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Framework for Equitable Allocation of Vaccine, have been considered for sub-prioritization, such as, but not limited to:  

  • Risk of acquiring infection: People have higher priority if work or live in an environment with a higher risk of transmission due to a circulating virus.
  • Risk of severe morbidity and mortality: People with a high risk of severe outcomes (hospitalization, mechanical ventilation) and death from SARS-COV-2 infection. People who are older or have chronic medical conditions are at higher risk of severe outcomes.
  • Risk of negative societal impact: Inability to maintain services to preserve the functioning of society (i.e. providing health care, emergency response, public safety).
  • Risk of transmitting the virus to others (at work or at home): People have higher priority if there is a higher likelihood of them transmitting the disease to others.  

 

In the setting of limited vaccine supply, BCHD is utilizing ethical principles as outlined by ACIP to guide sub-prioritization decision making. These ethical principles are: 

  • Maximize benefits and minimize harm: Allocation of vaccine to groups or individuals should maximize the benefits of vaccination – reduction in hospitalization and death and reduction in risk of SARS-COV-2 infection, the virus that causes COVID-19. Preserving the functioning of society and minimizing harm to certain individuals and groups should also be considered. 
  • Promotion of justice: All individuals and groups should have equal opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, within priority populations during constrained supply and when the vaccine becomes available to the general population. 
  • Mitigation of health inequity: Certain groups have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 with an increased risk of infection, hospitalization, and death. Socioeconomic marginalization, age distribution, occupation/employment-type, limited access to healthcare are intersecting determinants of health that have resulted in disparate outcomes in hospitalization and death among older adult, Latino/Hispanic, and African American Baltimore City residents. Prioritization of vaccine allocation for certain groups should aim to reduce health disparities and not widen or create disparities. 

BCHD’s sub-prioritization decision making is grounded in the promotion of transparency. Transparency is essential to building and maintaining community trust. Outreach to priority groups throughout the vaccination program is critical. BCHD is engaging community members, collaborating with City government agencies, local health organizations, and health systems to inform focused outreach to priority groups. BCHD is developing a public-facing COVID-19 vaccination data dashboard to show vaccine administration by age, race/ethnicity, neighborhood, and other demographics, and to help inform outreach to priority groups

Priority Groups and Tiers

Following is the sub-prioritization for allocating COVID-19 vaccine in Priority Group 1A, Priority Group 1B, and Priority Group 1C.  Settings and roles within a priority group have equal priority. Vaccine allocation within Priority Groups is tiered due to the initial limited vaccine supply. List order does not imply ranking within a tier. Sub-prioritization was developed in concert with Health Officers from Maryland jurisdictions for near consistent prioritization across the State. Baltimore City Health Department is developing tailored sub-prioritization accounting for specific population factors and priorities for Baltimore City.

PHASE 1

Priority Group 1A

Tier 1

  • Hospital-based healthcare workers
  • Long Term Care Facilities Staff and Residents
  • Acute Living Facilities (ALF) staff and residents

Hospital systems are responsible for vaccine administration to hospital-based healthcare workers. CDC Pharmacy Partnership is coordinating distribution and administration of vaccination of residents and staffs at LTCF, ALF, DDA and RRP facilities.  

Tier 2

  • Populations with frequent exposure to individuals with known COVID-19 and/or providing services essential to the maintenance of public health and healthcare systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Populations that are unable to work from home and unable to control social distancing.
    • Public Health vaccinators and those administering COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1A.
    • Emergency Medical Services/Fire Department
    • COVID-19 testing staff: People providing testing at large community testing centers
    • Lord Baltimore TRI Center staff
    • Convention Center Field Hospital staff
    • Baltimore City Health Department Clinical Services and Syringe program staff
    • Urgent Care Staff
    • Dialysis Center Staff
    • Clinic-based primary care staff (internists, family practice, pediatricians, geriatricians)/Federally Qualified Health Centers
    • Home health staff
    • Correctional facilities/Detention Center health care staff

Tier 3a

  • Populations with risk of exposure to individuals with suspected COVID-19 and/or providing services essential to the maintenance of public health and health care systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Populations unable to work from home; may be unable to control social distancing
    • Law Enforcement: Police Department
    • Law Enforcement: Correctional facility officers, Sheriff’s Office, Department of Public Works Police
    • Dentists
    • Pharmacists
    • Phlebotomists

Tier 3b

  • Populations at risk of exposure to individuals with suspected COVID-19 and/or providing services essential to the maintenance of public health and health care systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • May be able to telework or control social distancing.
    • Baltimore City Health Department LTCF Outreach and Field Services staff
    • Baltimore City Public Schools School Health staff
    • Community Health Workers
    • Home and Community- based visiting program staff
    • Specialty out-patient clinical staff
    • Outpatient surgery centers
    • Student Health staff at non-hospital affiliated academic institutions
    • Laboratory staff
    • Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy
    • Chiropractors
    • Optometrists
    • Audiologists
    • Podiatrists
    • Behavioral Health
    • Nutritionists
    • Morticians
    • Front-line judiciary

Governor Hogan announced on January 5th that all licensed, registered, and certified health care providers qualify for COVID-19 vaccinations in Phase 1A. For the full list of applicable positions, visit the website for the Maryland Code for Health Occupations. 

Priority Group 1B

  • It is well established that certain groups are at significantly higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness.  Older adults  75 years and older have a  more than 30 times higher risk of death from COVID-19 compared to persons 35-54 years old.
    • Adults aged 75 years and older
  • Other attributes that put people at significantly higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness include living and working in congregate settings, experiencing homelessness, living in an area with a high rate of transmission, and working in an industry with a high rate of transmission.
    • People experiencing homelessness
    • Shelter staff and residents
    • High-risk, incarcerated individuals
    • Individuals in group home settings
  •  
  • Other members of Priority Group 1B include
    • Education sector (K-12 Teachers and support staff in schools)
    • Child care workers
    • Continuity of government
       
  • Front-line essential workers hold critical jobs essential to the functioning of society and have potential occupational exposure to individuals with COVID-19.

 

Priority Group 1C:

  • It is well established that older adults are at significantly higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness. More than 40% of COVID-19 hospitalizations were in adults 65 years and older.  
    • Adults 65 – 74 years old
  • Front-line essential workers hold critical jobs essential to the functioning of society and have potential occupational exposure to individuals with COVID-19.
  • A subset of frontline essential workers has the highest risk for potential exposure as they are unable to work from home or control social distancing.
    • Food and agricultural workers (Restaurant workers, Food Pantries, Farmers Markets, Farms)
    • U.S. Postal service workers
    • Grocery/Convenience store workers
    • Public and private transit workers
    • Manufacturing workers

 

Future Phases

PHASE 2

  • Populations with high-risk medical conditions have a significantly increased risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Nearly 90% of persons hospitalized for COVID-19 have an underlying medical condition.
    • Adults 16/18 – 64 years old with high-risk medical conditions
    • High-risk medical conditions include:
      • Cancer
      • Chronic Kidney Disease
      • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
      • Heart conditions
      • Immunocompromised state
      • Obesity/Severe obesity
      • Pregnancy
      • Sickle Cell Disease
      • Smoking
      • Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes
      • Asthma (moderate-severe)
      • Cerebrovascular disease
      • Cystic fibrosis
      • Hypertension or High Blood pressure
      • Immunocompromised conditions (from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, prolonged use of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive medication)
      • Dementia, ALS, other neurologic issues
      • Liver disease
      • Pulmonary disease
      • Thalassemia

 

    • Essential workers not previously in Phase 1A or Phase 1B
      • Transportation & logistics
      • Water and wastewater
      • Foodservice
      • Shelter & housing (e.g. construction)
      • Finance (e.g. banks)
      • IT & Communications
      • Energy
      • Legal (state’s attorneys, public defenders, judiciary)
      • Media
      • Public Safety (e.g., engineers)
      • Social & Human Services (Aging, DSS, Human Services) – field/in-home services

 

 

 

Additional Information

 

Main Menu

 

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.
 
 
Tony Savage
Community Liaison for Council Districts 7, 8, 9,10
Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships Unit
Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks 
410-396-7020 -Office
443-401-3902 Cell
 

MIMA COVID-19 Update No. 23

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January 13, 2020
No. 23

To read this update in other languages, visit MIMA's website 

Para leer este reporte en español, visite la página web de MIMA

Pour lire cette mise à jour en Français, visitez le Site Web de MIMA


Keeping You Informed

As the City of Baltimore continues to respond to COVID-19, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MIMA) is working to ensure that critical information is available in multiple languages. For multilingual up-to-date information regarding the city’s response, follow us on Facebook
Below you will find the English version of MIMA's multilingual biweekly update with information regarding services impacted by COVID-19 and resources available to community members. 

It’s Baltimore versus COVID

Answer the call from MD COVID. Check out this message from Mayor Scott in Spanish, French, Mandarin, Korean and Arabic
BmoreVsCOVID

What's New This Week?

Vaccine roll out is happening in Baltimore City!

The City is in the process of vaccinating priority group 1A, which includes health care workers, first responders, and long-term care facility staff and residents. We will update the City’s official COVID vaccine roll-out website as more info becomes available. See graphics below for more information. 

January Produce & Mixed Box Distribution

January produce and mixed box distribution schedules are now available in English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Korean and Arabic.

Some mixed status families will receive stimulus checks

Households that did not receive CARES Act stimulus payments in the first round may receive payments this time. Previously, households where one family member filed tax returns with an ITIN were ineligible for stimulus payments. According to the IRS FAQ, “if you file jointly with your spouse and only one individual has a valid SSN, the spouse with a valid SSN will receive up to a $600 payment and up to $600 for each qualifying child claimed on the 2019 tax return. If neither has a valid SSN, no payment will be allowed even if their qualifying child has a valid SSN.“ Get more information about the stimulus payments and check to see if you’re eligible for the stimulus payment.

New round of Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. This round of PPP will run through March 31, 2021. Join the Latino Economic Development Center for a webinar on January 14th in English at 12PM and in Spanish at 1:30pm. Register now at ledcmetro.org/ppp_round_2_webinar.
LEDC PPP flyer

 

BGE launching a small business grant program

On January 20, BGE will launch its Energizing Small Business Grants Program as part of its $15 million pledge to assist small businesses with COVID-19 relief and recovery. Small businesses can apply for up to $20,000 in grants. Applications open on January 20th. Find more information here
Flu shot flyer

Don’t forget to get your flu shot!

Visit health.baltimorecity.gov/flu to find locations and to get more information. If you do not have health insurance and live in Baltimore City, text 443-990-0579 to get a flu shot voucher that can be redeemed at a pharmacy. The voucher is not considered a public charge. 

Looking for COVID educational materials in multiple languages? 

The University of Minnesota has been working on a database where you can find information in hundreds of languages crowdsourced from the CDC, local and state governments, and nonprofits from around the country. 

The Eviction Prevention fund is open for applications!

Tenants and landlords are able to apply for funds to keep tenants in their homes. Unlicensed properties will be considered for funds on a case-by-case basis. Visit bmorechildren.com/eviction-prevention to find downloadable paper applications in English, Spanish and French and to find more information on required documents, apply online here

Join MIMA for our Biweekly Update call!

MIMA has been inviting stakeholders and community partners to join a call every other Friday to share information that may benefit community members. Join us on January 15th at 11:30am via Microsoft Teams here or call-in:+1 667-228-6519, code: 192 572 409#. 

Job Opportunities

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service in Baltimore is currently recruiting for several positions. See a list of open positions in Baltimore on the LIRS website.

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MIMA footer  
Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs
100 N. Holliday Street, Room 250
Baltimore, MD  21202
410-396-8056

 
   

Coronavirus 2019 Disease (COVID-19) VACCINE DISTRIBUTION INFO

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Are you a Medical Provider? Click this link to sign up for the Baltimore City Health Department's COVAX provider newsletter!

BCHD’s plan for allocation and prioritization of COVID-19 vaccine follows CDC and MDH vaccine prioritization guidance. This plan is interim and might be updated based on changes in MDH vaccine prioritization guidance, changes in conditions of FDA Emergency Use Authorization, FDA Authorization of new COVID-19 vaccines, changes in vaccine supply, or changes in COVID-19 epidemiology.

This website will be updated frequently, so please bookmark this website! Questions or Suggestions about this website and information about COVID-19 vaccines?  Email covidvaccine@baltimorecity.gov!

Jump To:

Background
How Do The Vaccines Work?
Differences between the Vaccines
Side Effects
Frequently Asked Questions
Allocation of Vaccine
Priority Groups
Additional Information
 

Background

  • In December 2020, pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna were granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for COVID-19 vaccines.
  • This means the vaccine has been tested and is considered safe and effective for the general public to take.

How do they work?

  • Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are known as mRNA vaccines. 
  • mRNA vaccines help our body develop immunity against COVID-19. Immunity means that your body will quickly recognize the virus that causes COVID-19 and will protect you from getting sick. 
    • mRNA vaccines do not change your DNA 
    • mRNA vaccines do not cause disease
    • mRNA vaccines are not weakened COVID19 virus
  • The vaccines require 2 separate doses to be fully protected from COVID-19
    • For the Pfizer vaccine, the doses are 21 days apart.
    • For the Moderna vaccine, the doses are 28 days apart.

What are the differences between the Moderna Vaccine and the Pfizer Vaccine?

 A powerpoint slide. Text reads "The COVID-19 Vaccines Summary" Pfizer vaccine, two doses, 21 days apart, approved for 16 year olds and up, 95% efficacy and reduces the risk of severe illness. Moderna Vaccine, 2 doses, 21 days apart, approved for 18 ye

Side Effects of the COVID-19 Vaccines

  • After getting the vaccine, some may experience side effects. These side effects are common to vaccines, are usually mild to moderate, and usually go away 1-2 days after vaccination. People may experience more side effects after Dose #2.
  • Side effects may include: 
    • Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site
    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Lymph node swelling 
    • Joint pain
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle pain

Frequently Asked Questions About the COVID-19 Vaccines

The Maryland Health Department has created a frequently asked questions website that we encourage residents to visit for additional information. Some of the most frequently asked questions we're received are directly answered below. Check back frequently for updates! 

COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19 

  • There are several different types of vaccines in development, however, none of the COVID-19 vaccines available or currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. The goal for each of these vaccines is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.  

People who have been infected with COVID-19 will still benefit from getting the COVID-19 vaccine 

  • At this time, we do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long. We don’t know exactly how long immunity produced by a vaccination lasts but there is strong evidence to support that immunity due to vaccination lasts longer than natural immunity. The vaccine provides longer and stronger immunity 

Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19 

  • While many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may develop more severe illness or even death. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you are not at increased risk of severe complications. If you get sick, you also may spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you while you are sick. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness. 

Until we’ve reached herd immunity, you still need to wear a mask, avoid large indoor gatherings, and physically distant even after getting the vaccine.  

  • Even though the vaccine is between 94 and 95% effective at reducing severe illness, about 1 in 20 people who receive it will not become immune.  At this time, it is also unclear whether having immunity protects you from carrying the virus and passing it to others. Until a significant portion of the population becomes immune (referred to as “herd immunity”), the precautions must be carefully followed. This will likely take months or even years depending on vaccine uptake. 

Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA 

  • mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and can most easily be described as instructions for how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to disease. 

Key Principles for Allocation in Baltimore City

During the early weeks of Maryland’s vaccination program, vaccine supply is expected to be limited. With a limited supply of vaccines, healthcare workers, first responders, LTCF residents and people at significantly higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease will need to be sub-prioritized. Multiple factors, informed by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Framework for Equitable Allocation of Vaccine, have been considered for sub-prioritization, such as, but not limited to:  

  • Risk of acquiring infection: People have higher priority if work or live in an environment with a higher risk of transmission due to a circulating virus.
  • Risk of severe morbidity and mortality: People with a high risk of severe outcomes (hospitalization, mechanical ventilation) and death from SARS-COV-2 infection. People who are older or have chronic medical conditions are at higher risk of severe outcomes.
  • Risk of negative societal impact: Inability to maintain services to preserve the functioning of society (i.e. providing health care, emergency response, public safety).
  • Risk of transmitting the virus to others (at work or at home): People have higher priority if there is a higher likelihood of them transmitting the disease to others.  

 

Prioritization Guidelines from the State. A pyramid, with text reading 1A, 1B, 2 and 3.

In the setting of limited vaccine supply, BCHD is utilizing ethical principles as outlined by ACIP to guide sub-prioritization decision making. These ethical principles are: 

  • Maximize benefits and minimize harm: Allocation of vaccine to groups or individuals should maximize the benefits of vaccination – reduction in hospitalization and death and reduction in risk of SARS-COV-2 infection, the virus that causes COVID-19. Preserving the functioning of society and minimizing harm to certain individuals and groups should also be considered. 
  • Promotion of justice: All individuals and groups should have equal opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, within priority populations during constrained supply and when the vaccine becomes available to the general population. 
  • Mitigation of health inequity: Certain groups have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 with an increased risk of infection, hospitalization, and death. Socioeconomic marginalization, age distribution, occupation/employment-type, limited access to healthcare are intersecting determinants of health that have resulted in disparate outcomes in hospitalization and death among older adult, Latino/Hispanic, and African American Baltimore City residents. Prioritization of vaccine allocation for certain groups should aim to reduce health disparities and not widen or create disparities. 

BCHD’s sub-prioritization decision making is grounded in the promotion of transparency. Transparency is essential to building and maintaining community trust. Outreach to priority groups throughout the vaccination program is critical. BCHD is engaging community members, collaborating with City government agencies, local health organizations, and health systems to inform focused outreach to priority groups. BCHD is developing a public-facing COVID-19 vaccination data dashboard to show vaccine administration by age, race/ethnicity, neighborhood, and other demographics, and to help inform outreach to priority groups

Priority Groups and Tiers

The following is the sub-prioritization for allocating the COVID-19 vaccine in Priority Group 1A, Priority Group 1B, and Priority Group 1C. Settings and roles within a priority group have equal priority. Vaccine allocation within Priority Groups is tiered due to initial limited vaccine supply. List order does not imply ranking within a tier. Sub-prioritization was developed in concert with Health Officers from Maryland jurisdictions for near consistent prioritization across the State. Baltimore City Health Department is taking into account specific population factors and priorities to tailor sub-prioritization to meet the needs of Baltimore City.

BCHD Prioritization and Allocation Interim Timeline Graphic

Priority Group 1A

Tier 1

  • Hospital-based healthcare workers
  • Long-Term Care Facilities staff and residents
  • Acute Living Facilities (ALF) staff and residents

Hospital systems are responsible for vaccine administration to hospital-based healthcare workers. The CDC's Pharmacy Partnership is coordinating the distribution and administration of vaccination in congregant living facilities, and both  CVS and Walgreens have partnered with CDC to distribute and administer vaccines to LTCF staff and residents.  

BCHD is responsible for vaccinating first responders and some healthcare workers in this tier. BCHD received 100 doses of Moderna vaccine the week of December 20th and received an additional 2600 doses the week of December 27th. BCHD began vaccinating public health vaccinators, COVID-19 testing staff, and clinical services staff on December 29th. The Health Department is prepared to respond to anaphylaxis/severe allergic reactions after the COVID-19 vaccination and is pre-screening individuals to determine if there are any contraindications or precautions. 

Tier 2
Definition:  Populations with frequent exposure to individuals with known COVID-19 and/or providing services essential to the maintenance of public health and healthcare systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes populations unable to work from home and unable to control social distancing.

  • Public Health vaccinators and those administering COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1A.
  • Emergency Medical Services/Fire Department
  • COVID-19 testing staff: People providing testing at large community testing centers
  • Lord Baltimore TRI Center staff
  • Convention Center Field Hospital staff
  • Baltimore City Health Department Clinical Services and Syringe program staff
  • Urgent Care Staff
  • Dialysis Center Staff
  • Clinic-based primary care staff (internists, family practice, pediatricians, geriatricians)/Federally Qualified Health Centers
  • Home health staff
  • Correctional facilities/Detention Center health care staff
  • Public Health/Baltimore City Health Department Staff

Tier 3a

Definition: Populations with risk of exposure to individuals with suspected COVID-19 and/or providing services essential to the maintenance of public health and health care systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes populations unable to work from home and unable to control social distancing.

  • Law Enforcement: Police Department
  • Law Enforcement: Correctional facility officers, Sheriff’s Office, Department of Public Works Police
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • Phlebotomists

Tier 3b

Definition: Populations at risk of exposure to individuals with suspected COVID-19 and/or providing services essential to the maintenance of public health and health care systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. These populations may be able to telework or control social distancing.

  • Community Health Workers
  • Home and Community- based visiting program staff
  • Specialty out-patient clinical staff
  • Outpatient surgery centers
  • Student Health staff at non-hospital affiliated academic institutions
  • Laboratory staff
  • Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy
  • Chiropractors
  • Optometrists
  • Audiologists
  • Podiatrists
  • Behavioral Health
  • Nutritionists
  • Morticians

Priority Group 1B:

Tier 1
Definition:  It is well established that certain groups are at significantly higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness.  Older adults ≥ 75 years old have a >30 times higher risk of death from COVID-19 compared to persons 35-54 years old.

  •  Adults ≥ age 75 years

Tier 2a
Definition: Other attributes that put people at significantly higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness include living and working in congregate settings, experiencing homelessness, living in an area with a high rate of transmission, and working in an industry with a high rate of transmission.

  • People experiencing homelessness
  • Shelter staff and residents
  • Correctional Facilities/Detention Center inmates and staff
  • Individuals in group home settings (i.e. halfway homes for returning citizens)

Tier 2b

Definition: Front-line essential workers hold critical jobs essential to the functioning of society and have potential occupational exposure to individuals with COVID-19. A subset of frontline essential workers has the highest risk for potential exposure as they are unable to work from home or control social distancing.

  • Public and private transit workers
  • Education sector (Teachers and support staff in schools)
  • Child care workers
  • Food and agricultural workers (Restaurant workers, Food Pantries, Farmers Markets, Farms)
  • Postal service workers
  • Grocery/Convenience store workers

Tier 3

Definition: Front-line essential workers hold critical jobs essential to the functioning of society and have potential occupational exposure to individuals with COVID-19. A subset of frontline essential workers has the highest risk for potential exposure as they are unable to work from home and may be able to control social distancing.

  • Manufacturing workers

Priority Group 1C:

Tier 1

Definition: It is well established that older adults are at significantly higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness. More than 40% of COVID-19 hospitalizations were in adults aged 65 years and older.  

  • Adults 65 – 74 years old

Tier 2

Definition: Populations with high-risk medical conditions have a significantly increased risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Nearly 90% of persons hospitalized for COVID-19 have an underlying medical condition.

  • Adults 16/18* – 64 years old with high-risk medical conditionsHigh-risk medical conditions include:
    • Cancer
    • Chronic Kidney Disease
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
    • Heart conditions
    • Immunocompromised state
    • Obesity/Severe obesity
    • Pregnancy
    • Sickle Cell Disease
    • Smoking
    • Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes
    • Asthma (moderate-severe)
    • Cerebrovascular disease
    • Cystic fibrosis
    • Hypertension or High Blood pressure
    • Immunocompromised conditions (from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, prolonged use of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive medication)
    • Dementia, ALS, other neurologic issues
    • Liver disease
    • Pulmonary disease
    • Thalassemia

*Individuals 16 years and older can receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine under the FDA EUA. Individuals 18 years and older can receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine under the FDA EUA.

Tier 3

Definition: Other attributes that put people at significantly higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness include living and working in congregate settings, experiencing homelessness, living in an area with a high rate of transmission, and working in an industry with a high rate of transmission.

  • People experiencing homelessness
  • Shelter staff and residents
  • Correctional Facilities/Detention Center inmates and staff
  • Individuals in group home settings (i.e. halfway homes for returning citizens)
  • Essential workers not previously in Phase 1A or Phase 1B
  • Transportation & logistics
  • Water and wastewater
  • Foodservice industry
  • Shelter & housing (e.g. construction)
  • Finance (e.g. banks)
  • IT & Communications
  • Energy
  • Legal (state’s attorneys, public defenders, judiciary)
  • Media
  • Public Safety (e.g., engineers)
  • Social & Human Services (Aging, DSS, Human Services) – field/in-home services
  • Elected officials

Priority Groups 2 and 3

  •  In the future, individuals who would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to pre-register to express their interest. This will help us plan our local vaccination clinics and help us share information about upcoming clinics for those who choose to sign-up.  
  • We are also making plans to account for those who are unable to pre-register and would still like to receive the vaccine.  We know that many people in Baltimore City don’t have the internet at home and may have challenges pre-registering online. 
  • Once plans for Priority Groups 2 and 3 have been finalized, we will update this webpage! 

 

Additional Information

 

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