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Lawmakers Urge State to Ramp Up Vaccine Efforts

Vaccine Efforts

Maryland lawmakers are urging state officials to ramp up their COVID-19 vaccination distribution efforts.

Congressman Steny H. Hoyer and members of the Maryland congressional delegation, including Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, and Congressmen C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin, and David Trone, released the following statement after a conference call January 25 with Maryland Department of Health Acting Secretary Dennis Schrader.

“A robust vaccination strategy is critical to our efforts to defeat COVID-19 in Maryland. But according to the CDC, Maryland’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution system ranks as one of the worst-performing statewide efforts in the country. Early data also suggests that Maryland has immunized communities of color at significantly lower rates. These issues must be addressed by the state at once,” the lawmakers said in a statement.

They noted that many of their shared constituents have expressed concern, confusion, and frustration about Maryland’s vaccine rollout.

“The state must provide more clear, accessible, and transparent information to Marylanders about the vaccine distribution system and work collaboratively with county and local jurisdictions to ensure that Marylanders can access the COVID-19 vaccine in a fair and timely manner. To that end, we urge the state to put forward an effective strategy to tackle the current distribution challenges and disparities in access,” according to the statement.

According to CDC data, Maryland is currently ranked 47th in vaccine administration, with only 47.3% of its received doses administered.

Additionally, data shows Maryland is severely lacking in its efforts to equitably distribute the vaccine.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, while Black Marylanders make up only 16.5% of vaccinations, they make up 33.1% of cases, 36% of deaths, and 29.6% of the total population. Additionally, Hispanic Marylanders make up only 4.9% of vaccinations, but 19.5% of cases, 9.6% of deaths, and 10.6% of the total population.

Follow Congressman Hoyer on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For more information about House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, visit his Leader member page.

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