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State Launches Vaccine Grant Program

AP Photo/Steve Ruark
Gov. Larry Hogan

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday the state health department will make a total of $3 million in grants available to community groups to support local vaccination and outreach efforts.

The department’s Office of Minority Health Based Initiatives is to award grants ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 to approximately 30 organizations through its Community COVID-19 Vaccination Project.

Deputy Health Secretary Dr. Jinlene Chan said her department will prioritize applications from groups that focus on targeted zip codes with low vaccination rates in an effort to reach the residents of underserved, and hard-to-reach communities.

“We are asking that these community organizations that are already working in this space help us with additional education and outreach efforts,” she said.

She said the zip codes are in Baltimore City and county as well as Prince George's, Allegany and Washington counties.

“This is part of our efforts to further engage our community based organizations to help in this huge statewide effort,” she said.

In a press release, Hogan called it part of his “No Arm Left Behind” initiative to get as many Marylanders as possible vaccinated.

He said in a statement the project will be “a partnership between state health officials and community-based organizations that understand the unique needs and concerns of their residents.”

The program is similar to one for city organizations that Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott announced at the end of May. That one makes a total of $250,000 available to city organizations interested in setting up vaccination clinics or doing outreach and education.

Thus far, Maryland has reported that 71% of its adult residents have received at least one dose of vaccine and nearly half of adults are fully vaccinated. But less than 40% of Baltimore City’s adults are fully vaccinated.

The effort is part of the statewide GoVax Campaign and was organized by the Maryland Vaccine Equity Task Force.

Joel McCord is a trumpet player who learned early in life that that’s no way to make a living.