Residents of West Baltimore’s Irvington community and nearby neighborhoods, many of whom struggle with barriers to health care and transportation, eagerly lined a sidewalk for a mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic Wednesday morning. Some arrived two hours before the doors opened.
While Marylanders are urged to get shots at mass vaccination sites, many residents remain hesitant to enter crowds or large gatherings. The solution offered in a partnership between My Brother’s Keeper and Ascension Saint Agnes was perfect for them.
“I feel great. It really feels good to get the first shot of the vaccine,” said Debra Lancaster, a long-time client of My Brother’s Keeper. “I kept hoping the vaccine would come here. I didn’t want to go all the way downtown because I was afraid of all those people, and concerned about properly social distancing.”
Nearly 50 people received the Moderna vaccine, thanks to the team members from the Baltimore City Health Department, and nurses from Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital.
“We are pleased about our partnership with Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital and the contribution of the Baltimore City Health Department with its vaccine supply,” said My Brother’s Keeper Program Director Kevin Mason. “All of this is to serve our most important purpose: to help assure that our neighbors in this wonderful community have access to public and personal health care.”
100th vaccine clinic for city health department
Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, commissioner of the Baltimore City Health Department, attended the event, as it marked 100 vaccination clinics hosted by the Baltimore City Health Department. According to the Maryland Department of Health, 4 million shots have been administered in the state, with nearly 2 million Marylanders fully immunized.
“I found out about this vaccination clinic when I came for the grab-and-go meals last week, and I was happy to learn the shots were coming to us and we didn’t have to go find them somewhere in the city,” said Westside resident Bobby Earl Bryant. “The best part is the shot is done in less than two minutes.”
“We know individuals in underserved communities like ours are even more significantly impacted, and we at My Brother’s Keeper are honored to provide our site as a trusted location to administer the vaccine within our community,” said Mason.
Clients will return for their second dosage of the vaccine on May 19.