Sarbanes, Maryland Delegation Members Urge State to Ramp Up COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Efforts, Ensure Equitable Access
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today joined the Maryland Congressional Delegation in releasing the following statement after a conference call on Monday with Maryland Department of Health Acting Secretary Dennis Schrader about the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts:
“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.
“Many of our 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.
“While the Maryland Congressional Delegation continues to work alongside the Biden Administration to boost the federal supply and streamline its deployment, the state must step up its efforts to keep Maryland communities safe, communicate with our constituents and ensure equitable and efficient distribution of the vaccine.”
According to the CDC, Maryland ranks 47th among all 50 states in vaccine administration, using only 47.3 percent of available doses.
Additional data finds that Maryland is severely lacking in its efforts to equitably distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, while Black Marylanders make up only 16.5% of vaccinations, they make up 33.1 percent of cases, 36 percent of deaths and 29.6 percent of the total population. Hispanic Marylanders make up only 4.9 percent of vaccinations, but 19.5 percent of cases, 9.6 percent of deaths and 10.6 percent of the total population.