Maryland among national leaders in vaccine equity, bouncing back from early vaccine disparities

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — Maryland was named one of the states with the most equitable vaccine distribution, according to a Bloomberg vaccine tracker. While the state was experiencing substantial disparities in vaccine equity near the beginning of its rollout, it has been working on fixing that.

At one point, white Marylanders were being vaccinated at four times the rate of Black Marylanders, and there was also a large gap between white residents and Hispanic or Latino residents. This was the case despite these minority groups making up a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Now, however, the Bloomberg study put Maryland as 3rd among states for vaccinating its black population, 9th for its Asian population, and 12th for its Hispanic population, according to the Office of Governor Larry Hogan.

Leaders of the Vaccine Equity Task Force said this change can be attributed to, among other things, concentrated efforts on the state’s part to connect with minority communities and meet them where they are.

“It’s the trust within faith-based community; it’s ‘and I’m in my own neighborhood getting this’; it’s ‘and I see Mrs. Birckhead next door got it, I’m gonna go over there too’; it’s ‘and I don’t have to go outside of my comfort zone,'” said Brigadier General Janeen L. Birckhead, lead of Maryland’s Vaccine Equity Task Force.

Maryland was also ranked 12th in the state overall for vaccinating adult residents.

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