Maryland officials announced the state has partnered with the Maryland Partnership for Prevention to promote and facilitate child and flu vaccinations, helping to fill a gap left when schools closed their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a news release, the state Department of Health wrote that the partnership is part of a $1.5 million project that “is a unique coordinated statewide effort to support all local health departments and Federally Qualified Health Centers” with various technological, logistical and staffing resources to aid in outreach and administering vaccinations.
According to the health department, the program will include vaccination clinics and a new online resource for residents to schedule appointments for vaccinations with their local health officials.
The program will “also support COVID-19 vaccination activity, in preparation for when a vaccine becomes available,” the health department wrote.
The Maryland Partnership for Prevention group, the adult immunization coalition for Maryland and the parent organization for Maryland Childhood Immunization Partnership, has previously partnered with the state for back-to-school immunization clinics, the health department wrote.
The program will help promote vaccinations throughout the fall, the department wrote, and officials will reach out to areas that show significant declines in their vaccination rates.
“It has never been more important to take care of our health and our families by protecting ourselves against preventable disease,” said state Health Secretary Robert R. Neall. “We’re committed to investing in the outreach and logistics necessary to help ensure more Marylanders get vaccinated safely, swiftly and effectively.”
“As schools across Maryland being to reopen, we want to ensure that helping children get up to date on their required vaccinations is as convenient and as safe as possible,” said acting Deputy Health Secretary Dr. Jinlene Chan.
“And as we move into flu season and plan for a COVID-19 vaccine, the technical capabilities and depth of experience that MPP has — especially in community-based work — make them an ideal partner to help us quickly operationalize this critical preventative action,” Chan continued.