Members of the state Senate who represent Baltimore City are asking Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) to redouble his efforts to get city residents vaccinated against COVID-19 — particularly people of color.
In a Monday letter to Hogan, the lawmakers express “grave concerns” with the rollout of the state’s vaccination program, which they say “is not being executed equitably.”
Two of the state’s three mass-vaccination sites are located in Baltimore — at the convention center and M&T Bank Stadium. The third is located in Prince George’s County, the state’s largest majority-Black jurisdiction.
But lawmakers told the governor that the doses still aren’t adequately reaching Black residents and people with health conditions.
“Fewer than 40% of those vaccinated in Baltimore City have been Baltimore City residents,” they wrote.
The six senators — all Democrats — said the racial disparity “is also alarming, with less than 6% of Black Baltimoreans, who comprise over 60% of the population being vaccinated — compared with over 16% of white residents.”
People of color have been infected at disproportion rates than whites.
The lawmakers ask the governor for “greater collaboration” to ensure that city residents are vaccinated.
This issue is certain to arise again on Monday afternoon, when acting Maryland Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader briefs the Senate’s vaccine work group, which meets weekly.
This story will be updated.