City Senators Express ‘Grave Concerns’ About Vaccine Rollout

Sen. Cory V. McCray (D), chairman of the Baltimore City Senate delegation, spearheaded the letter to Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R). File photo.

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.

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Bruce DePuyt
Bruce DePuyt spent nearly three decades on local television, including 14 years as executive producer and host of News Talk on NewsChannel 8 in the Washington, D.C., area. He has served as reporter, anchor and producer/host of 21 This Week in Montgomery County and as reporter/anchor at NBC affiliate WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, VA. He's a regular contributor to WTOP (103.5 FM) and frequently moderates community and political events.