BALTIMORE, MD—The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and the Maryland Department of Aging (MDOA) have announced a joint effort to promote access to vaccines through a telephone-based support line and appointment system that is designed to assist those without internet access. On Monday, the departments began contacting seniors directly to invite them to use the new COVID-19 Vaccination Support Center at 1-855-MDGOVAX (1-855-634-6829).
“Maryland’s new Vaccination Support Center is an important part of our efforts to promote equity in vaccination for the state’s most vulnerable residents,” said Acting MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “By providing telephone access and the assistance of live advocates, we are making the vaccine registration process simple and easy.”
How the support center works. The COVID-19 Vaccination Support Center will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Marylanders can call the center to get information on COVID-19 vaccines and identify providers closest to their homes. The center is specifically designed to assist residents without internet access.
The center can also help callers schedule vaccination appointments at the state’s mass vaccination sites, including Six Flags America in Prince George’s County, which has been in operation since February 5. The site currently serves up to 2,000 Marylanders a day and will increase its capacity as more vaccines become available from the federal government.
Successful soft launch. On Monday, the call center soft launched with nearly 6,000 inbound and outbound calls targeting segmented groups of seniors drawn from lists provided by the Maryland Department of Aging, including participants in the Senior Call Check program. The call center has now booked more than 2,000 appointments for the Six Flags mass vaccination site. The 619 outbound calls yielded a connection rate of 37%.
“Ensuring that our most vulnerable populations receive vaccines is our top priority, and new resources such as the Vaccine Support Center are creating more accessibility,” said MDOA Secretary Rona Kramer. “I am thrilled to offer this new option for our aging populations.”
The Vaccination Support Center is available to all Marylanders who are eligible for a vaccine, including anyone who will benefit from a telephone-based system. All Marylanders age 65 and over are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in Phase 1C of Maryland’s vaccination plan, and the state has asked vaccine providers to prioritize Marylanders 65 and over.