Baltimore, MD—The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and the Maryland Department of Aging (MDOA) have engaged in a joint effort to bring COVID-19 vaccination clinics into independent living and other senior living facilities across the state.
Under the guidance of both departments, local agencies on aging will work with communities that aren’t registered in the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program’s Part B to establish vaccination clinics for their residents and staff.
The first vaccination clinics resulting from the partnership will start this week, with teams from MedStar Health vaccinating residents at Leisure World in Silver Spring as well as Epiphany House and Gallagher Mansion in Baltimore City. Over the next few weeks, the clinics together will provide vaccinations to more than 7,000 Marylanders age 65 and over.
“Making it easier for the state’s aging populations to get vaccinated is a priority for the Maryland Department of Health,” said Acting MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “Our partnership with the Maryland Department of Aging allows us to bring vaccination clinics directly to the aging Marylanders who need them.”
“The Maryland Department of Aging’s relationships with local agencies on aging allow us to understand the needs of each independent and senior living community in the state,” said MDOA Secretary Rona E. Kramer. “Highly localized knowledge allows us to organize each clinic around the needs of the community that it serves.”
In the joint memorandum calling for the effort, MDH and MDOA directed the state’s local agencies on aging to prioritize high-density and other independent living facilities with a majority of Marylanders age 65 and over.
To facilitate vaccinations, MDH and MDA are encouraging local agencies on aging to work with independent living communities to establish clinical relationships. When not working with a local health department, communities are encouraged to create partnerships with private organizations, such as MedStar Health.
“Leisure World’s residents and I appreciate how state and county government officials, as well as MedStar Health management, have worked with us to bring vaccines to this community,” said Leisure World General Manager Kevin Flannery. “For our residents, this is a major step toward a return to normal.”