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Baltimore County launches ‘Healing Starts Here’ COVID-19 vaccine education campaign

BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Wednesday announced the “Healing Starts Here” campaign to educate residents about the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine and how they can register to receive it.

The campaign aims to increase public confidence among residents currently underrepresented on the County’s vaccine registry by enlisting the support of trusted voices — including athletes, faith leaders, medical experts, and social media influencers — to address common concerns, provide accurate and relevant information, and share their personal stories.

“Baltimore County is proud to be statewide leader in providing lifesaving vaccinations, but we must do more to improve access for our residents of color, vulnerable neighbors, and underrepresented communities, who so far have been less likely to sign up for our registry,” Olszewski said. “This new campaign will engage respected leaders to provide accurate and timely information to ensure that every resident is ready to get a vaccine as soon as it is available to them so that we can saves lives and return to normal as quickly as possible.”

Beginning on Wednesday, Baltimore County’s “Healing Starts Here” campaign will air on Baltimore-area radio stations—including Orioles broadcasts—as well as on social media and other digital platforms. To ensure the message reaches a wide audience, the campaign will feature a diverse coalition of spokespeople, including, among others:

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  • Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl Cornerback Marlon Humphrey
  • Baltimore Orioles Centerfielder Cedric Mullins
  • Baltimore Blast goalkeeper William Vanzela
  • Most Rev. William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore
  • Rev. Dr. Alvin Hathaway, Pastor, Union Baptist Church
  • J. B. Jennings, Maryland State Senator (R-D7)
  • Mr. Gerry Sandusky, Baltimore Ravens Broadcast Team
  • Mr. Jason LaCanfora, CBS Sports/105.7 The Fan
  • Yuripzy Morgan, WBAL-AM, Host
  • Persia Nicole, 92Q, Radio Personality
  • Pat Skerry, Men’s Basketball Coach, Towson University
  • Diane Richardson, Women’s Basketball Coach, Towson University

“Our African-American and Latinx communities have been hardest hit by this virus and we must do whatever we can to ensure they are registered so that they can get a vaccine as soon as possible,” said Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “This effort will continue to share that vaccines are safe, effective and critical tools in saving lives.”

The “Healing Starts Here” campaign will utilize data to target populations who are currently underrepresented in the County’s vaccine registry and focus in communities with lower vaccination rates.

For example, of the approximately 330,000 registrants currently on Baltimore County’s vaccine registry, about 13 percent are African American while nearly 30 percent of County residents are African American. Only 1.3 percent have identified as Hispanic or Latinx despite making up nearly 5.8 percent of the County’s population.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccine, please visit https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/vaccine.

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