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    State of Maryland Launches Public Outreach and Equity Campaign to Promote Vaccine Confidence

    Trusted Community Leaders Come Together for Multilingual Campaign to Encourage Marylanders to Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19
    Brig. Gen. Janeen Birckhead to Head Up Maryland Vaccine Equity Task Force

    ANNAPOLIS, MD—The State of Maryland today launched its grassroots public outreach and equity campaign to promote vaccine confidence. GoVAX encourages all Marylanders to protect themselves, their families, and communities by getting vaccinated when they become eligible.

    A cross-section of trusted leaders, including Governor Larry Hogan and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, launched the campaign today during an event at Camden Yards. Watch today’s event.

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    Watch the PSA featuring trusted community leaders.

    The GoVAX campaign includes a mix of traditional and digital media—coupled with a robust grassroots outreach plan—to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence, especially among Marylanders in historically underserved populations that have been disproportionately affected by the disease. During today’s event, Governor Hogan announced that Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead of the Maryland National Guard will head up the Maryland Vaccine Equity Task Force to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

    Multilingual campaign materials and videos feature trusted leaders and community advocates discussing their decisions to get vaccinated, confidence in clinical trials, and belief in vaccine efficacy. The videos will deliver specialized messaging to diverse audiences across the state.

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    Among those featured in initial Maryland’s GoVAX public service announcements are:

    • Governor Hogan and First Lady Yumi Hogan
    • Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford
    • 20th U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams
    • UMBC President Dr. Freeman Hrabowski and Retired Vice President of T. Rowe Price Jacqueline C. Hrabowski
    • Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk
    • Bishop Walter Scott Thomas of New Psalmist Baptist Church
    • Rev. Matthew Watley and Shawna Watley of Kingdom Fellowship AME Church
    • Dr. Kathleen Page, Associate Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

    GoVAX will feature testimonials and virtual events with first responders, religious leaders, sports figures, research scientists, health officers, elected officials, healthcare providers, and others, sharing their personal stories about getting vaccinated to encourage others to do the same.

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    State health officials developed GoVAX in collaboration with various stakeholder workgroups—which included local health departments, non-profit, community, and faith-based organizations, as well as Maryland’s major healthcare institutions—in addition to conducting messaging focus groups and research surveys. GoVAX complements the Maryland Department of Health’s Keep On campaign, which continues to remind Marylanders about the importance of slowing the spread of COVID-19 through preventative measures while more vaccines become available.

    GoVAX will run throughout 2021 and the campaign will evolve as vaccine supply increases and more Marylanders become eligible to receive vaccinations.

    Marylanders are encouraged to talk to their healthcare providers about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and to stay up-to-date on the state’s vaccination eligibility guidelines.  As the state continues to roll out its vaccination program, Marylanders should keep on wearing their masks, washing their hands, and watching their distance to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19.

    For more information about COVID-19 in Maryland, including GoVAX campaign media, vaccine resources, fact sheets, and FAQs, visit covidLINK.maryland.gov.

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