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    January 7, 2022

    Media Contacts:

    Deidre McCabe, Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-3536

    Andy Owen, Deputy Director for Media Relations, 410-767-6491

    Maryland Department of Health sponsors Combating COVID in Our Communities ‒ a GoVAX town hall, to premiere Jan. 8 on FOX 45

    Event features doctors and a community advocate answering questions and providing accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines

    Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) in partnership with the Baltimore City NAACP, Casa de Maryland, Jai Medical Systems and WBFF FOX 45, has sponsored a town hall event, Combating Covid in Our Communities, to answer questions, address concerns, correct misinformation and encourage all Marylanders to protect themselves, their families and communities by getting vaccinated against COVID-19. 

    “We have a strong vaccination rate in Maryland, yet there are still residents who have not vaccinated for a number of reasons. We hope to connect with them through avenues like this town hall to provide accurate information and address concerns,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “Working with partners like the Baltimore City NAACP, Casa de Maryland and others, we can reach at-risk Marylanders and maybe change some minds. Despite this latest surge due to the Omicron variant, we know that our best defense against this disease is getting vaccinated and boosted when appropriate.”

    The town hall, moderated by news anchor Brandi Proctor and taped at WBFF’s studio in Baltimore, is part of the GoVAX Maryland campaign, MDH’s statewide outreach and education effort to promote COVID-19 vaccines. The town hall features three doctors, two of whom are GoVAX Ambassadors, and a community advocate to address a broad variety of questions submitted by FOX 45 viewers from across the state. 

    “Partnering with FOX 45 for this town hall will help get critical information about getting vaccinated against COVID-19 out to their viewers,” said Dr. Mark Martin, Deputy Director of MDH’s Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, who helped organize the town hall. “As a trusted news source for the FOX audience, Ms. Proctor can help educate and motivate viewers to take this important step to protect themselves, their families and others from serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.”

    “The African American population in Baltimore and elsewhere is at greater risk of developing complications due to COVID-19. It is paramount that we do all we can within our communities and throughout Maryland to protect our most vulnerable residents,” said Rev. Kobi Little, President, NAACP Baltimore City Branch. “Hearing directly from trusted medical professionals and members of the community is key to combating misinformation and getting more people vaccinated.”

    The Combating COVID in Our Communities town hall features the following panelists: 
    • Dr. Jinlene Chan, MDH Deputy Secretary for Public Health
    • Dr. Michelle LaRue, Director of Health and Human Services, Casa de Maryland
    • Rev. Kobi Little, President, NAACP Baltimore City Branch
    • Dr. Nana Yaw Adu-Sarkodie, Outreach Physician with Jai Medical Center

    The program will air at the following times:
    • WBFF – Jan. 8 and Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m.
    • EBFF – Jan. 9 at 3:30 p.m.  
    • WNUV – Jan. 8 at 6:30 p.m. 

    The program also will be posted at https://foxbaltimore.com/news/coronavirus after the initial air date on Jan. 8.

    For more information about COVID-19 vaccines in Maryland, including vaccine resources, fact sheets and FAQs, visit covidLINK.maryland.gov. For the most recent Maryland COVID-19 vaccine data, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.


    The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement. 

    Follow us on Twitter @MDHealthDept and at Facebook.com/MDHealthDept.