February 16, 2021
Charlie Gischlar, Deputy Director, Media Relations, Maryland Department of Health, 443-463-7234
Alexandra Baldi, Executive Assistant, Office of the Secretary, Maryland Department of Aging, 410-767-1102
Maryland Departments of Health and Aging collaborate on vaccine outreach for vulnerable populations
Soft launch of COVID-19 Vaccination Support Center results in over 2,000 new appointments for seniors, eligible Marylanders
Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and the Maryland Department of Aging (MDOA) are working together 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.
Visit covidlink.maryland.gov for more information on Maryland’s response to COVID-19. Vaccine and other coronavirus data are available at 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.
The Maryland Department of Aging helps to establish Maryland as an attractive location for all older adults through vibrant communities and supportive services that offer the opportunity to live healthy and meaningful lives. For more information, visit aging.maryland.gov.
Follow us on Twitter@MarylandAging and at Facebook.com/MarylandAging.