Last updated: March 16, 2021
Anne Arundel County Department of Health Outlines Efforts to Reduce The Spread of COVID-19 Among Vulnerable County Residents
Annapolis, MD (March 2, 2021) — The Anne Arundel County Department of Health has announced the release of its COVID-19 vaccine health equity plan. The “Principles for Equitable Vaccination” outlines the Department’s ongoing efforts to equitably and efficiently provide the COVID-19 vaccine to everyone who lives and works in Anne Arundel County and to reduce the disparity of COVID-19 cases and deaths among people of color and senior residents.
“This plan is our roadmap to ensuring that all county residents, particularly our residents of color and senior citizens, have convenient access to the COVID-19 vaccine,” said County Executive Steuart Pittman. “We are committed to the health and well-being of all county residents, no matter their race, ethnicity, age or socio-economic background.”
The plan is the result of the Department’s work through the COVID-19 Health Equity Initiative. The initiative encouraged county residents of color and older adults to share their concerns about the barriers to equitable vaccination with county leaders and public health officials. To address the concerns, the county is partnering with community members, organizations and health care providers to ensure equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
In Anne Arundel County, Blacks are 1.6 times more likely to get COVID-19 and Hispanics are 2 times more likely to get COVID-19 than White residents. People age 65 and older of all races and ethnicities account for over 85% of all COVID-19 deaths, but only 12% of all cases.
To address these disparities, the plan includes measures to remove barriers to vaccine access; improve communication with impacted populations; invest in community engagement; focus on those who are at highest risk for the virus; and make registration for the vaccine more convenient.
The plan focuses on data-driven efforts to keep communities of color and older residents updated about COVID-19 and the county’s vaccination rollout timetable.
“Equity is our priority. We’ve seen the impact the coronavirus has had on communities of color and our seniors. The principles and guidelines outlined in this plan will allow us to successfully vaccinate communities of color and our seniors,” said Health Officer Nilesh Kalyanaraman, M.D. “Continued partnership with our residents and community partners is the key to achieving our goal.”
To access the COVID-19 vaccine health equity plan, go to aahealth.org/vax-equity