WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Anthony G. Brown and Steny H. Hoyer (all D-Md.) applauded the announcement that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will establish a community vaccination center in Prince George’s County beginning on April 7, located at the Greenbelt Metro Station.
The American Rescue Plan invests more than $20 billion to implement a national vaccination strategy. Under President Biden’s leadership, 148 million doses have been given, at a rate of 2.77 million doses per day.
“The new vaccination site in Prince George’s County is welcome news for the residents of the National Capital Region and for our country as we accelerate efforts to quickly and equitably vaccinate every eligible adult. In order to defeat this pandemic, we cannot leave any individual or community behind,” the lawmakers said. “Prince Georgians have been hit especially hard by this pandemic and have accounted for a disproportionate number of COVID-19 deaths and cases. This federal site will improve vaccination rates among Black Marylanders and the Latino community, which have had the lowest vaccination rates across our state. It is clear that we must meet vulnerable communities where they are, and this site will also ensure Marylanders are able to access vaccine appointments through public transit options like WMATA.
The lawmakers continued, “Vaccination equity must be central to our overall distribution strategy. Congress and the Biden Administration promised to aggressively ramp up vaccinations for every American in order to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re delivering. We are hopeful that community vaccination sites, like this one in Greenbelt, will become a model for success nationwide.”
Prince George’s County, a majority–minority jurisdiction, has consistently trailed the rest of the state in vaccinations. Communities of color continue to face barriers, despite these populations being the hardest hit by the pandemic. Lawmakers have previously raised issues with vaccine allotments, appointment accessibility, website issues and unclear state guidance.
The center’s capacity is expected to reach 3,000 doses per day. This will be the first federally-operated site in Maryland, utilizing direct vaccine allocations from the federal government.