Tori Bergel

How Maryland is working to vaccinate its homeless population

A Health Care for the Homeless worker vaccinates a patient on March 12, 2021. Health Care for the Homeless is a Baltimore-based organization working to end homelessness. Photo courtesy of the Maryland Department of Health

Capital News Service – On March 5, 2020, Maryland’s first three positive cases of COVID-19 were confirmed.

On March 30, 2020, Gov. Larry Hogan issued a stay-at-home order, keeping residents from work or school, and setting in motion a new normal for the state of pandemic-related anxiety to which the world is still accustomed.

On Dec. 11, the Food and Drug Administration approved the administration of the first coronavirus vaccine in the U.S., developed by Pfizer-BioNTech.

This month, on April 6, 2021, over a year from when the pandemic began, Hogan announced that all Marylanders over the age of 16 were eligible to receive a vaccine.

While the news gave the state its first true glimpse at a possible return to normalcy, some of the most vulnerable communities are still struggling to gain access to that same hope.

Individuals experiencing homelessness are one such population and are highlighted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a “particularly vulnerable group” for COVID-19.

Party poppers: State lawmakers send balloon-release ban to governor’s desk

The Maryland General Assembly has passed legislation prohibiting balloon releases, which cause environmental damage.

Marylanders may no longer be allowed to intentionally let balloons loose into the sky now that a bill going through the General Assembly has passed both chambers.

No more celebratory balloon releases: House bill 391 is on the governor’s desk as of this week.