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MD Guard Supports First Mass Vaccination Site

by Tech. Sgt. Enjoli Saunders, 175th Wing Public Affairs

Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford and U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Janeen L. Birckhead, commander of the Maryland Army National Guard, visited one of the state’s first COVID-19 mass vaccination sites at Six Flags America in Bowie, Maryland, on Feb. 6, 2021.

In partnership with the Maryland National Guard, Maryland Department of Health, and Kaiser Permanente, this site is will eventually be able to vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day.

“This is a logistics challenge to make sure we can get as many of our 6 million residents vaccinated and do it in an efficient way,” Rutherford. “You [Maryland National Guard] are the experts in logistics along with a number of other areas, of course keeping us safe, that is why it is important to have you here.”

Maryland National Guard Mobile Vaccination Support Teams are providing medical, administrative, and logistics support to county health departments administering the vaccine. Kaiser Permanente personnel are providing pharmacy services and post-vaccination observation.

“It’s a whole of government approach,” stated Birckhead. “The Maryland National Guard is so glad to bring the logistical and medical support required to ensure that all of Maryland is successful in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Currently, vaccinations at this site are by appointment only. To receive the vaccine, no insurance information is needed and no fees will be charged.

“We are very excited to have this open now,” said Rutherford. “For the next couple of days, it’s …working out any kinks in the system before we really gear it up. The sooner people can get the vaccines the better.”