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Maryland National Guard vaccinates over 25,000 citizens

BALTIMORE (February 12, 2021) —Maryland National Guard members have administered more than 25,000 Covid-19 vaccine shots to Maryland citizens since early January.

MDNG Soldiers and Airmen working as mobile vaccination support teams have provided continued support to county health departments at sites in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Carroll, Charles, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, and Talbot Counties as well as the city of Baltimore. In addition to administering the vaccine, they have supported patient flow, data entry, and other medical-related tasks.

“We’re part of the community, and we’ll get through this as a community—together,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy Gowen, adjutant general for Maryland. “This isn’t a mission we would normally expect to be doing, but it’s one we’re well able to handle. It really shows the adaptability of our Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen.”

In addition to assisting county-level vaccination efforts, the Maryland National Guard is helping operate state mass vaccination sites, including the site at the Six Flags America theme park, which had been operating as a testing site and switched to providing vaccinations on Feb. 5.

The Maryland National Guard is also at the forefront of helping ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine to all Marylanders.

Recently, Brig. Gen. Janeen Birckhead, assistant adjutant general ¬– Army for the Maryland National Guard, was named by Gov. Larry Hogan to the lead of the state’s Vaccine Equity Task Force. She will help ensure the vaccine is accessible to minorities and other underserved communities. 

“The Governor realizes a whole of Maryland response is needed,” said Birckhead. “Every demographic and every walk of life is included in this endeavor. Maryland will not overcome this unless we all are at our best, and that means vaccine for all who want it. Marylanders helping Marylanders is something the National Guard has always done well, and this is no different when responding to a pandemic.”

Col. (Dr.) Eric Allely, MDNG state surgeon, who led the state’s efforts to assist nursing homes coping with the pandemic last year, emphasized the importance of the vaccine.

“This is a safe vaccine, and it is the path to taking these masks off and throwing them away,” said Allely. “We will keep supporting these missions and other mass vaccination sites as long as we are needed.”

MDNG Soldiers are also supporting local health departments across the state with Covid-19 testing.  Guard members have helped the community with more than 20,00 self-swab tests.


Capt. Ben Hughes

Maryland National Guard Public Affairs Office

Phone: 410-576-6179