ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A debate about the door-to-door effort of encouraging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has been heating up nationwide and in Maryland.

“Now we need to go community by community, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, and oftentimes door-to-door, literally knocking on doors to get help to the remaining people,” President Joe Biden[D] recently said at an event, sparking the debate of the future vaccine rollout.

This statement came after the Biden Administration did not meet its goal of getting 70% of all Americans vaccinated by July 4. The latest number reported has been 67% of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The door-to-door strategy is not a new one and had begun to be implemented once a decline of participation at the mass vaccination sites started. Grassroots efforts, such as the door-to-door push, were put in the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package that Congress passed in March. Many communities around the country have been doing door-to-door outreach, even in Maryland.   In May, Prince George’s County had a goal of knocking on 266,000 doors to encourage people to get the vaccine. 

Last month, Maryland State Delegate Dan Cox[R] accused Governor Larry Hogan[R] and Secretary of Health Dennis Schrader of an “ongoing scheme to control our bodies” in a Facebook post. Delegate Cox is one of the Republican candidates running for Maryland Governor in 2022.

In the video, Cox cited when Secretary Schrader was asked about the transition from mass vaccination sites to other outreach efforts. Secretary Schrader said there would be, “more to mobile vax, more to door-to-door activities.”

The ongoing GoVax Summer Tour has brought mobile clinics to community events and popular destinations across the state. In addition, vaccinated Marylanders can visit the GoVax website, where many places are offering deals to vaccinated people.

As of July 11, state officials have reported that 75.5% of all adults in Maryland have received at least one dose of the vaccine. At a press conference, Hogan reported that 95% of new COVID cases and 93% of hospitalizations were unvaccinated people.

In a statement to TheBayNet.com, Charles Gischlar, Deputy Director of the Office of Communications from the Maryland Department of Health said:

“Getting vaccinated is a personal choice and one that can help protect you, your friends, and family. People who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 remain at a high risk for serious illness, hospitalization, and even death. The state is transitioning from mass vaccination sites to focus on providing community-based vaccination opportunities for Marylanders who are still unvaccinated. This includes mobile vaccination units, physician’s offices, pharmacies, hospitals, local health departments, and others. We are engaged in a significant ground game to bring vaccines to those in hard-to-reach and vulnerable areas.”

Contact Brooke and the rest of our news desk at news@thebaynet.com