BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It was a team effort to get 50 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents of Baltimore’s Mondawmin neighborhood Saturday morning.

Dera James said she’s feeling relieved.

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“I’m blessed,” James said. “I’ve been trying for months to get it.”

She was one of 50 people to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at New Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore.


“I have some underlying conditions and I was very anxious about getting it, so I’m glad the opportunity has presented itself,” James said.

Making this vaccine pop-up possible was a team effort. Dr. Patricia Welch worked on behalf of the church.

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“This is a friendly place, this is a safe place, and the community feels like if they’re offering it, if they’re providing this for me, I can go because we trust them,” Welch said.

It’s part of a larger effort known as the Vaccine Equity Task Force.

“When we think about the communities, the underserved communities, the hard-to-reach communities and we talk about vaccine hesitancy, when we come to these locations we can address those, we can get the vaccine into arms of those underserved communities,” Maryland National Guard Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead said.

While there are larger mass vaccination sites across Baltimore City, Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford said he hopes to see more of these small sights open in the coming weeks.

“We want to make sure we reach the communities that are often not reached,” Lt. Governor Rutherford said.

This was a soft rollout that vaccinated 50 people. Next week, they plan to triple that number.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

CBS Baltimore Staff