BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan joined faith leaders Tuesday at M&T Bank Stadium to continue to encourage all Marylanders to get vaccinated.

“I want to particularly thank all of our faith leaders for the critically important role they play in helping us accomplish this life-saving mission,” Gov. Hogan said.

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Religious leaders have been key partners for Maryland’s Vaccine Equity Task Force, which focuses on getting doses of the vaccine into underserved communities.

They’ve been hosting vaccination clinics at their places of worship and informing parishioners about the safety of the vaccine.

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“We’ve increased shots in 50% of those communities where we’ve been working,” Maryland National Guard Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead said. “This wouldn’t have happened without the faith-based community.”

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First Mt. Olive Freewill Baptist Church in Linthicum Heights held a clinic, directly bringing doses of the vaccine to members of its congregation.

“A number of our seniors said they went on the site and they just had difficulty navigating through the system,” a leader at the church said.

But the clinic made it possible for members of the church to get the vaccine who otherwise may have a hard time.

The Vaccine Equity Task Force has helped administer over 10,000 doses of the vaccines at clinics all across the state, many of which are places of worship.

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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.

Stetson Miller