A truck blaring information about coronavirus prevention and vaccination drove through Prince George’s County Saturday afternoon as part of a state initiative to broaden outreach.
The truck is part of the Maryland Department of Health’s GoVax campaign, a grassroots public outreach and equity program designed to promote confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a press release. The truck is covered with banners providing information on the virus. Campaign volunteers hand out flyers and free face masks along the route at designated stops, according to the release.
The designated areas the truck drove through fall within the 20783 zip code, which has over 5,000 positive cases, making it the area hardest hit by the coronavirus in Prince George’s County.
[UMD reports most daily COVID-19 cases of the academic year from campus testing]
“Who lives in 20783? Immigrants. Latinos. It’s the towns of Hyattsville, Langley Park, Adelphi and Chillum,” Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk (D-Anne Arundel and Prince George’s) said in the press release. “I am passionate about being a GoVAX Ambassador because it is no surprise to me that black and brown people are being affected the most by COVID-19.”
The messaging seeks to reduce vaccination hesitancy in predominantly marginalized communities who have been hit the hardest by the coronavirus. Messages focus on a number of issues, such as vaccine safety and efficacy, along with the importance of getting vaccinated and tested.
The truck will continue to circulate through neighborhoods in Prince George’s County until Feb. 26.