Morgan State University set to serve as COVID-19 vaccine walk-up clinic

Jordan D. Brown , Features Editor

In a Wednesday press conference set to update Maryland’s COVID-19 vaccination plan, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead announced that the Maryland Department of Health is set to open a weekend COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Morgan State University starting April 30. 

Operating from Friday to Sunday between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Morgan will serve as a walk-up clinic administering about 390 doses of the Pfizer vaccine each day. Vaccination appointments will be open to the Morgan community and the general public. 

According to Kevin Banks, vice president of student affairs, Ballroom A in the University Student Center is set to be stationed as the vaccination site. The university has partnered with the Maryland Department of Health and the Privia Medical Group to administer the vaccine.

“Morgan is a trusted partner in this community, and I think the fact that people know our campus, they know our mission, they know us,” Banks said. “We’ve been a voting site, we’ve been a good community partner, and I think it builds confidence in this whole process.”

Morgan is one of many college campuses to serve as vaccination sites including the University of Maryland, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Georgetown University, and soon-to-be Bowie State University. Charles Gischlar, deputy director of the Office of Communications at the Maryland Department of Health said the state of Maryland is planning to utilize more universities as vaccination sites, including Morgan. 

“We want to make sure that everyone returning to campus is safe,” Gischlar said. “Several efforts are underway to vaccinate students at 42 colleges and universities, including clinics on campuses and special events at mass vaccination sites.”

Before the finalization of Morgan becoming a vaccination clinic, the university originally planned on distributing Johnson and Johnson vaccine doses. Once the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was recalled after six reported cases of a rare blood clot found in vaccinated individuals, the university made plans to use a different vaccine. 

“We were looking at getting the Johnson and Johnson vaccine administered to students, but you heard what happened with Johnson and Johnson, so that went out the window very quickly,” Banks said.