HANOVER, Md., -- Corizon Health’s Maryland division, in conjunction with state officials and departments, conducted a “Holiday Inoculation Blitz” at prisons across the state to provide COVID vaccine shots to more than 1,100 state prisoners.
Twenty-five employees from both the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) and Corizon gave up precious holiday time in the period between December 23 and 27, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, to blitz the prisons with previously requested booster, first and second shots of the Pfizer vaccine. A group of nurses from Johns Hopkins University also gave their time to assist.
In total, 1,018 boosters were administered with the remainder being first and second doses. All inmates vaccinated had requested it previously and signed all necessary paperwork in advance.
Among those on the ground supporting the initiative were DPSCS and Corizon’s state leadership, including Latasha “Tasha” McMillan, Vice President of Operations, Dr. Mauro Sarmiento, Statewide Medical Director, Elmeada Frias, Associate Vice President of Operations, Jennifer Conway, Statewide Director of Nursing, Dr. Sharon Baucom, Chief Medical Officer for Clinical Services (DPSCS), and Dr. Adaora Odunze, Statewide Director of Nursing (DPSCS), and Captain Carolyn Murray, COVID Lead (DPSCS).
The blitz was done in reaction to the growing need for inmate vaccination. McMillan said that with the Omicron variant of COVID spreading in the general population, the issue was increasingly threatening to the inmates who were asking when they could get their vaccination boosters. To limit a widespread surge across the state, a strategic plan was put in place to step up the immediate need to provide healthcare delivery to the population being served.
“I’ve never seen that level of cooperation and collaboration between contractor and state in all my 15 years in corrections,” McMillan said. “It was ‘One Mind, One Mission.’”