(Photo by Marty Madden/Southern Maryland News). Churches, health department hold clinic: Church and health officials vaccinate residents against COVID-19 on Saturday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Prince Frederick.

Denis Mackall, left, Calvert Health Officer Dr. Laurence Polsky, Communion Church Pastor Jeff Long, Kat Oliver, Shannon Sears and St. Paul’s Father Matt Humm were on hand to help registrants receive their first dose of the vaccine. 

St. Paul’s, Prince Frederick held a vaccination clinic on April 10. The event was a partnership between the church and Communion Way of the Cross Church, who meet at St. Paul’s. Creating an easily-accessed, familiar space for African Americans in Calvert County to receive vaccines, St. Paul’s was able to vaccinate nearly 175 people, with the “second dose clinic” on May 8. The April 10 event was featured in The Southern Maryland News.
Pastor Jeff Long Jr., Pastor of Communion Way of the Cross, held a virtual panel discussion focused specifically on the African-American community. After the panel discussion, the reservations for vaccines jumped. “We were intentional about communicating that our planning for the event was a response to the difficulty of access to health care and vaccinations for people of color,” said the Rev. Matt Humm, rector of St. Paul’s, Prince Frederick, “as well as distrust in the community due to disparities and injustice regarding healthcare.” Pastor Jeff placed encouraging vaccination within the context of faith, which was critical to the goals of the clinic.
As a result of the second clinic, St. Paul’s and Communion Way of the Cross Church are now engaged in conversation with the Calvert Health Department to partner in communication about services available, as well as exploring ways to provide spaces and events to aid in community health. For St. Paul’s this falls directly into the purview of our mission statement: “We believe that through our Baptism, Christ calls the Church to be a place of healing, wholeness and hope.”