First Mobile Vaccination Units in U.S. to Open in Maryland

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
March 29, 2021

PHILADELPHIA – The nation’s first federally operated mobile COVID-19 vaccination units will soon roll through eastern Maryland.

The two mobile sites will provide access to COVID-19 vaccinations for thousands of Marylanders who live in remote or otherwise underserved areas in eight eastern Maryland counties. Targeted to people who are socially vulnerable or live in remote areas, appointments will be booked through the health department in the county of residence.

The mobile units are funded and operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and will use trained vaccinators and clinical staff from county, state and federal agencies. The common goal? Get shots in arms to the most underserved and help to end the pandemic.

“Throughout this entire vaccine mission, we’ve been fighting two enemies: a virus and the inequities it has caused.” said Janice Barlow, Acting FEMA Region 3 Regional Administrator. “These mobile units will ensure that we reach the underserved in their neighborhoods, where they live, and bring us one step closer winning the war against COVID-19.”

Here’s how the centers are expected to work:

  • The 32-foot trailers are essentially rolling clinics with cold storage for vaccine doses, storage for administrative materials, staff office space and generators. The units have pop-out awnings and dividers to use for patient spaces. People receive their vaccine on one side of the trailer and move to the opposite side for observation.
  • Each MVU is designed to provide a minimum of 250 doses per day. The MVUs are expected to remain in one location for at least a few days at a time.
  • Schedules will vary by location and the needs of the people being served.

“From the start, our team has worked with the federal government to provide vaccine equity for all Marylanders,” said Acting Maryland Department of Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “We’re excited to be the first state in the nation to include a collaboration with FEMA in our mobile vaccination efforts, and we are pleased to offer Marylanders near the path of these units the opportunity to get vaccinated close to home.”

The mobile vaccine mission is specifically targeting the following groups:

  • Workers in the manufacturing and food processing plants in eastern Maryland, specifically those working in eastern Maryland’s many poultry processing plants.


  • Minority and migrant populations, and those who may lack adequate transportation to commute to and from a standstill vaccination site outside of their community or place of work.


  • Those living in the small towns and enclaves in eastern Maryland. The mobile vaccine mission will allow for a more streamlined operation to vaccinate those who need it most in this area.

To properly execute a fair and equitable vaccine mission, rooted in concern for the underserved, frontline workers, migrants, and those who do not have the same access to healthcare and pharmacies as others, a mobile vaccine mission in eastern Maryland will help to alleviate the vaccine gap.

The mobile sites join a statewide network of mass vaccination sites and a growing list of other providers where eligible Marylanders can receive COVID-19 vaccines, including pharmacies, hospitals, federally qualified health centers, and doctors’ offices. To learn more about vaccinations in Maryland, visit


FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region 3’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

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