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August 29, 2021

Trone, Martz to launch PSAs urging COVID shots

Credit: Cumberland Times-News, Lindsay Renner-Wood

CUMBERLAND, Md. — With Allegany County nearly 20% behind the state vaccination rate, U.S. Rep. David Trone and UPMC Western Maryland President Michele Martz will launch two videos Tuesday aimed at encouraging hesitant residents to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

As of Thursday, 42.2% of county residents were fully vaccinated, compared to the state figure of 61.2%, according to the Allegany County Health Department.

The two videos will be released across social media starting Tuesday, and feature Martz and Trone, a Democrat who represents Maryland’s 6th District, which includes Allegany and Garrett counties. “We need your help to get us over the finish line,” Trone says in his video. “The vaccine is free, it’s easily accessible and it helps protect you and everyone you know.”

Trone spokesperson Hannah Muldavin said the plan is to release similar videos in the near future.

“What we really want is for every person to get the vaccine, and so we’re encouraging local officials and leaders in their community to get out the message that the vaccines are safe, effective and save lives,” Muldavin said. “So, we are encouraging all leaders, no matter what kind, in every community to be on the forefront of this and to help us combat vaccine hesitancy.”

“We want everyone in our community to get vaccinated,” Martz said Friday in an emailed statement. “The simple truth is vaccination saves lives. The vaccines currently available — Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson — are effective against the virus causing COVID-19, including the delta variant. While vaccines don’t provide perfect protection, they do exceptionally well at preventing serious illness and complications, like hospitalization and death.”

“Getting vaccinated is a key step in reducing the spread of COVID-19,” Martz said. “UPMC will continue its vaccine advocacy and outreach efforts, make vaccines easily and readily available for all, and maintain employee, patient and visitor masking requirements in all of our facilities regardless of vaccination status.”