FREDERICK, Md. (DC News Now) — Marylanders will soon be able to access free COVID-19 vaccines as a part of the state’s bridge access program which maintains broad access to the vaccines for uninsured people.

On Monday, the state announced nearly $1 million in funding for Maryland health centers to provide free COVID-19 vaccines.

According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, around 25 to 30 million adults would have lost access to affordable COVID-19 vaccines now that the distribution of vaccines has transitioned to the commercial market.

“When seasons change, it’s not your susceptibility that increases. It’s more about the behavior of people,” said Amesh A. Adalja senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “Respiratory viruses tend to circulate better.”

In a statement sent to DC News Now Maryland lawmakers said:

“As COVID-19 cases start to rise again this fall, this funding will help more Marylanders get vaccinated and provide them with the best defense against the virus, bolstering overall community health.”

Adalja said it’s important for those who are immunocompromised or have risk factors for severe diseases to take advantage of the vaccine.

“Especially as we move into fall where cases are anticipated to increase as things get colder and people are back inside,” Adalja said.

The City of Frederick will receive approximately $22,020 from the state.

The Frederick County Health Department (FCHD) released tips on how you can protect yourself against respiratory illnesses including:

• Stay home if you are sick

• Wash your hands

• Test for COVID-19 if you are sick

• Talk to your healthcare provider if you are sick

• Wear a high-quality mask

• Get your up-to-date vaccines

The Bridge Access Program is set to expire in December 2024.

The FCHD said they expect to receive the updated COVID-19 and flu vaccines in the coming weeks. For information on where you can find these free vaccines, click here.