Maryland is opening COVID-19 vaccines to more people in the next two weeks. However, it will take many more weeks for the vaccine to be available to the average resident.
Effective Monday, Maryland will enter Phase 1B of its vaccine distribution plan. Anyone 75 and older will be able to get the vaccine, as will anyone in assisted living or group home settings. The vaccine will also be made available to teachers, school staff and child care providers.
Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more
Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group for breaking news as it happens
The following Monday, Jan. 25, Maryland will enter Phase 1C. That phase includes Marylanders 65 to 74 years old and workers in additional critical sectors like grocery, transit and agriculture.
However, Hogan warned that Maryland has received just 4.5% of the 12 million vaccines which would be needed to inoculate all Marylanders old enough to receive it. Both vaccines currently approved for use require two doses.
"This is going to take a long time, a great deal of patience and a lot more vaccines," Hogan said.
Hogan also warned of the vaccine's use outstripping the daily 10,000-dose supply from the federal government. Hogan said he has relayed his concerns to federal officials and members of President-elect Joe Biden's transition team.
"When the state begins to receive higher allocations from the federal government, we will then be able to rapidly expand this program," Hogan said.
Starting Monday, hospitals and health departments are directed to open vaccination clinics focused on the elderly. Appointments are required and may be made online. Those who know someone who will be eligible for a vaccine are encouraged to help them sign up. Residents in nursing homes or other congregate care will get vaccinated on-site by clinicians from CVS or Walgreens and do not need to make an appointment.
Maryland National Guard members are assisting local vaccination efforts in Prince George's and Charles counties and the state has mobilized 750 volunteers to help administer the shots. A new state health order allows out-of-state practitioners to administer the shots.