ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Thursday announced expanded eligibility for all Marylanders 65 and over to begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines this month.
The state will make 50,000 doses available next week to hospitals, county health departments, and federally qualified health centers to launch clinics focused on elderly populations.
“A return to a sense of normalcy has been made possible by COVID-19 vaccines, which have been approved by America’s leading medical experts, and which have 95 percent efficacy,” said Governor Hogan. “The process was rigorous and transparent throughout with continual FDA oversight and expert approval. Getting vaccinated is critical to preventing more illnesses and more deaths, and it will keep you, your family, your friends, and your community healthy and safe.”
EXPANDED ELIGIBILITY FOR COVID-19 VACCINES
On Monday, January 18, the State of Maryland will officially enter Phase 1B, which includes Maryland residents who are 75 years and older; Marylanders in assisted living, independent living, developmental disabilities or behavioral health group homes, and other congregate facilities; high-risk incarcerated individuals; continuity of government vaccinations; and education, including K-12 teachers, support staff, and childcare providers.
- State health officials have activated Part B of the CVS and Walgreens federal pharmacy partnership to include assisted living and all other long-term care facilities.
- For teachers and education staff, State Superintendent of Education Dr. Karen Salmon has submitted plans for how each jurisdiction will vaccinate its educators, and school systems will begin to implement those plans in the coming weeks.
On Monday, January 25, the state will enter Phase 1C, which includes Maryland residents ages 65 to 74; public health and safety workers not covered in Phase 1A; and essential workers in lab services, food and agriculture production, manufacturing, the U.S. Postal Service, public transit, and grocery stores.
The state is directing all Maryland hospitals and county health departments to utilize their next allocations for clinics focused on elderly populations.
PILOT PROGRAM WITH GIANT AND WALMART PHARMACIES
The State of Maryland is launching a pilot program for COVID-19 vaccines to be administered at Giant and Walmart pharmacies beginning the week of January 25. This initial program will be available at 22 Giant locations across the state, three Martin’s locations in Allegany and Washington counties, as well as 10 Walmart locations in Western Maryland and on the Eastern Shore. As the federal allocation of vaccines increases, the state will bring more pharmacies and more locations online.
NEW ONLINE VACCINATION SITE LOCATOR
Marylanders who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination can now visit covidvax.maryland.gov and enter their address, ZIP code, or location to view vaccination clinics available within a 50-mile radius. Users are then directed to contact the clinic of their choice for scheduling and more information. Additional sites will be added as providers verify they are ready.
STATE PREPARES TO LAUNCH MASS VACCINATION SITES
In anticipation of when the federal allocation of vaccines increases, the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland National Guard are working with private sector partners to open mass vaccination sites at central locations across the state.
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT AND FLEXIBILITY FOR COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENTS
State officials are granting county leaders the flexibility to move through the phases of vaccination protocols faster, so long as they prioritize the elderly and the most vulnerable populations in their jurisdictions.
Emergency Vaccination Teams
The National Guard has begun dispatching emergency vaccination teams to county health departments that have requested assistance.
Additional National Guard Support Personnel
Governor Hogan has expanded the National Guard’s vaccination mission to include providing support personnel to supplement licensed healthcare providers at COVID-19 testing sites, freeing up more nurses to administer vaccinations.
Volunteer Vaccinators For 16 Jurisdictions
Through the Maryland Responds Medical Reserves Corps, state health officials have recruited and allocated 771 volunteers for county vaccination clinics. Ten jurisdictions have taken advantage of this program, including Baltimore, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, and Wicomico counties, as well as Baltimore City. Six more counties are in the process of receiving volunteers.
Authorizing Out-of-State Practitioners
State health officials have issued an order authorizing out-of-state practitioners to prepare and administer vaccines in Maryland.