DHL is among the shippers gearing up to transport virus vaccines within the U.S. as soon as they are approved for distribution. (Dec. 1)
Maryland will receive about 155,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine during the first wave of distribution, an amount that will not even cover half of the frontline health care workers who are to receive initial immunizations.
“That’s a tiny fraction of what we need,” Hogan said at a Dec. 1 news conference in Annapolis. “It doesn’t get anywhere near what we need in phase one.”
Hogan did not provide a timeline for the first round of vaccine distribution, though he said he will offer more details of the state’s vaccination plan at his next news conference.
He said state officials learned details of the first phase Tuesday. It’s still unclear whether the 155,000 will represent complete doses of two separate injections, or individual injections.
FILE – This May 4, 2020, file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer’s COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. On Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, Pfizer said an early peek at its vaccine data suggests the shots may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19. (Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File) (Photo: AP)
Hogan said about 50,000 will come from Pfizer and the remainder from Moderna — two companies that have surged to the front of COVID-19 vaccine development.
Both companies have asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve their vaccines for emergency use.
“The good news is they have vaccines that are years ahead of schedule and we’ll get some relatively fast,” Hogan said Tuesday. “The bad news is it’s not enough. So we have some difficult decisions, which we’ll get into at our next press conference, about the implementation and roll-out of the plan.”
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Maryland submitted its vaccine distribution plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in October. The two-phase plan calls for vaccinating high-risk health care workers, residents of nursing homes and other congregate settings, and people with underlying conditions that put them at much higher risk if they contract COVID-19.
In total, the plan calls for more than 855,000 Marylanders to receive the vaccine during phase one, including 322,000 high-risk health care workers.
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During phase two, the vaccine will become available to the general public. The beginning of phase two will be decided based on vaccine availability and the success of phase one.
Different versions of the vaccine could bring various logistical hurdles. Some variations may require two injections of the same type of vaccine or need to be refrigerated, kept frozen or even stored at ultra-cold temperatures.
Vaccine providers will be required to register and track vaccine administration through ImmuNet, Maryland’s existing immunization database.
Madeleine O’Neill covers the Maryland State House for the USA Today Network. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @maddioneill.
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