COVID-19 booster shots available for all Marylanders 65 and older in congregate care facilities

The Maryland Department of Health and Governor Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that all Marylanders 65 and older living in congregate care facilities are now eligible for COVID-19 booster shots.

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The eligibility applies to all nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential drug treatment centers and developmentally disabled group homes.

The health department is also issuing guidance instructing all pharmacies and providers in Maryland to administer COVID-19 booster shots without a prescription or doctor’s order to anyone who considers themselves to be immunocompromised.

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More than 28,000 boosters have already been administered to immunocompromised Marylanders.

The state launched an antibody testing program last month for 500 nursing home residents and found that more than 60% demonstrated some form of waning immunity.

"All of the evidence makes it abundantly clear that we cannot afford to delay taking decisive action to protect our most vulnerable citizens," Gov. Hogan said.

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Hogan also called on the Biden administration during Wednesday's announcement to address boosters for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, advance the full FDA approval of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and expedite approval of vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds.