ANNAPOLIS, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Maryland has finally caught up with neighboring D.C. and Virginia, and now has a COVID-19 vaccination plan the state can implement before a vaccine is available for distribution.
Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday that the plan – which prioritizes front-line workers, including first responders, healthcare workers, and nursing homes – was submitted to the Centers for Disease Control last Friday.
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In September, the CDC said that states should be prepared for distributing vaccines as early as October or November.
Along with front-line workers and nursing homes, essential workers such as public safety, educators and staff in living facilities will be prioritized under phase one.
Phase two, according to the governor’s plan, would be mitigated by a number of factors, including the availability of the vaccine, approval from the CDC to initiate phase two, and whether the targeted metrics for the vaccination of phase one groups have been achieved.
Some other parts of the plan also include the assumption that the federal government will be providing many doses of the vaccine for free and some people will probably need a second dose in order to be fully protected.
“What our plan is is that all of the vaccines that are given in the state of Maryland will be reported to our immunization information system called Immunet and so the vaccines will be tracked there,” explained Kurt Seeto, Chief of the Center for Immunization at the Maryland Department of Health.
“Then once it’s time for someone to receive their second dose, what we will do is that we can run reports from ImmuNet to get a list of those people that are required to get a second dose and we can send out reminders, we have a number of different ways that we can do reminders," he continued.
FOX 5’s Ayesha Khan also checked with various local hospital systems such a as Adventist HealthCare and the Maryland Hospital Association to see what plans the hospitals might have in place as far as giving the vaccine is concerned once it’s available. They responded by saying that they are currently reviewing the state’s plans.
“A lot of clinics you won’t see large lines for because they will be closed clinics looking at reaching out to those (most vulnerable) populations but the once the vaccine becomes more readily available they will be offered in a lot of different places,” explained Seetoo.