Maryland Governor Larry Hogan activating National Guard to assist with vaccine

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced on Tuesday that he is re-activating the National Guard in order to assist in planning and distributing the coronavirus vaccine.

READ MORE: Maryland Schools Superintendent requests COVID-19 vaccine priority for teachers, staff

The Governor made the announcement while updating the state on its response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The National Guard will also provide support for the state’s response to critical problems in facilities like nursing homes.

The first lot of doses will go to the state’s hospitals and nursing homes within the next two weeks.

Hogan said he will take the vaccine as soon as he can - but he will "not jump the line" ahead of front-line workers.

The state will also launch a public service announcement campaign stressing the importance of the vaccine.

READ MORE: MedStar Health hospital system prepares for first doses of COVID-19 vaccine

According to Dr. Jinlene Chan, as more doses become available, they will be able to expand the distribution to medical workers outside of hospital environments under the Tier 1B category.

Educators and child-care workers will receive “tier two” priority for the vaccine.

Earlier on Tuesday, Maryland Schools Superintendent Karen Salmon issued a letter indicating she’d requested that “teachers, school staff and early child care professionals” be among the first to receive the vaccine.

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The vaccine is arriving in Maryland as case numbers once again soar.

After months of plummeting cases, the state once again finds itself in the so-called “red zone” with a seven-day positive case rate of 7.53 percent.

In addition, the state reached a grim milestone as the number of deaths attributed to the coronavirus topped 5,000.