The state is still "strongly recommending" masks in indoor settings, but he refrained from implementing mask mandates.
The vaccine mandate arrives amid soaring cases in the state. Maryland, like other states, is contending with the far more contagious Delta variant of the novel coronavirus.
"If you don't wear a mask, and you don't get a vaccine, you're going to get COVID-19," the governor said.
The new vaccination protocols for state employees apply to:
- Department of Health, State Healthcare facilities
- Department of Juvenile Services
- Department of Public Safety and Correctional services
- Department of Veteran Affairs
The governor also urged private nursing homes to implement mandatory vaccinations.
According to the administration, 99.99% of Marylanders who've received the vaccine have remained free of serious illness.
By contrast, 96% of the cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the state have been among the unvaccinated since January.
The governor stressed that Maryland is in a far better position than it was when the novel coronavirus arrived in the region in March 2020. He noted that while the delta variant is spreading faster, it's spreading to fewer people.
The Maryland State Health Department also announced that it will offer a post-vaccination data dashboard to help track cases among the vaccinated.
The number of breakthrough cases in the state currently constitutes less than .12% of Maryland residents who are vaccinated, according to the administration.