Maryland drafts plan for coronavirus vaccinations

Maryland has drawn up a plan for how it will inoculate residents once a COVID-19 vaccine is approved.

Gov. Larry Hogan’s office announced Tuesday that it has submitted a draft plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Maryland stands ready to order, distribute and administer it effectively and rapidly as soon as a vaccine becomes available,” Hogan said in a statement.

It’s a plan that’s been in the works since April. State health officials reviewed handling of previous outbreaks and pandemics, with the intention of applying any lessons learned.

The draft plan is a two-phase approach, with “critical populations” (e.g. first responders, health care workers, other essential workers and nursing-home residents) getting vaccinated in Phase One, and the general public being vaccinated in Phase Two.

Maryland expects the vaccine supply “to rapidly increase once distribution begins, alleviating the need to limit vaccine administration.”

One challenge for distribution is that the vaccine will likely be “temperature sensitive,” and will need to be kept adequately cold. The CDC is developing storage and handling guidelines, state officials said.

Another challenge: Two doses will probably be necessary for full COVID-19 vaccination, with the second dose needed about three to four weeks after the first. So Maryland is giving residents some options for setting up reminders so they get that second dose. One option is called PrepMod; another is Maryland MyIR. Health-care-provider-based systems will be yet another option.

The state is also developing an online dashboard — similar to the one used for tracking COVID-19 cases/deaths — to share the state’s progress with residents.

And Maryland is recruiting and enrolling vaccinators. These include health care providers, local health departments and pharmacists.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer.

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