Maryland health official defends vaccine eligibility timeline

BALTIMORE — Maryland’s acting health secretary is defending the state’s decision to expand eligibility for the coronavirus vaccine to adults who are 65 and older.

Acting Secretary Dennis R. Schrader said Monday that the change was made to address racial disparities in life expectancy.

He said that populations that are 75 and older tend to be more dominated by Caucasians.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Schrader offered the explanation on Monday to state senators during a virtual Vaccine Oversight Workgroup committee meeting.

Maryland’s leaders and health officials continue to face questions about the vaccine rollout.

Many had criticized the state’s decision to add more people into the vaccine eligibility pool while supplies nationwide remained limited.

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