Maryland residents 65 and older living in congregate care settings will be able to get booster shots starting immediately, Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday.
The governor said the Maryland Department of Health is issuing an order that will allow nursing homes and other care facilities to administer booster shots to their residents.
“To be clear, these facilities in Maryland will not have to wait to begin offering boosters — boosters can now immediately be administered,” Hogan said.
Hogan also said any Marylanders who feel that they are immunocompromised will also be able to get a booster shot from a pharmacy or vaccine provider. He said there is no requirement for residents to provide proof that they are immunocompromised.
“If you feel like you are immunocompromised, if your doctor says ‘Hey, you should probably go get it,’ you can go get it,” Hogan said. “We’re making it very clear in Maryland: If someone feels like they need to get it, we’re gonna get it to them and no one can deny it to them.”
Hogan said while he would like to see booster shots available more broadly, his administration will continue to make it their priority to get more Marylanders their first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The World Health Organization has recently called on developed nations to pause giving booster shots as poorer countries are still struggling to get their populations vaccinated.
Both Pfizer and Moderna are currently trying to figure out how best to go about administering their third doses, and the Food and Drug Administration will be debating Sept. 17 whether to approve boosters.
Recent data suggest that, while the vaccines remain effective at combatting serious illness and death, their ability to protect against more minor infections may be waning.
Maryland is launching a $3 million canvassing program called the Community COVID-19 Vaccination Project, in an effort to spread vaccine information to areas of the state with the lowest vaccination rates.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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