Governor Larry Hogan today announced that, based on the state’s accelerating vaccination rate and an anticipated increase in supply from the federal government, the State of Maryland will enter Phase 2 of its vaccine distribution plan early next week. The governor also announced a series of unique initiatives to ensure vaccine equity and expand the state’s distribution network, utilizing hospitals, primary care providers, and mobile clinics.
“We continue to leverage every possible resource we can to get shots into arms as efficiently and equitably as possible,” said Governor Hogan. “We have built the infrastructure capacity and we are being promised the supply to be able to vaccinate every Marylander in the next couple months. I can assure you that our entire team will not rest until every single Marylander who wants a vaccine has received a vaccine.”
VACCINE ELIGIBILITY TIMELINE FOR ALL MARYLANDERS 16 AND OLDER
Beginning on Tuesday, March 23, the state will make groups in Phase 2 eligible in waves based on risk factors, including age, essential occupations, and underlying health conditions, before opening it up to the general population in Phase 3. All Marylanders 16 and older will be eligible for vaccines by Tuesday, April 27.
Phase 2A: Tuesday, March 23. Eligibility opens for all Marylanders 60 and older. According to Maryland Department of Health data, nearly 90% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths are in the 60+ age range. Pre-registration at mass vaccination sites is now open for Marylanders 60 and older at covidvax.maryland.gov.
Phase 2B: Tuesday, March 30. Eligibility opens for all Marylanders 16 and older with underlying medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19 illness. According to CDC data, nearly 90% of individuals hospitalized for COVID-19 have an underlying medical condition.
Phase 2C: Tuesday, April 13. Eligibility opens for all Marylanders 55 and older, as well as essential workers in critical industries, including food services (i.e. restaurant workers), utilities, construction workers, transportation, financial services, IT, and other infrastructure.
Phase 3: Tuesday, April 27. Eligibility opens for all Marylanders 16 and older.
Individuals currently eligible in Phase 1 will continue to be prioritized at the state’s mass vaccination sites.
In addition, the governor announced a series of new initiatives to ensure vaccine equity and expand the state’s distribution network:
PRIMARY CARE PRACTICES JOIN STATE’S VACCINATION EFFORT
Beginning this week, primary care practices throughout Maryland are joining the state’s vaccination effort, administering vaccines directly to vulnerable populations they serve. To help achieve more equitable vaccine distribution, the first 37 practices were chosen for the program based on their connection to largely African American and Hispanic communities and areas with less geographic access to vaccination sites.
Throughout Phase 2, primary care practices will focus on vaccinating those with underlying medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19 illness. Maryland is fortunate to have many of their primary care providers organized under the innovative Maryland Model and the Maryland Primary Care Program. The Maryland Primary Care Program is a statewide advanced primary care program with 562 practices.
MARYLAND LAUNCHES FIRST-IN-THE-NATION HOSPITAL COMMUNITY VACCINATION GRANT PROGRAM
The Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission has established a Community Vaccination Grant Program to support hospital efforts to engage in community-based vaccination efforts. The program, made possible by the one-of-a-kind “Maryland Model” healthcare finance system, will provide $12 million for community-based vaccination initiatives led by hospitals.
Through this unique grant program, hospitals will work with trusted community partners—including local health departments, non-profits, faith-based organizations, and others—to increase Marylanders’ access to the COVID-19 vaccine especially in vulnerable, underserved, and hard-to-reach areas.
VACCINE EQUITY TASK FORCE TO LAUNCH MOBILE CLINICS
The Maryland Vaccine Equity Task Force, led by Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead, will launch mobile clinics in hard-to-reach areas utilizing mobile units provided by the University of Maryland School of Nursing. These units will be deployed and staffed by the Maryland National Guard. Learn more about the task force at governor.maryland.gov/VETF.
Each mobile vaccine bus has the versatility to be used as a walk-in clinic or a drive-up site to administer between 60 to 160 vaccines per mission. Individuals will have the option of receiving the vaccine inside the wellness bus or staying in their car and vaccinators administering the vaccine there. The technology capabilities of the buses allow for registering and scheduling follow up appointments, making this a one-stop shop to getting shots in arms at otherwise hard-to-reach locations across Maryland.
ADDITIONAL MASS VACCINATION SITES TO BE ANNOUNCED NEXT WEEK
With today’s opening of the mass vaccination site at Wicomico Youth & Civic Center in Salisbury, the state has now opened five statewide. The sixth mass vaccination site will open on Thursday, March 25, in Hagerstown. The governor will announce the locations of additional mass vaccination sites next week.