ANNAPOLIS — COVID vaccines will be offered to seniors age 75 and older as well certain government officials, prison inmates, teachers and education staff as part of the next phase of the state’s mass vaccination deployments.
The next phase of Maryland’s coronavirus vaccinations, dubbed 1B, is scheduled to start later this month, Gov. Larry Hogan said during a briefing on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
Hogan said the 1B group — which also includes developmentally disabled and special needs populations — totals approximately 860,000 Marylanders.
The state is also deploying military medical personnel teams from the Maryland National Guard to help administer coronavirus vaccines, Hogan said Tuesday. The state has administered 76,916 COVID vaccines as of Jan. 5, including 7,550 on the Eastern Shore.
Those vaccinations are being offered to the state’s top priority group. The 1A group includes frontline health care workers, first responders, nursing home workers and staff. It has been expanded to include all licensed health care providers, judiciary and corrections officers.
Hogan said the next group (1B) includes “high-risk inmates” and essential government officials in addition to older seniors, teachers and child care workers.
The governor said vaccination efforts need to overcome data reporting lags and the state will need more supplies from the federal government and drug companies. “We still have a long way to go in this fight,” Hogan said Tuesday.
State-run efforts also have to overcome hesitancy and some skepticism toward vaccinations in general and concerns about the fast development of the COVID vaccines.
Hogan said the next group after that — designated as 1C — includes grocery store, transit and agricultural workers, as well as seniors between the ages 65 to 74. That group totals 772,000 Marylanders.
The next phase after that includes residents aged 16 to 64 with medical conditions that make them vulnerable to the virus, as well as utility workers. That group totals 1.1 million residents, the governor said.
Last month, Hogan called up the National Guard to help with the logistics of COVID vaccine distributions. The governor is now dispatching emergency National Guard teams with medical personnel to help directly administer coronavirus vaccines across the state.
Hogan called the effort the “greatest peacetime undertaking in American history.”
“We are going to leverage every single resource at our disposal to get more shots into more arms as quickly as we possibly can in a safe and orderly way,” Hogan said.