Maryland unveils draft of COVID-19 mass vaccination plan

Posted at 11:22 AM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 11:22:25-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — In anticipation of a COVID-19 vaccination, Maryland on Tuesday unveiled a draft of its COVID-19 mass vaccination plan.

"Maryland stands ready to order, distribute, and administer it effectively and rapidly as soon as a vaccine becomes available,” said Governor Hogan. “The State of Maryland’s plan for this historic undertaking will immediately make the vaccine available to Marylanders at highest risk of developing complications from COVID-19 as well as our critical frontline health care workers and essential workers in public safety and education.”

RELATED: Gov. Hogan tours Gaithersburg lab working on COVID-19 vaccine

The vaccination plan is made up of two phases, availability and distribution.

Phase one focuses on priority groups while the second phase addresses the state's general population.

Once distribution begins the availability of vaccinations is expected to grow, which would eliminate supply and demand concerns.

Here is a breakdown of who the state will look to target in each phase.

Phase 1-

  • Frontline first responders and health care workers evaluating and caring for COVID-19 patients;
  • Staff and residents of nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and assisted living facilities; and
  • Essential workers, including public safety, education, and staff in congregate living facilities.

The below metrics will be used to monitor the progress of phase one.

  • Percent of Phase 1 population vaccinated;
  • Percent and number of residents and staff at long-term care facilities vaccinated;
  • Determination of an equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine throughout the state for the Phase 1 population; and
  • Percent and number of Phase 1 population pre-registered.

Determination of of how and when phase two begins, hinges on the factors listed below.

  • Availability of COVID-19 vaccine;
  • Notification by CDC and state authorities that the general public Phase 2 can begin due to sufficient supply; and/or
  • Achievement of targeted metrics for vaccination of high priority Phase 1 groups.

In order to roll out the vaccination effort as smoothly as possible, the state has put together a few components to make it all come together.

First is provider recruitment and enrollment.

The State Health Department says it's in the process of recruiting and enrolling health care providers to ensure local needs are met.

Second is the managing of Vaccine Allocation, Ordering, Distribution, and Inventory.

The Health Department will require pre-registration of phase one vaccine sites and registration of priority vaccine candidates at each site.

Vaccine orders will be placed in ImmuNet, which will then be uploaded to the CDC VTrckS vaccine ordering system for shipping directly to the hospital or work site.

Third is Vaccine Storage and Handling.

COVID-19 vaccine products are temperature sensitive and will need to be stored and handled correctly to ensure vaccine viability prior to administration to a patient.

Fourth is Vaccine Safety Monitoring.

With the rapid development and licensing of COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine safety monitoring is a high priority to establish and maintain confidence in the vaccine. CDC and the FDA continuously monitor the safety of vaccines. Three main systems are used to monitor the safety of vaccines: Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), and Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project.

The fifth and final component is investing in a Public Health Campaign, that gets the word out about the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine.

Read the entire draft here.