BALTIMORE — Governor Larry Hogan was on hand Wednesday to personally witness Franklin Woods Center residents and staff getting their first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, the first nursing home staff and residents in the state to do so.
"It is a hopeful day with these vaccines, these vials of hope," said Hogan.
CVS Pharmacist Isaac Onigbinde administered the vaccines to three workers including Executive Director, Brian Klausmeyer, Registered Nurse and Center Executive, Donna Jones, and GNA Davenia Kemp.
"It usually takes years for a vaccine but it’s a blessing that it came out so soon," said Jones.
Two residents were also vaccinated.
"I wanted to be first in line," said 95-year-old Kareleen Diggs.
70-year-old Samuel Cushing beat COVID-19 in October and hasn’t seen his family for 9 months.
"It's been tough, real tough. Toughest thing I’ve ever had to do," said Cushing.
He’s excited this brings him one step closer to seeing his daughter and he has a message for people who aren’t sure about getting the vaccine:
"I’m not afraid. I wanna show everyone there’s nothing to be afraid of," said Cushing.
The Trump Administration has an agreement with CVS and Walgreens to distribute the vaccines to all nursing homes and assistant living centers.
"The moment they get into the state, they are getting out directly to the nursing homes and once all the nursing homes, then they will start going to the assisted living facilities. We’re starting with the most vulnerable first," said Hogan.
Hogan is asking for patience. So far, Maryland has gotten about 200,000 doses and they need almost a million to vaccinate all the high risk people: health care workers, nursing home residents and first responders, before moving onto phase two.
"We expect to get more next week and the following week. Every week we are gonna track it and keep pushing," said Hogan.
They hope to vaccinate 80% of the staff at Franklin Woods Center and 100% of residents here by the end of the day.
Also on Wednesday, the state launched an online dashboard that contains updated numbers on vaccine distribution.
Last week, WMAR-2 News showed several hospitals including University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins and the Maryland VA Medical Center receiving Pfizer shipments and administering their first vaccination.