ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The FDA is poised within days to approve the nation's first ever COVID-19 vaccine.
On Tuesday, Governor Larry Hogan and Maryland health officials laid out the state's plans for distribution.
Pfizer is expected to receive emergency use authorization first. This vaccine reportedly has 95 percent efficiency.
It could be available as soon as December 14.
Moderna isn't far behind and could be available to some in Maryland as early as December 22. This vaccine has been found to be 94.1 percent effective.
The state will initially receive an extremely limited number of doses.
According to Hogan, Maryland could be issued 155,000 doses of the vaccine with the possibility of 300,000 by year’s end.
Of that initial amount -- 50,700 doses will be from Pfizer and 104,300 by Moderna.
The vaccines require two doses to be effective. Hogan says those doses will be made available once the first ones have been disbursed.
Distribution will be implemented in phases.
The first phase will go directly to hospital health care workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities and first responders.
Maryland is partnering with CVS and Walgreen's to ease the distribution process for nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
The state has ordered refrigerators to store the vaccines when they arrive.
Pfizer must be at -80°C with the Moderna at -20°C.
University of Maryland Medical Center researchers were first in the nation to begin testing Pfizer’s vaccine.
Montgomery County based Novavax will soon begin their Phase 3 trials, which puts the country closer to a potential third vaccine.
On Tuesday, the Maryland Health Department issued an order allowing all doctors, nurses, paramedics, and pharmacists to administer COVID19 vaccines, once trained.
Under the order, healthcare providers who already perform vaccinations can prepare and administer vaccines at state-designated sites.
Distribution will be tracked via ImmuNet. Providers will use the database to order vaccines and store immunization records.
Hogan said he and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford will get vaccinated in public once it's made available, to promote confidence in the safety of the vaccine.
The state has had 35 straight days with more than 1,000 new cases, resulting in a 7.61 percent positivity rate.
At 1,653 -- the current number of hospitalizations are at its highest number since May 9. Of those 396 are in the ICU.
The state is also monitoring active cases at 190 nursing homes and 132 assisted living facilities.
Read Maryland's distribution plan here.