BALTIMORE (WMAR) — As of Tuesday, lots more Marylanders will be eligible to get the vaccine and Gov. Larry Hogan said it’s the best shot we have at getting ahead of the variants.
"I would describe it as a race between the vaccines and the variants," said Hogan.
Sunday, Maryland topped more than 1,000 COVID-19 cases for 5th straight day with a rising positivity rate and concerns about the impact of variants.
"It appears that B117, that variant is spreading even more easily between us and making us sicker, which is concerning," said Dr. David Marcozzi, the Senior Medical Advisor to the Governor for COVID-19.
Maryland is currently in Phase 2A with 2.5 million doses now administered. According to CDC data, 37 percent of Marylanders 18 and older have received at least one dose and Hogan hopes to keep the daily shots administered count growing.
"As long as we get the supply, with the infrastructure we have in place, I think we are ready to far outpace other places. We’d like to get as many done April and May," said Hogan.
Hogan said with increasing vaccine allocation from the federal government, the state can move closer to that goal, beginning Phase 2B on Tuesday.
It includes all people ages 16 years and older with underlying medical conditions that increase risk for severe COVID-19 illness and as of last week, people 16 years or older with disabilities.
"People with disabilities experience significant barriers to accessing health services so the Maryland Department of Disabilities along with the Maryland Department of Health are working together to try to close the gap and make sure no one is left behind," said Hogan.
"Research shows that non-elderly people with disabilities who receive long term supports and services in settings other than nursing homes face similar COVID-19 risk factors as those in nursing homes," said Carol Beatty, Maryland Secretary of Disabilities.
Accommodations are being made as mass vaccination sites and the Department of Disabilities is also working to develop pop up clinics for those who cannot get to the mass vax sites.
Marylanders in Phase 1, as well as 2A and 2B, can pre-register for an appointment at a mass vaccination site by visiting covidvax.maryland.gov.