Maryland may receive Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines as soon as December 14
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Governor Larry Hogan held a press conference on Tuesday to provide an update on the COVID-19 vaccine progress in Maryland.
The CDC says Maryland will receive approximately 155-thousand initial doses with about 50-thousand from Pfizer and the rest from Moderna. That is, only after their vaccines are approved by the FDA.
State health officials anticipate they’ll be approved very soon, as early as December 14th or at least sometime next week, for Pfizer. As for Moderna, they applied November 30th and the FDA’s advisory committee has already scheduled a meeting to consider their vaccine data on December 17th. That means, if it’s approved, Maryland may received it the week of December 22nd.
“To help demonstrate confidence in the safety of the vaccine, I want to make it clear that Lt. Governor Rutherford and I will both take the vaccine in public as soon as it becomes available to us. And we will be leading an aggressive statewide public health campaign urging all Marylanders to get vaccinated,” says Gov. Hogan.
Tuesday, the Maryland Department of Health issued an order that makes it possible for any healthcare professional, including all doctors, nurses, paramedics, and pharmacists, to administer COVID-19 vaccines with appropriate training and supervision. Under this order, healthcare providers who already perform vaccinations may prepare and administer vaccines at state-designated vaccination sites.
Dr. Jinlene Chan, the Acting Deputy Secretary of Public Health Services, also touched on concerns some people have about the vaccine. She says, when it comes to side effects, about 10 to 15 percent of people may experience mild to moderate side effects in the first one to two days including pain at the site of the injection, mild fever, headache, muscle aches as well as joint aches.
Hogan says the state has been playing an outsized role in the search for a vaccine. Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center were the first in the United States to begin testing Pfizer’s vaccine. Novavax is about to begin Phase 3 trials.
Additionally, Emergent BioSolutions is manufacturing vaccines for both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Nearly 40 Maryland companies have been working on vaccines and innovative therapeutics.
Hogan says while the delivery of vaccines is welcome news, he is cautioning Marylanders to remember that the initial allocation will only be 155,000 doses of the vaccine, with the possibility of 300,000 by the end of the year.
In response to the state’s call for a medical staffing surge, more than 4,000 prospects signed up in the first week to work at state hospitals, nursing homes, testing sites, and vaccination clinics. Officials say an additional 576 volunteers have joined the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps, which now has 15,908 volunteers.
“The cavalry is coming, a vaccine is on the way, but it is absolutely critical that we continue to fight this virus with everything we’ve got, and we need to keep doing all the things that we know will help to keep us safe.”