Gov. Hogan provides update on booster shots in Maryland, new community COVID vaccination project
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Governor Larry Hogan provided an update on COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots on Wednesday.
He began with an update on COVID data across the state. He says that Maryland’s statewide positivity rate is the 6th lowest in America, and the case rate is the second lowest in America. In addition, hospitalizations are down 50% from their peak.
State health officials have been preparing for the next phase of the vaccination campaign and laying the groundwork for a statewide operation for booster shots. Officials say more than 28,000 booster shots have already been administered to immunocompromised Marylanders.
In preparation for booster shots, the Governor says the state launched an antibody testing program last month for 500 nursing home residents. He says findings indicated that over 60% demonstrated some form of waning immunity, and as many as 1 in 3 are now particularly vulnerable.
The Maryland Department of Health has issued an order making all Marylanders 65 and older who are living in congregate care settings immediately eligible for booster shots. This applies to all nursing homes, assisting living facilities, residential drug treatment centers, and developmentally disabled group homes.
In addition, the Maryland Department of Health has issued guidance instructing all pharmacies and providers statewide to administer boosters without a prescription or doctor’s order to anyone who considers themselves to be immunocompromised.
Hogan announced that this week the state is launching a $3 million statewide, community-based, door-to-door canvassing effort to directly engage Marylanders living in areas with low vaccination rates.
Governor Hogan is also continuing to call on the Biden administration to address boosters for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, advance full FDA approval of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, and expedite approval of vaccines for 5 to 11-year-olds.