Distribution plans for the COVID-19 vaccines are in full force currently, providing some hopeful indications the pandemic might soon be under control and the economy can begin a long-term recovery.
At a press conference this week, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said Maryland is expected to soon receive 155,000 initial first doses of the two-dose COVID vaccines. Distribution of the Pfizer vaccine could begin as soon as next week, while distribution of the Moderna vaccine could come as early as the week of Dec. 21.
Phase 1A of the vaccination distribution plan will focus on critical healthcare workers, residents and staff at long-term care facilities and first-responders. Maryland has signed up all the state’s 227 nursing homes and 1,668 assisted living facilities for vaccine distribution through a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens.
Hogan on Tuesday also announced a statewide vaccine confidence campaign aimed at educating and instilling trust in the vaccines and encouraging Marylanders to participate in the program when they become available. Hogan also said he and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford will publicly receive the vaccine when it becomes available to them to bolster public confidence in the program.
“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,” Hogan said.
With statewide metrics continuing to be a concern and the governor’s belief the health crisis is going to get worse before it improves, Marylanders will likely soon face even more restrictions with a stay-at-home order possible for all those not deemed essential workers. More social life limitations are expected any day.
At this point, while the general populace awaits spring vaccinations, we all need to remain hopeful, patient and understand these limitations being placed on our lives and livelihoods will be temporary. We must remain aware and cognizant of responsible living at this time and be aware help is on the way.
2020 has been a year we will remember for all the wrong reasons, but the brilliance and expeditious work of the country’s medical and science community has resulted in highly touted and effective vaccines. By spring the hope is for the majority of the public to gain access to the vaccinations. The thought is once the majority receives the vaccinations some signs of normal life will begin to re-emerge. With these medical breakthroughs and governments working with private industry to expedite the vaccination distribution, we are optimistic 2021 will be a much better year for all of us.